The First Look
Hello again, everyone! It's Wedding Wednesday and I'm here to help you decide on whether or not you want to have a FIRST LOOK!
Time and time again, I get asked - "Should we do a first look?" And I will always, always say - YES! I'm pretty sure I have mentioned a million times how much I love First Looks. Now, I am going to give you a few reasons why. But first - Let's talk about why Brides typically choose not to do a first look.
A lot of times, clients are so set on sticking to "tradition", that they immediately write off the idea of having a first look. I know this - because I was one of them! Let's face it, ladies. We want that BIG reaction! I know I wanted Zachary to be bawling as he watched me walk down the aisle! Who doesn't want that type of reaction?!
After experiencing my own wedding and having photographing so many others, I have come to the conclusion that First Looks are - well - AWESOME! Having a First Look does not take that reaction away. If anything, it gives you more of an opportunity for a relaxing and beautiful day.
Those that don't want a first look automatically assume that the emotion and intimacy will be taken away from the ceremony; That they will lose some of that emotional reaction. Based on my experiences, that is simply not true! Everyone knows that the day of the wedding can be very stressful. Mostly on the Bride & Groom. The entire day is focused on them, how they are dressed, what they are doing, where they are (If they are running on time or schedule), the groom doesn't know how to put on his bout, you know....the little things...the tension grows and the stress begins.
Your groom is sitting in a small room waiting on his que from the coordinator...the gravity of what is about to happen starts to set in and he is getting anxious....it feels like an eternity has passed and FINALLY, it's time for him to see his bride! He enters the ceremony and what does he see? 80-300 people and where are they looking? Yep! You guessed it - right at the grooms face....because they all have their own expectations for his first reaction! To me...this is the farthest thing from an intimate and private moment. Yes, it is powerful and wonderful. Walking down the aisle is my favorite memory from my wedding day! However you don't want to be walking down the aisle to a groom who is a nervous wreck! With a first look, your groom will have spent the morning with you and your best friends - and will be ready to start the day and begin those vows as you're walking down that aisle! All of the pressure will be off! Nerves will have vanished and with no nerves - the true emotions and feelings can come through beautifully!
Basically, a normal groom will become incredibly nervous on the day of his wedding. Even if they seem calm and collected. The nerves begin for the Groom long before he sees his bride. So what if instead of keeping him in a secluded room before the ceremony, you put your groom in a private place...no people, no distractions...you let his gorgeous bride walk up to him and tap him on the shoulder - so he could have his very first look at his bride, in private...to hold her, kiss her, cry with her and enjoy that moment with her for as long as they want! What happens then? She twirls in her dress, asks him what he thinks and then - the nerves vanish! He can then face the ceremony with all of the joy and excitement in his heart!
Now they can begin their romantic portraits with no time crunch! There is no coordinator yelling out "15 minutes left". It's only the two of them and their photographer....capturing all of the excitement of their wedding day. This is their chance to be alone - When does that happen on a wedding day?! It doesn't without a first look. After the romantic portraits, they meet up with their friends and begin the bridal party portraits. The Bride touches up her makeup while the boys are boys, and they get to have FUN and enjoy this time before the ceremony. The Bridal Party portraits are fun because there is TIME for them to be fun! No one is waiting on them, telling them to hurry for dinner, or guests waiting impatiently for the cocktail hour to end.
After portraits are finished, the bridal party separates and begins prepping for the ceremony. The processional music begins and soon the bridesmaids walk one by one down the aisle. As the groom stands there, he is standing there filled with joy and excitement - and not with any nervousness. He looks up and there is his beautiful...wonderful....stunning bride - walking down the aisle toward him to begin their new life as Husband and Wife.
Please note - my clients are NOT required to have a first look! I am only putting out my opinion because I want the BEST for my clients. But if you choose to not do a first look, that is your choice and I totally support you! :) Now that that is said, let's continue!
Couples who choose a First Look receive these benefits:
1) You're making an investment with your Wedding Photographer. With a First Look, you receive 40% MORE portraits of the two of you!!! You're making the most out of your money and your huge investment when you opt for the first look. Remember, these are the images you will decorate your first home with!
2) You get intimate time on your wedding day with your man. Most people typically think that the walking down the aisle is the biggest, most emotional part of the day because of the 'tradition' of it all. But what most people don't realize, is when you walk down that aisle, he can't even tell you just how gorgeous you are! He can't touch you, hold you, speak to you, KISS YOU? Not for another 30-40 minutes! And then, after 40 minutes, the reaction just isn't the same as the initial - very first glance.
3) First looks let you have a LONGER Wedding Day! I say this to every one of my clients. The day goes by SO FAST! I mean, seriously - you plan this day for 6, 12, 18 sometimes 24 months! All for one day! Don't you want to enjoy every second of the day? Instead of seeing your man for only 4-5 hours of the day, Wouldn't you like to have 8-10 hours with him? The day will usually begin with you walking down the aisle, but with the First Look, you get an extra 3 hours and can enjoy time hanging out and relaxing with your best friends before hand! No rushing through portraits after the ceremony and hurrying for guests!
4) It allows you to be together and alone on your wedding day! A first look is really the only chance you may have the ENTIRE day to actually be alone! You'll cry, laugh and cry some more which will in turn, put you in the best mood for romantic portraits. Without a first look, you'll be rushing through family formals and then have to dive right in to your Bride & Groom portraits. Its really hard to switch from "Formal" to "Romantic" especially if you have family around! I capture the sweetest and the most romantic images of couples during their first look!
5) Bye-Bye nerves! Most of the couples who choose to do a first look, we're not planning on having one! Then once they realized how nerve-wracking it actually is, decided to add one to their timeline! And they ended up being VERY happy they chose this route! The nerves are gone and the day is open. It flows beautifully and you have a stress-free, perfect day!