A First Look moment.
“What the hey is that?” you say? Well, my dear. It’s a moment, or series of moments, in which you & your betrothed see one another for the first time on your wedding day. In a gorgeous, intimate setting. Just the two of you. Like it was meant to be.
As a wedding photographer, my heart is all about beautiful imagery, connecting with my couples, and making their big days awesome. During our initial coffee date, I always take time to address the First Look. This post expands on a few of the things I tell every couple.
So how, exactly, will a First Look moment rock your world?
1. It gives you time to shake those jitters out.
“I remember walking up to him and thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, this is it!’” says 2012 bride Audrey. “I was super excited to have our private moment with just us.”
2. Capturing that First Look moment results in some of the most gorgeous, emotional images in the bunch.
Everything from tears to giggles to speechlessness. It’s all real & authentic, and that’s why I love the resulting images so much.
“The first look allowed us have a private moment together before all of the commotion of the day started,” says 2012 bride Jenna.
During this time, I typically shoot with a longer lens so that I can keep my distance & allow you to just be in the moment together.
3. You’ll be free to enjoy the social hour following your ceremony.
Your guests will be happier, & your event will have a nice, natural flow to it. If you’ve ever been a guest at a wedding, you know all about the lag time that occurs when all of the photographs need capturing between ceremony & reception time. Show your guests you love ‘em by keeping those in-between photos to a minimum! You’ll keep your guests (plus you & your wedding party) happy!
Bride Audrey reflects, “We loved having our first look, since we planned on doing (all of our) photos before the ceremony. It gave us the time to just be together & enjoy what the day was going to hold.” Amen, sister!
4. Having a First Look moment in no way (& I repeat: in no way) takes away from the significance of seeing one another down the aisle.
This is so important. In fact, having already seen one another actually enhances the aisle moment. You’ve shaken out those jitters, taken a few deep breaths, giggled & snuggled your way into chillaxed, lovey-dovey mode. You can be fully present & just soak in the atmosphere: that space full of the folks you cherish most.
5. You get to spend more time hanging out with your best friend on your wedding day.
And isn’t that kinda the point? Holla!
Here are a few words from 2012 bride Jenna on their First Look: “We chose to do a first look moment because we wanted the first time we saw each other on our wedding day to be special & the timing of events did not allow for us to see each other for the first time walking down the aisle (And frankly, I didn’t want to wait until 5 o’clock to see my sweetie in our wedding day!).”
Bailey’s Bride-to-Be Insight
As a bride-to-be, my heart totally aligns with dedicating time for a First Look on the wedding day. My fiancé & I are doing the same for our wedding this June! And although we cherish our wedding party members, we still request that they hang back until it’s time for group photos. No peeking, even! We consider the First Look to be a sacred moment for us & our photographer.
How I Roll My First Looks
Prior to your day, we’ll have a timeline established down to the minute. I always build in plenty of cushion time for the First Look, and will scout the area for a perfect, beautifully-lit First Look location.
Soon after the bride is dressed & ready, I will sneak away & fetch the groom. We’ll find our way to the spot, & I’ll chat him through what’s going to happen. His little-kid-on-Christmas-morning energy is always infectious.
If waiting to see one another is a non-negotiable, and you’ve already learned about everything a First Look moment has to offer, then awesome! Make the decision that speaks to your heart, & know that an awesome sauce photographer will be able to capture the images you need — no matter what.