Reasons to do a First Look on Your Wedding Day
Reasons to do a First Look on Your Wedding Day
Congratulations! You’re engaged and making plans for your wedding day- this is such an exciting time in your life and there are so many things to consider when planning for your big day. Chances are that one question that keeps coming up is “will you do a first look?”.
There are so many reasons to do a first look on your wedding day, but I will start by saying that this is a very personal choice. There are a lot of couples that still choose to go the ‘traditional’ route and wait to see each other at the aisle. However, more and more couples are weighing the reasons to ‘look or not to look’ and deciding that seeing each other before the ceremony is really the best option for them.
Having photographed many weddings over the years, I am hoping that I can share some insight on why having a first look on your wedding day is a great choice for a lot of couples.
First, Let’s Talk Emotion…
Settle Your Nerves
Your wedding day will be filled with lot of emotions! Suspense & anticipation can do a number on your nerves and who better settles your nerves than your fiance? Every one of my couples, who chose to do a first look, have told me that they were so glad they did. By seeing each other before the ceremony, their nerves were instantly calmed and many said that they felt they were better able to take in, and enjoy, the rest of the day.
Spend More Time with Your Spouse
Couples who wait until the ceremony to see each other, will spend more than half of their day apart! Most ceremonies take place between late afternoon to early evening- leaving just a few hours until the last dance. Just imagine if you were able to spend all of that time before your ceremony with your spouse!
Firsts Looks are Intimate & Emotional
While there is a long-standing tradition of seeing your spouse for the first time at the alter, you really don’t have a lot of time to take in and enjoy that moment with each other. After-all, once you reach the end of the aisle, it is down to business! Everyone is there and waiting and it is time to get married. You’ll have to wait until much later to hear what your fiance was thinking, when seeing you for the first time.
Couples that choose to do a first look are really able to take in the moment. Rather than just a few seconds in front of all of your guests, you are able to spend some time alone with each other-really taking each other in, hugging & wiping away tears of joy. These are often the sweetest and my most favorite photographs of the day!
And you know what? Even after all the time couples spend together after their first look, they always tell me that seeing each other at the alter was still exceptionally emotional.
There’s just something so incredible about seeing each other at the end of the aisle, and nothing can diminish that moment.
Now, let’s talk logistics…
Better Wedding Day Timeline
One of the most obvious reasons for having a first look on your wedding day, is how it opens up your timeline for photos. By seeing each other before the ceremony, you have the option to do your family formals before the ceremony. This means, that after the ceremony, you can either invest that additional time in portraits of the two of you together or *gasp* you could attend your cocktail hour! And, if you are able to attend your cocktail hour, you will get to mingle with guests before the reception, which means more time on the dance floor later in the evening! (Did you see that snowball effect?)
Get More Creative Images
By having a more open timeline, you and your new spouse can spend more time on couples’ portraits. And after-all, that’s what most couples say is most important to them, when hiring a wedding photographer. But, wedding photography is art, and art takes time. While a skilled photographer can get a nice set of images in 15-20 minutes, just imagine what can be done if you double that time. Ideally, I like to spend at least 45 minutes alone with my couples, on their wedding day, and having a first look makes it that much more possible.
It Impacts Your Images
With most weddings taking place in the evening, not having a first look may mean taking all of your photos close to or after dark. If you would like to have light and airy images, as opposed to a full gallery of dramatic night shots, you’ll want to make sure you can time your couples’ portraits for before the sunset! And don’t worry, if you get all of your photos done before dark, and you are up for it, your photographer will likely still be excited to sneak back out later for sunset or night shots!
Delay? No Problem!
At almost every wedding, there is some sort of hiccup along the way. Some are minor, like finding out your linens are salmon instead of peach, and some can have a big impact on your timeline, like getting stuck in traffic or having hair & make-up run a half-an-hour behind. If you are seeing each other before the ceremony, this leaves a lot more time for your timeline to be re-worked to make sure you get all of the images you are envisioning.
Of course, if after weighing all of the options, you & your fiance decide that a first look is not for you, you can always calm your nerves with a ‘non-first look’! Choosing to see each other before the ceremony is a very personal choice and you and your fiance should ultimately do what makes you happy.