Questions To Ask Yourself Before Deciding If a First Look Is The Right Choice...
First things first, some of you might be thinking "What is a first look anyway?". Although untraditional, a first look is when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony...gasp! We've photographed dozens of weddings, witnessed a dozen more for friends and family, and are married ourselves which makes us somewhat of an expert in this area...or at least we like to think so!
There is no right or wrong answer, it all boils down to preference and how YOU imagine YOUR wedding day to be. Some couples like tradition while others prefer to break it, whatever you decide, the moment will be special and one you'll remember for the rest of your lives. But before you decide, here are some things to consider:
Private Vs. Public
Think of the moment your future husband will see you for the very first time on your wedding day, do you want to share that moment privately or share it with your wedding guests?
First looks are completely private- no guests, family or wedding party are watching. Just you and him (and us off in the bushes somewhere). His back is turned, you walk up to him and tap him on the shoulder, he turns around and completely melts when he sees how stunning you look in your wedding dress! You hug, kiss, cry, hug some more, and genuinely soak up this special moment- together.
True Vs. Tough
Have you ever seen your fiancé' cry in front of other people? Does he have an emotional side or does he seem to keep it all together? From our experience, grooms show their true emotions during an intimate first look more so than during the ceremony. Don't get us wrong, entering your ceremony and letting your groom see you for the first time is a dramatic entrance, but don't forget that he may hold back his true reaction since 100+ people are staring at him, and we can't fault him for that! If you REALLY want to capture his true reaction, consider a first look. Chances are it will be more genuine when it's shared just between the two of you!
Relaxed Vs. Rushed
As your wedding photographers, our goal is to take gorgeous photos (of course) but also to make sure you enjoy your wedding day. Typically all portrait photos are taken after the ceremony during your cocktail hour for weddings without a first look. This means we have about 1 hour (on average) to take all family photos, all wedding party photos (group and individual) and last but not certainly not least, your romantic bride and groom portraits at various locations around your venue.
Weddings that include a first look allows us to photograph some bride and groom portraits and wedding party portraits before the ceremony, which means we'll have less photos to take after the ceremony! Adding a first look to your wedding day will help streamline your photo schedule, keep you relaxed, allow more free time for socializing with guests and tearing up the dance floor!
As we mentioned, there is no right or wrong answer to either decision you make, but all of these things should be considered when deciding if a first look is right for you! If you have any additional questions or would like to share your experience please share in the comments section below!