If you’re considering a First Look, then you may already see some benefits it may offer to your wedding day. While a First Look is becoming more popular for weddings, you may feel like the only bride you know who’s thinking about it.
Before anyone talks you down about planning your own First Look, consider your wedding vision and the logistical needs of your special day. Every decision has pros and cons, so here’s a list of the top five benefits of saying “yes” to a First Look on your wedding day:
Offers you privacy For couples who do not love being the center of attention, especially when it comes to displays of emotion in public, a First Look can allow you and your very-soon-to-be spouse the privacy you want. Talk with your photographer about doing a private First Look, away from extra eyes on the scene to just be present with one another for that special moment of seeing one another on your wedding day for the first time. Sometimes, couples feel more comfortable to let their feelings show and let a few tears fall during a private First Look instead of holding all the emotions inside seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony in front of all your guests.
Allows you to focus Planning your First Look before the ceremony at the beginning of your wedding day festivities can allow you to better focus on your one-on-one portrait time with your boo and then focus on enjoying the time with your guests later during the reception. When you capture portraits right after your First Look, you’ve probably planned for about an hour of photos with your bridal party, your fiancee, and parents. This allows you ample time to have fun during portrait time and avoid feeling rushed photographing the same photos between the ceremony end and reception start times. You may still have a handful of photos to capture with family members who could not arrive earlier in the day, but there would be less stress about after your ceremony because hey, you already got the important portraits accomplished! From there, you can simply enjoy your food, dancing and guests during cocktail hour and reception. Planning a First Look in your day makes this all possible.
Supports a smooth timeline If your wedding takes place late October through early March, you may want to consider a First Look in the interest of photographing your bridal party and bride/groom portraits outside while there’s still good daylight available (depending on your geographic location of course). I had a December wedding (in the Eastern time zone) with a 5:30 ceremony start time. If we had waited until after the ceremony to take family, bridal party and bride/groom photos, it would have been far past sunset and our options for photo locations would have been extremely limited. Thankfully, Katelyn and Robbie had opted for a First Look, so capturing their photos in my typical style as they were expecting was no problem. For other wedding days, the timeline may just need a First Look to help the wedding day’s events run smoothly. For example, if your venue limits your ceremony to start at 4:30 p.m. and your reception to start by 5:30 p.m., it would be extremely stressful to plan on photographing all of your family, bridal party and bride/groom portraits between the ceremony end time and the reception start time (unless you had a total of like three people total between your family and bridal party members). If your wedding day cannot accommodate a traditional flow of wedding day events, with the bulk of photos being taken after the ceremony, then planning for a First Look can alleviate the stress and feelings of being rushed in your day.
Gives more time for photos If you’re just a lover of capturing the cutest and best photos with your future spouse, planning a First Look early in your wedding day timeline can help you have the most time for your bride and groom portraits. Family and bridal party portrait time can run smoothly and efficiently, or it can be a little hectic organizing large groups of people to be present, stand and smile for good photos. When it’s hectic, bride and groom portrait time can run thin, leaving you feeling rushed, stressed, or both as you don’t want to be late to your own announce-in at the reception. Planning for a First Look will allow you to share that special moment together and then prioritize time for all the best photos of just the two of you in a low-stress environment.
If you are considering a First Look, be sure to discuss it with your fiancee (obviously), planner or coordinator, and photographer so they can support you in making it a great experience. Then, be sure to communicate your First Look timeline with your venue, florist, hair and makeup artist and immediate family members to make sure all the right people and elements are present and ready to roll for your First Look on your wedding day!