What is a First Look and why should I do it?

So what is a first look? Since that notion has become more popular, many brides ask that question because they are not really sure what it means. A first look is a moment staged and set up by a wedding photographer for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony. Normally, bride and groom would agree with your wedding photographer on site away from family and friends to give them privacy and to make that moment just for them. The groom would be looking away -at the wedding photographer – while the bride starts walking down towards him. She will tap his shoulder, and he will turn around and see his beautiful bride for the first time.

After they have had a moment to themselves, we head to take some daytime couple's portraits, then of course we take pictures with the family and the bridal party if they are available. We tuck away the bride before guests arrive. That pretty much sets you free to relax and enjoy your wedding.

Check this sequence of images and imagine yourself there. (click right to see more images)

Certainly, I don’t impose myself on any of my brides and grooms, but whenever I am asked for my professional opinion, I recommend the First Look. Here is why. A lot will happen on your wedding day; a couple in love will get married, greet guests, mingle, have a first dance, dance with parents, eat, toast, have a bouquet and garter celebration, cut the cake, have their bridal portraits, and portraits with bridal party and family. If the ceremony and reception will happen at the same place, all that will happen in six hours.

By having a first look, you are basically adding one more hour to your wedding day, which means that you will get two hours of photography instead of the forty to forty five minutes you end up having if you are having your pictures taken during the cocktail hour. This translates to having more time for those magazine bridal portraits you like, and for more candid and fun pictures with your bridal party and family. We can always take more pictures during cocktail time but, since you already had your pictures taken, you can actually enjoy your cocktail hour, which means that both of you can eat, and be happy. If you are not having a private cocktail hour, you can mingle with your guests, and greet them during this time.

Yes, you will be giving something up. The first time he sees you at the altar wearing your wedding gown, but he will still be just as happy to see you walking down the aisle. Some people think that doing a first look will take away some emotion during the actual walking down the aisle but that can't be farther from the truth. I did a first look on my wedding and I never felt less emotion nor different during the actual ceremony. I still cried like a baby! lol!!! 

Check this sequence of images and imagine yourself there. (click right to see more images)

Weddings with First Look: