Oh first looks, you have my heart. I absolutely ADORE first looks! They are such a sweet moment for my couples. Many couples are not sure what a first look is or what the benefits of a first look are. I’m here to help you with that!
A first look is a private moment between a couple before the ceremony where they are able to see each other for the first time. It is also used to give the couple a few minutes just the two of them to soak in everything before the rush of the day begins.
Most weddings have 150 up to 300+ wedding guests. That is a lot of people! Imagine the first time you see your loved one walk down the aisle or at the end of the aisle is in front of all these people. It’s a lot of pressure and nerve-wracking. All eyes on you. This may be even more nerve-wracking if you’re shy or more reserved. However, a first look is a GREAT way to ease your nerves. As soon as my couples see each other in a private, stress-free situation, they instantly feel 10x better and are ready for the day. Every. Time. It’s amazing! A first look is private. It’s just the two of you. Your walls can come down and you can let all of your emotions out. No one’s watching you.
When you walk down the aisle, you can’t do anything. You can’t hug, you can’t kiss, you can’t talk, you can’t hear what the other is thinking. Nothing. You’ve got to get married. With a first look, you can do all of that! It’s your time to just be together! You can touch the dress. See your fiancé all spruced up. You can hug and kiss. You can be together and interact with each other.
You both spent a lot of time and money on how you’d look on your wedding day. Hair trails, makeup trials, trying on dresses, tux fittings, dress alterations, hair cuts, etc. You’ll look good all day obviously, but with a first look, you are able to do all of your portraits before the ceremony while everything is all set. This is especially helpful for hot wedding days. Your hair, makeup, and clothes will look the best for the photos. Everything is still fresh and clean.
You get TWO reactions! You’ll get a reaction that’s private and just the two of you! You’ll actually get to tell each other what you think! And those feelings and excitement don’t go anywhere. Once the ceremony comes around, things become super real, super fast. The music is playing. Guests stand. The doors open. It’s go time. No matter if my clients do a first look or not, the ceremony reaction is always amazing. If anything, my couple’s who have seen each other already have even sweeter ceremony reactions because they’re more relaxed and even more excited! The couple below (Tiffany & Ian) had a sweet, emotional first look and still had beautiful emotions during the ceremony)
With a first look, you get more photos! We will have more time for portraits in the afternoon, and then we have extra time in the evening after your ceremony! First looks also help make for an easy timeline. Once you are done with your first look, we go into bridal party portraits, your portraits together, and then all family formals. Everything is done before the ceremony even started.
Since you’ll be able to join the cocktail hour, you can actually say hi and spend time with your guests. Then once the reception rolls around, you’ll have time to actually just enjoy the night with those guests.
If you don’t have a first look, you’re away from each other almost all day! (That can be as late at 6 pm!) Then once the ceremony is over, you go straight into family formals, bridal party photos, photos together, and then straight into being introduced. The cake gets cut, you’ll have speeches, dances, guests coming to say hi and before you know it, the night is over. With a first look, you’re spending all afternoon before the ceremony together. Then once it’s cocktail hour, you can say hi to guests there and actually enjoy your reception.
At the end of the day, the first look is your decision. If you want my opinion, I say go for it! No one ever regrets spending more time together on their wedding day! You’re getting married because you like each other and like spending time together. So why not spend time together on this big day of your relationship? Your wedding day comes and goes so quickly, so enjoy every moment of it and be present.
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ALEXANDRA LEE PHOTOGRAPHY
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