Should We or Shouldn’t We?
First looks are da bomb! However, not all couples want a First Look, and that’s A-okay! but it is one of the topics I ask about early on in the planning process.
As early as the consultation, we start talking about your wedding day timeline, including the possibility of including a First Look into your day. You may be wondering why so early? I mean… the wedding day isn’t for another 12-18 months. Soooo…. Why talk about the wedding timeline now? Well… you actually wanna start thinking about the portraits AND the overall timeline of your day as SOON as you start planning so you can choose a good ceremony and reception start times. Opening up and discussing this topic early on helps you understand not only how much time may be needed, but why that much time is needed.
The truth is, I’m a no pressure kinda gal. I’m never going to pressure anyone into doing what isn’t right for them. Having a First Look is a personal decision, and I leave the final say up to my couples. That said- I will offer professional advice based on years of experience, and give different scenario examples so that you can visualize what is right for you and your wedding. This post is about the different options and the pros/cons of each.
A First Look with the Bride & Groom photos taken before the wedding ceremony
More and more brides and grooms are opting for a First Look and getting your images taken before the ceremony can have many benefits.
- Privacy: With a First Look, the first time you see each other is private and shared just between you two (and me with my quiet, ninja-like camera) Wedding days tend to be rushed- so this will give you the time away from the hustle and enjoy the moment. Some may not want to include a first look because they fear the element of surprise will be lost. I assure you it’s not lost. It gives you time away to really enjoy the whole experience. It allows you the ability to hug, cry, and kiss each other without the pressure of your entire guest list watching on. Some worry that seeing each other beforehand will make “The Walk” down the aisle less exciting. It’s still a HUGE deal! Ladies- your soon to be Mr. will still be in awe seeing you on the arm of your dad… and Gents, your soon to be Mrs will still be holding back joyful tears because she is FINALLY marrying her best friend. And this is the moment she’s been dreaming of since she was a little lady. The only thing missing will be the anxiety. It’s a Win-Win.
- Fresh: You both will look your freshest! Nuff said about that. LOL
- Anxiety: As mentioned above, The nerves of seeing each other for the first time will be gone and then you can simply look forward to and enjoy your ceremony.
- Couple Portraits: Helps to ensure that there is enough time for the most important photos (the ones of you two!)
- It makes for a smoother schedule! And allows you to attend the cocktail party to mingle with your guests!
- Control– First looks can be done anywhere, but I choose the location based on the quality of light. (In addition to being secluded from others) That way you are sure to get beautiful images. (Being a person focused photographer- I place a priority on making sure the people look good, and in doing so- I focus on the quality of available light and choose my location based on that. We will definitely get shots that highlight the venue/background at a time of day that will better allow for that. )
- This is a great trial run of walking around and moving in your dress before you have to do it in front of everyone at your ceremony!
Please keep in mind…
If you’re getting married in the late fall or winter and have scheduled your ceremony for the late afternoon, it may be the ONLY way we can do portraits. The sun sets much earlier around this time, which isn’t something most brides think about when planning their ceremony time. I would suggest looking up what time the sun will be setting on your wedding day. This can help determine what time you want to have your ceremony. Knowing this information will play a key factor in ensuring we have enough time and light to get all those amazing pictures you want.
| Bride & Groom Photos after the wedding ceremony
You do not see each other before the ceremony and the first time you see each other is when the Bride is walking down the aisle.
- You get to keep up with tradition
- If you are wanting to have a cocktail hour for guests between the ceremony and reception, taking the bulk of your images after the ceremony will allow your guests to mingle and enjoy drinks while you’re getting your pictures taken.
- If the ceremony begins late, or family photos run longer than expected, then it’s always the bride and groom photo time that gets cut short.
- The photo time after the ceremony will take longer (think of all the excitement and hugs that everyone will need to give you) so guests will have approximately an hour – an hour and a half (sometimes two hours depending on the number of photos requested) break from when the ceremony ends to when the reception begins (this can be a pro or con depending if you want to entertain your guests during this time or not!)
Like I said above- it’s a personal decision and not one that I would ever push anyone into. Though I do feel First Looks help me do the very best job, and a decision that helps me give my brides and grooms the kinds of images they’re dreaming of!
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Thank you for reading!