Your first look is an amazing part of your wedding day! If you aren’t sure about this tradition, the next few pages will explain why it would be a romantic addition to your wedding day celebration that not only adds to the experience but also reduces stress. Please know that I would never want any of my couples to feel pressured to go with this option. However, we do want to make sure that we share all of the benefits of a first look, because there is a reason 90% of my couples do this and LOVE it!
I have confessed my deep love for “First Looks” to many Bride and Grooms. There is a reason for this. They’re AWESOME! However, not everyone is aware of how awesome they are, because they get caught up in how “non-traditional” it is and they immediately write it off.
After experiencing my own wedding and shooting many others, I’ve come to this conclusion. Some brides love “traditions” but what a bride REALLY wants when it comes to her groom seeing her for the first time, is a MOMENT. Those who are not interested in a First Look usually think that by seeing each other beforehand, they will lose part of that moment. They also assume that it wont be as emotional or as intimate as it would be if they were coming down the aisle. What I have found is so ironic! Everyone knows that wedding days are a bit stressful for the bride and groom.
The whole day is focused on them, they need to look their best, they need to be on time, the groom has no idea what side the boutonniere is supposed to go on and little by little... the tension grows.
It’s before the ceremony and the gravity of what is about to happen starts to sink in and the calm, collected groom who was playing pool just a few short hours ago is now starting to feel a little anxious. So what happens next? The groom waits in a little room somewhere for his que from the coordinator. It seems like it’s taking FOREVER. Finally, the coordinator leans her head in and hurries the groom to get ready. With clammy hands, the groom enters the ceremony and what does he find? .... He finds anywhere from 80-300 people and they’re all looking where? Right at his face... because everyone has expectations and anticipation about his first reaction. This is the farthest thing from a private, intimate moment.
For most grooms, the nerves kick in before they see their bride because when they see her, everything becomes VERY real! So when the nerves start creeping up, instead of keeping the groom in a secluded space until his time to enter the ceremony, what if you took him to a private place... no people, no on-lookers, no distractions.... and you let his beautiful bride, the love of his life, quietly call his name and have him turn around to see her for the first time. He would turn around and finally get his first look at his stunning bride and not only would he get to see her... he could embrace her... cry with her.... kiss her... and ENJOY that moment with her for as LONG as they wanted. As she shows him her dress, twirls a few times and then asks him what he thinks... his nerves start to diminish. After all, she’s the one who can make him most comfortable anyway.
Because they aren’t on a time crunch... they casually move into their romantic portraits. No one is around, the coordinator isn’t announcing “15 minutes left”, and there is no pressure. It’s just the two of them and their photographer..... capturing the excitement and the joy of their wedding day. This is their time to be TOGETHER...and to be ALONE. When does that happen on a wedding day? Without a First Look.... it doesn’t. After their romantic portraits are done, they meet up with their best friends. Their bridal party joins them and because they still have plenty of time to spare... the bride touches up a little makeup while the boys act like boys. After a few minutes the bridal party portraits begin and they’re FUN.
They’re FUN, because there is time to make them FUN. There aren’t any guests waiting impatiently at the cocktail hour and there isn’t a DJ coming to find the photographer to get a time check. It’s wonderful!
After portraits are done the girls and guys separate and prepare for the ceremony. The guests begin to arrive and the ushers are in place. Pretty soon it’s time for the processional music to begin and one by one, the bridesmaids make their way down to the front of the ceremony. As the groom clasps his hands... they aren’t clasped out of nervousness but excitement. The music builds, the mother of the bride stands and all of the guests follow her lead. The groom looks up, and here comes the BRIDE!!! His best friend, his companion, his sweetheart.....she’s stunning....ABSOLUTELY stunning. The closer she gets, the bigger he smiles.
Now let me put a disclaimer on here before we continue...my clients are not required to do a First Look by any means! I used to feel bad for sharing this option with couples who were against it, because I didn’t want to push anything on them. However, I’ve seen the benefits of a first look over and over again, and so I only share this because I want the BEST for my couples!! It’s totally ok if couples choose not to share a first look! It’s just my preference to do one for many reasons.... Keep reading to find out more of the benefits of sharing your first look privately! For brides not interested in a First Look, let’s start chatting soon about how we’ll create a special timeline to fit everything in!
Bride, if you have never seen your man cry or get emotional, you can’t expect him to be overly emotional on your wedding day. Some guys just embrace their brides and never cry.... and that’s OK. Some guys show very little emotion when their bride is coming down the aisle and that’s ok too. Just enjoy this amazing day, and try not to put any expectations on him. If you take this advice to heart, I could potentially be saving you a lot of disappointment on your day. One thing I have noticed after shooting several weddings is that the stress and nerves that come with a wedding day can sometimes make it hard for some grooms to truly express their emotions. It’s just a lot to take in all at once. This is a great reason to share a first look and also a great reason to give some grace to your guy! Sure, you deserve to feel beautiful, but my encouragement to you is to enjoy this time together, no matter what his reaction is like!
This is for all of the brides who have a sweet spot in their heart for their dad. I have to admit that Daddy/Daughter first looks make me a little teary. For a lot of Dads, this is when everything feels real and it hits him... “My baby girl is getting MARRIED!” These are precious moments to photograph and I highly encourage any Daddy’s girl to make time in their timeline for this moment. It doesn’t take long at all! The hardest part is making sure Dad shows up on time! If Dad doesn’t show up on time, the whole timeline can get thrown off, or we’ll have to skip the Daddy/Daughter first look. Another sweet idea we’ve seen is having the father of the bride escort the bride to her first look!