Over the last 7 years I’ve seen a lot of wedding days and I’ve learned SO much from each and every one. While planning your wedding you’ll get tons of tips and tricks from everyone. Whether its your wedding planner or Karen at the grocery store, everyone wants to chime in! I’m not here to give you another piece of unsolicited advice, I want to address a topic that has taken the wedding world by storm. Everyone has an opinion, I’m here to tell you to make your own! So what’s all the fuss about? First Looks!
First looks are arguably one of the most discussed decisions between a bride and groom. I will give it the credit it deserves in saying is truly does impact the whole day, BUT I’m here to tell you to not be afraid to be traditional! I would dare to say about 40% of my couples opt to NOT do a first look! Not what you’d think based off of those Pinterest photos right? I’m going to lay out the pros and cons to First looks so you can make a wise, informed decision that is what is best for you and your bridal dreams as well as your Fiancé’s wishes, because boys have opinions too!
Reasons to do a first look!
If you know you’re going to be a Nervous Nelly on the big day and the only thing that will calm your nerves is seeing your Fiancé before hand, by all means let’s do a first look! It truly is amazing how I can visibly see all of the nerves melt away as soon as my bride’s see their groom’s. Getting that extra time and encouragement with your best friend before the biggest moment of your life is priceless to some.
More time to party! One of the biggest arguments I hear for a first look is giving you more time at the reception! It takes a lot of the stress off after the “I Do”s and lets you seamlessly transition from ceremony to reception. Keep in mind that if you have a large extended family, you’ll still need at least 15 minutes for family photos after the ceremony and then I usually suggest at least 10 minutes for a few additional bride & groom portraits closer to sunset and after those shiny rings are on your fingers!
More time for photos! Of course I have to talk about this one! Yes, you will have more time for photos but don’t let that be the only reason you decide to do a first look! It is so nice to have a much slower paced portrait session and get to have a larger variety of poses and locations. If you have two different venues for your ceremony and reception this helps ensure we can take plenty of photos at each spot!
Reasons to NOT do a first look!
As a photographer it is my job to make your photo dreams come true. If you cannot wait to have the photo of your husband crying like a baby while you walk down the aisle, you will get it! Here are my top 4 reasons to not do a first look!
The tears as you walk down the aisle! Y’all I cry at every wedding but there’s one thing that always makes me tear up, a crying groom! Though grooms are still likely to cry after a first look, there is nothing like what happens when it’s a groom’s first time seeing his bride! And all of your friends and family get to share in the moment!
More time with your girls! The morning of your wedding is your last few hours of your single life! There is so much beauty in spending it with the women that helped shape your single years and have made so many sacrifices for you in this season! A few extra hours to relax with your best girls can mean so much to them and help keep you calm before all the rush of the day!
You can still spend time with your groom! There are so many options when it comes to letter readings, prayers, blindfolded meetings, etc! I am so happy to share what has worked for my past couples and more ideas that could work for you!
If you’ve hired the right photographer, it shouldn’t matter that there is less time for photos! Yep, you read that right! A good photographer knows how to manage time, communicate expectations on both ends, and still produce amazing images within your desired time frame! If you only want to spend 30 minutes on photos after your ceremony, we can make it work! It is all about communication and understanding how much time certain photos take. Our job is to make your wedding dreams become a reality and we will do everything in our power to make it happen!
In the end, the choice is yours! A first look can be such a beautiful moment, or a huge stressful decision! I hope this blog has helped you understand that no matter what your decision, your vendors will be able to work with you to make your dreams come true!