Pros & Cons To A First Look

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So you are planning your wedding! First off, CONGRATULATIONS!!! We are so excited for you and hope we can help give you ideas or point you in the right direction while you’re planning all the details! As you’ve been scrolling through wedding ideas at 2am, I’m sure you’ve seen the trend of having a “first look” moment. The images of the anxious bride walking up behind her groom, tapping the back of his shoulder and capturing the reveal of the groom’s emotions when he sees his beautiful bride. Or we know we’ve all seen the images with the groom blinded by his tie tied around his eyes waiting for his bride to slip it off. While this has been a rising trend, there’s still a fair share of couples that stick to tradition and save that special moment for the altar.

For us personally, we love this new trend and recommend a first look to all our couples. Of course, some couples don’t like this idea, so we’re sharing our pros and cons of doing a first look on your wedding day.

The Pros

1. LESS TIME IS NEEDED BETWEEN THE CEREMONY & RECEPTION

As a photographer, we love it when our couples decide to do a first look because it saves a lot of time by taking a bulk of the photos together before the ceremony. After capturing the first look, we can jump right into the bride and groom portraits, followed by wedding party and some/or all of the family portraits! After the I Do’s, we’ll spend a fraction of the time capturing the remaining photos and then our couples can attend their cocktail hour or even get their reception started earlier.

2. THE FIRST TIME YOU SEE EACH OTHER, YOU CAN BE PHOTOGRAPHED TOGETHER

Compared to doing a traditional wedding where the first time you see your special someone is at a distance away, you get to be right by each other and really take in the moment of seeing how good each other look! With having two photographers, we can capture both of your expressions together!

3. IT GIVES YOU TIME TO YOURSELVES

Because weddings are chaotic and all your friends and family wants to celebrate with the bride and groom, after the ceremony, you don’t really get a lot of time by yourselves and enjoy the moment just the two of you. By doing a first look, you can take a moment and be together, just the two of you.

4. IT DOESN’T SPOIL THE REVEAL AT THE ALTAR

You will still be excited to see each other as you’re walking down the aisle and the emotions will be flowing, so this is still an exciting and emotional moment.

5. IT CALMS THE NERVES

The day of the wedding is exciting and you want nothing more but to see your person. As the morning goes on, your nerves and jitters get worse. The first look is a chance to calm those nerves and hold each other for as long as you want and if you are afraid of showing some tears in front of everybody at the ceremony, this can be the time to show your real emotions…although you still might shed a tear or two later 😉

6. IT GUARANTEES DAYLIGHT FOR PORTRAITS

For our Spring and Summer weddings, this usually isn’t a problem, but for our Fall and Winter weddings, here in the PNW, daylight is limited and some ceremonies start when the sun starts dropping. So having a first look can guarantee pretty, naturally lit photos together while we still have daylight.

7. IT’S FUN & CREATIVE

My favorite part is that we get to have fun and be creative with these!! We’ve had it where we will blind fold the groom as he walks up behind his bride. Or the bride will walk up behind the groom and tap on his shoulder when she’s ready for him to see her. Another bride did a first-look with her father before the first look with the groom.

8. BECAUSE YOU WANT TO!

This is the most important one. This is YOUR wedding day! Do what you want for it because this is your only one! (Hopefully lol) 

Don’t do your wedding and then afterwards say, man I really wish we did a first look. Have no regrets!! You are going to have the best wedding ever!!

The Cons

1. YOU’LL HAVE TO START EARLIER

If you are having your ceremony early in the day, that means you’ll have an earlier first look! So you’ll have to start getting ready earlier in the day.

2. YOU HAVE TO BREAK “TRADITION”

If you are superstitious about seeing your bride or groom before the ceremony, then I would recommend keeping with tradition and forego a first look. Many of our brides who wait until the ceremony love it when we give different alternatives that they can do to create a special moment.

  • Do a first look with your father or someone special to you!
  • Do a first look with your bridesmaids!
  • Have a special moment with your future someone.

– Hold hands between a wall/door.

– Read each others vows near each other.

Remember that you can always change your mind—even on the day of your wedding!—and opt for a first look if you decide you need to see your partner! A skilled photographer will be able to adapt and help you make that moment happen.

We wish you all the best with your wedding and hope this helped!! Feel free to browse our blog for other tips to help plan your wedding day! If you are in the PNW area looking for a luxury wedding photographer, reach out to us! Getting married outside the PNW or USA, we would love to hear about your wedding and we have our bags already packed!

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