One of the best parts of your wedding day will be when you see your person for the first time. Whether it’s at the ceremony, at your First Look, or by accident on the way to the bathroom, it’s a special moment that is unlike no other. My couple’s wishes are my top priority, so whatever way you choose to do your wedding, know that I support it. That being said, this article may be a bit biased towards getting all of the photos I know you’ll love, so here are 5 reasons why I think First Looks are the greatest new wedding tradition.
1: You Get More Photos Both In Quantity + Variety
Like I said before, this is a photography-driven standpoint. If you want to stick with traditions and wait to see each other at your ceremony, I completely respect that! It does, however, completely change the timeline of your wedding day. You will need to allow about 1.5 hours of shooting time to adequately cover your wedding party, family, and portrait photographs. Note, this means you won’t be at cocktail hour and may have to adjust for extra time as well. Sometimes (usually) these photos are very rushed because we’re working to beat that dinner bell, so you should also designate a family member or bridesmaid to direct grandparents to their spots, gather wandering groomsmen, and keep kids smiling at the camera. Family shot lists and organization is imperative for this situation.
2: It Gets All Those Nerves Out
Today, couples choose to wait until the ceremony because of the anticipation and excitement of getting dressed up for their significant other and having a “grand reveal” as they walk down the aisle. They may want to keep things traditional or share that moment with their loved ones. Other couples feel that they’ll be much more relaxed if they have a moment with each other before the festivities begin. When couples opt for a first look, they’re trading that moment with everyone at the ceremony seeing you for just your person getting that special moment to themselves. Plus, who better to calm you down when you’re running late or your veil won’t stay in or you can’t find grandma then your significant other. It never fails that the stress disappears once couples lay eyes on each other.
3: It Doesn’t Take Away The Magic, Trust Me
That couple from above? They had their first look about 2 hours before their wedding. They hung out together all the way up to the ceremony, and this was still his reaction. The magic and emotions don’t go away. If anything, seeing each other before the ceremony creates the comfort to release all those happy tears because you don’t have to “hold it together” until your person walks down the aisle, and then continue to keep the emotions in because it’s the ceremony.
4: Less Risk, More Time With Guests
Okay, let’s take a minute to think about your wedding day timeline. You’re going to plan this out (with me!) to optimize your time with guests and getting the most out of your wedding photography. But what if the limo is running late going to your cocktail hour and we haven’t taken formals? Or a relative has an extra long speech during your ceremony? Or again, we can’t find grandma! If you take care of your portraits and formals before the ceremony, when you can better control your surroundings and know where everyone is, you’re more likely to get more portraits together and more relaxed group photos. This is just something to keep in mind if you have a large family, a long travel time between event spaces, or a very strict reception start time. Based on the 50+ weddings I have photographed, couples who choose a first look are delivered more photos in their gallery than couples who go traditional. We just have more time, and it’s as simple as that!
5: You’ll Be More Present
Let’s be honest, the worst part of my job is stealing you away from your family and friends for photos! Your wedding day is going to fly by, and you’ll want to be there for every hug and every cheers. That means I’ll be there for it too, to get all those little moments that will be so special to look back on.
Remember Whatever You Choose…
Your day will be perfect. Whether you choose traditional or a first look, your wedding will be the greatest day of your life. It’s very important to me that couples create a wedding day that is true to them and their relationship. Don’t choose a first look because your friend did one, or wait until the ceremony because you heard seeing the gown beforehand is bad luck. Do whatever makes you happy, and we’ll plan a timeline to accommodate every kiss, every dance, and every moment. It’s going to be your best day ever.