If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love a good first look. The other day I realized that I don’t think I have shared why I love first looks on the blog, so I quickly grabbed my phone and made a note to myself to write about this topic. I could shoot first looks all day long; they are one of my favorite parts of a wedding day! And to be honest, I always get a little teary eyed when I see them (and by teary eyed I mean I’m balling my eyes out behind the camera). First looks are a relatively new trend in the wedding industry but what most people do not know is that they can actually benefit your day!
This is by far the most common question I get from all my brides, and even inquiring brides; should I do a first look? And the answer is always YES. Now let me point out that none of my brides are required to do a first look. In fact I have shot plenty of weddings that did not participate in a first look and they were beautiful! Though first looks can impact your day in such a huge way! Let me explain…
As brides we dream of our wedding day, walking down the aisle in our gorgeous dress, and seeing the single most important person to you waiting at the end, balling his eyes out because you look so beautiful. Now that vision is such a great one but stop and think for a minute. When you reach the end of the aisle you are immediately handed off and the ceremony beings, no time for your groom to hug you, no time for him to kiss you and tell you how beautiful you look. By the time the ceremony is over those initial emotions have worn off and that moment has passed. Wouldn’t it be better if you could slow down the day and cherish that moment? If you could privately walk up to the person of your dreams and soak in the emotion together? With no one around, no pressure, and no time limit. Just a couple and their photographer enjoying one of the most beautiful moments together. Your groom can touch you, give you a kiss, tell you how gorgeous you look and even give you a spin to soak it all in! Doesn’t that sound better?
One of my favorite reasons for doing a first look is simple; yes they make for amazing photographs but that’s not it. Wedding days happen SO FAST. Before you know it, it’s gone. Wouldn’t you like to have one memory of the only time out of the whole day where you two where able to take a moment and soak it all in? Wedding days are extremely fast paced there really is not a moment during the day where you can just stop for a second and take a deep breath. I do not know about you, but to me all I would want would be 10-15 minutes alone with the person I’m about to marry to hug, kiss, laugh and even cry before the day beings!
Now that I’ve rambled about how much I love first looks lets get to the logistics and how they can benefit your day!
40% More Portraits
By choosing to do a first look you gain 40% more portraits. You’re investing a lot into your wedding photography. With a first look you make the most out of this large investment and get the most for your money.
Extend Your Day By 3 Hours
First looks always allow you to extend your wedding day. Normally the wedding day would start when you walk down the aisle, then the ceremony would end and you’d be rushed into portraits so that you’re not late for introductions and then its reception time. With a first look your wedding day is extended by almost 3 hours! Instead of being rushed into bridal party portraits, you actually get to enjoy them and have fun hanging out with your best friends on your wedding day!
Okay now this is the biggest one for me. Once the ceremony ends, we have to rush into family formals, and it can be really hard to get back into that “lovey dovey” mode…especially with family around! If you share a first look together this eliminates all nerves for both the bride and groom! Now normally most grooms are not fond on the idea. However, because they have never experienced their wedding day before, they do not know how nerve racking it could be. After putting their trust in me and experiencing their first look, I’ve had so many grooms tell me how that was one of their favorite parts of the day! Think about it this way, there is one time during a wedding day where the attention is not on the bride, and that is when she is walking down the aisle. Everyone expects a reaction from the groom and if I were standing up there in front of a ton of people, knowing that I needed to have an amazing reaction, I’d be super nervous and maybe even so nervous that I do not give the true reaction I was thinking I would.
Now this post has gotten extremely long so I’m going to wrap it up! If you’re still with me you deserve a high five! I will say that after working/experiencing over 50 weddings, first looks truly enhance your day in ways that you may not even know. It is important to trust in your photographer and educate yourself on why first looks are so worth it. Think about it, they are popular for a reason right?!
Enjoy some of my favorite images from some first looks!!!
I want to share this wedding with you because Katlyn decided to do 3 first looks! One with her bridesmaid, one with her father, and one with her groom! First looks can be more than just a moment between bride and groom!
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Yes! Such good points, especially the privacy and intimacy that alows them to get into the “lovey dovey” mode as you mentioned, it’s so hard to get in the rush between the ceremony and reception.
It’s great to hear a photographer’s perspective on 1st looks. You bring up so many great points!