Couples often have to decide on whether or not they want to do a “first look” before their ceremony. I have two reasons why I like for couples to do a first look:
- romantic: it creates a moment that wouldn’t otherwise exist, it can be intimate, funny, emotional, but also can relieve the jitters. I have never known a couple who did a first look who regretted it. It is a completely un-orchestrated moment. As the photographer, I stand back and just capture what happens. It’s raw, and unique, and almost always results in someone crying. Happy tears, of course. And you know what? Even when couples do a first look, they can still get emotional walking down the aisle, because it’s a totally separate moment, in front of witnesses, and it has it’s own emotional impact. So yeah, I kind of like first looks!
- practical: it creates more time for photography before the wedding so couples can enjoy some of their cocktail hour before rushing off to do sunset photos/
The one caveat is that the first look usually takes place during the brightest part of the day with the harshest light, so you have to have a photographer who understands lighting in order to make the photos look amazing.
I definitely am always happy to do whatever each couple feels most comfortable with! If you don’t think a first look is for you, there are other options. You can do a “hidden” first look where you stand on either side of something that blocks your view and touch hands, or exchange notes. You can approach your groom and he doesn’t turn around, you just touch him and whisper in his ear. Or you can choose to wait until you walk down the aisle. Any of these options is the right one as long as it’s the best fit for you!
Here are three examples of first looks – one romantic, one silly, and one sweet! What’s your first look style?