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Should we do a first look?

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Ahhh, the first look!  Is it a do or a don’t?  Well, there is no right or wrong when it comes to a first look. First of all, what is a first look?  A first look is that moment approximately 1-3 hours prior to the wedding ceremony where your photographer (along with your wedding planner) create a staged area where the bride and groom see each other for the first time before they walk down the aisle.  It can be done where the bride walks up to the groom, or the groom walks up to the bride and taps their shoulder, or gives them a hug from behind, etc.  Once the significant other turns around, the photos you get are pure happiness, shock and excitement.

We personally like a first look for that moment prior to the wedding craziness, where it is just you and your bride/groom to be relaxing and soaking up 15-20 minutes of  “alone time” before the bridal party or family photos begin.  Keeping to the question at hand, is it a do or a don’t?  Well, if you want to keep it traditional, and see each other at the altar/chuppah/mandap etc, then do not do a first look.  If you are crunched for time, want to calm your nerves,  want to attend your cocktail hour and mingle, or just get photos out of the way earlier in the day, then the first look is most definitely for you.  Most photographers we have worked with always prefer a first look so that the rest of the wedding photos are not on a time limit.  The photos you get from a first look are so superb–that is why the trend has taken off and is still going strong today.

So, here is a quick pro/con list for you, so that you can weigh your options and see if a first look is good for you!

Pros:

  • It can calm any nerves you or your groom may be having prior to the ceremony (think, nervous butterfly tummies–no amount of ginger ale or soda crackers can calm it)
  • It can save you time for photos, allowing you to enjoy your cocktail hour with your guests
  • It can save you time for just bride/groom photos without the bridal party and family (which can be done right after the first look or directly after the ceremony)
  • It gives you that special moment in time captured by your amazing photographer where time stands still–a priceless private session where emotions can run free and nobody is judging

 

Cons: 

  • You would need to start your day earlier to be able to move the timeline up and fit in all photos of bride/groom, bridal party and family (that means makeup/hair, getting up earlier, etc) and possibly booking the limo for a longer period of time
  • The moment can feel staged rather than spontaneous
  • The ceremony “first look” can feel anticlimactic, especially if your groom is not emotional (and all those years of being a little girl and your vision walking down the aisle can be crushed if he doesn’t give the emotion or look you were expecting in front of all your guests)
  • If the weather is hot, you worry about sweating and makeup running (some first looks are also done indoors if it is raining or profusely hot!)

We will leave you with some “after” first looks of some of our clients.  They are so, so beautiful, we just had to share!

{Photo credits from top to bottom:  Melanie Gabrielle Photography, Munoz Photography, Maggie Stolzberg Photography, and David Sutta Photography}

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