As a wedding photographer, you’d probably assume I feel strongly one way or another about doing a first look. But here’s the thing: it’s YOUR big day. So, the only thing I’ll encourage you to do is have fun and cherish every moment of your sweet day.
Don’t worry about the logistics or when you’ll have time for photos. I will make it work! As long as we know up front what we’re working with, I can get gorgeous photos no matter what you decide to do (without skimping on any of the must-have shots).
And trust me, you can get those heart melting man tears either way! When you love each other that much, it doesn’t matter if you see each other privately or across the aisle in front of your friends and family. The reaction will be just as sweet!
Some couples prefer keep it traditional and wait until ceremony time to see each other while others prefer to have a private moment to themselves before it all begins. You do you! However, if you’re still not sure and are weighing your options (any pro/con list lovers out there?), this post it for you!
First Look Pros
These are the top 3 reasons couples decide to do a first look:
1. Ease the Nerves
Maybe you’re a bit shy; or, maybe one of you hates the idea of getting emotional in front of groups of people. A first look is a great way to have a moment together without the pressure. You are free to respond however you want without onlookers gazing in at you. Plus, your other half and best friend probably knows just what to say and when to give that reassuring touch you need on your big day. First look photos are always so romantic!
If you’re getting married as sunset and want outdoor couple’s photos, a first look makes it a bit easier to get those in since it will be dark once the ceremony is over. After your first look, we can go ahead and take all of those scenic couple’s portraits outside while we still have great lighting.
3. Get the Party Started!
Some couples don’t want to miss a single moment and would rather enjoy the full cocktail hour with your guests. A first look cuts out most of the post-ceremony photos since you can take the wedding party and family portraits ahead of time. So, go ahead, exchange the rings, kiss the bride, and grab a drink with friends! Cheers!
First Look Cons
You don’t need anyone to tell you that it’s ok to keep it traditional; however, here are the top 3 reasons couples forego the first look:
1. A First Look Adds Time before the Ceremony
A first look could potentially add to your photography time (i.e., you’ll need to add this into your wedding package, especially if you want photos of the exit and sendoff, too).
In addition, if you’re doing an earlier wedding, it may be tricky to get everyone ready, do the first look, and get all of the photos in before the ceremony. If you know that time may be an issue, a first look may not be the best option for you.
2. You Love Tradition
Maybe you’ve always dreamt of that traditional first look across the aisle shot. Then do it! I guarantee you won’t regret it.
3. Catch the Golden Hour
If you prefer your couple’s portraits to have that warm sunset glow, you may want to wait and do them after the ceremony (although we can always do both if you decide to do a first look).
First Look Alternatives
Love the idea of a first look but want to hold tight to tradition? I’ve got options for you, too! Try one of these memorable alternatives instead: