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Considering a First Look

February 23, 2017


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One of the biggest trends within the wedding industry is probably still one of the most debated. A bride and groom choosing to have a First Look, seeing each other before the ceremony. It’s become popular for a LOT of reasons but is also still refused by the traditional. If you’re a traditionalist, I do not aim to change minds! I just love sharing all of the benefits to doing it, and let you see which is more weighted to you! These are some of the reasons that I LOVE first looks.

Time Together On Your Wedding Day

You spend all morning getting ready; your hair and makeup are done, you’re into your dress, you look photos with your girls and you’re headed out to your wedding ceremony to GET MARRIED!! But it’s already 4pm! Most of the day has gone and you have yet to spend any of it with the man who is going to be your husband! Doing a first look, with or without getting all of your portraits done before the ceremony, you can actually see your love and spend time together on your wedding day!! Many of my couples go and hang out for half an hour before the ceremony to relax and touch up, and most have say it calmed all of their nerves, both seeing each other and getting to spend that time with each other.

Embrace Each Other Privately

When you walk down the aisle, he may cry, he may not, and he’ll definitely say you’re beautiful. But you don’t have the time or space to hold each other, cry with each other, tell each other how great you look and soak it all in; you immediately jump into the ceremony. You’ll actually have this time to just embrace each other and let it all soak in. Probably the only time you’ll get to be alone with your husband-to-be on your wedding day as well!!

Ruin The Reaction or Better Reactions?

The top doubt about doing a first look is that the bride doesn’t want to ruin the groom’s reaction. If he’s not normally a crier, I tell my brides not to get their hopes up. If you’re walking down the aisle when he sees you for the first time, he may still cry…but he knows he’s being watched by everyone in the room!! When you’re alone, he’ll have less pressure and maybe give you a better reaction. Sometimes I’ve even seen TWO reactions! The first look gets the “Omg you’re so beautiful” reaction, then you’re walking down the aisle, he’s relaxed and not expecting the “Omg it’s happening right now” reaction!! It also removes many variables for photographers getting the reaction, with guests standing up at exactly the wrong time getting in the way.

More Portrait Time

When you do a first look, there is much more time to get photos done. You have all of the time from when you can finish getting ready until your cereomony time to do portraits. In summer a 7pm outdoor ceremony is gorgous, which also means you don’t have to wake up at 5am to start getting ready!

Enjoy Your Cocktail Hour

Additionally, there is much more flexibility to your timeline – you can do some, half or all of your portraits before the ceremony. If you do all of your portraits before the ceremony, you’re done! You can enjoy socializing with your guests and actually enjoy this epic party that you planned!! Often, many of my couples choose to sneak out of cocktail hour or reception for a few minutes to get some more portraits in that glorious golden hour glow for the most romantic light!

”Doing the first look was by far the best decision we made. Everyone says your wedding day flies by so fast. This is an understatement. Doing the first look allowed us to have one on one personal time. Time that seemed to slow down and allow us to enjoy each other, and take it all in.”
– Joelle & Keith

“I really enjoyed the first look.  It provided a great opportunity for us to see each other prior to the ceremony in a more relaxed setting.  With only the two of us there, I felt we were able to react much more naturally and personally, and I think that was captured beautifully in the photos.  It was comfortable, fun and took away a lot of the pressure that had been building up throughout the day.  I had thought that doing the first look might take away from the ceremony, but I ended up feeling much more at ease during the ceremony because of it.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is considering it.”
– Tom

“Doing a first look with Tom was such a great decision and I will never regret seeing him before the ceremony. It was really special getting to see him for the first time and seeing his reaction to me being all dolled up without having the added pressure of 100 other eyes on you. We got to enjoy those private moments together, which added to it being a day about us and our love. I found that the first look made the day more relaxing, especially since we got to hang out together until right before the ceremony. The nerves and anxiety I was feeling before the first look completely disappeared and never came back. The added bonus of the first look is having two emotional reactions by both of us. The first in seeing him before the ceremony and again when we said our vows and exchanged rings.”

If you did a first look for your wedding, I’d love to hear from you!! Comment below on why you loved your experience!!

First look wedding photos
First look wedding photos
First look wedding photos
First look wedding photos
First look wedding photos
First look wedding photos
First look wedding photos
First look wedding photos
First look wedding photos
First look wedding photos
First look wedding photos

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ABOUT Nicole

At home wherever my babies are. Adventures wherever my husband takes me. Excitement whenever weddings are involved.

Mama, wedding photographer, creative, entrepreneur, tech geek, cat lover. There were no other options, no backup plan. From the tender age of fifteen, I knew I needed to create; art and family.




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