I first wrote about the “First Look” seven years ago when it was a relatively new concept. At the time I was a wedding photographer and this option is one that I wholeheartedly embraced!
Traditionally, wedding formals (images of the bride and groom, wedding party and family) are taken immediately after the ceremony. As wedding photographers, our goal is for the perfect shots of your day and to tell your wedding day story in the most organic way possible. But apart from your story are your formals and while you may or may not embrace the importance of formals, your parents probably will. This is, after all, one of the few times entire families come together and one of the few opportunities to be photographed together.
But let’s face it, formals take time, and time is a precious commodity on your wedding day. Your photographer doesn’t want to rush you, but we know your schedule is tight and while your guests are starting the fun at the reception, you are stuck (yes, I actually said stuck) taking pictures for 45 minutes to an hour or more before you can arrive at the party. A “First Look” allows you time to take your formals before the wedding starts granting you more time with friends and family during the actual festivities.
Also keep in mind if you go the traditional route, gathering people after the ceremony to start the photo shoot can sometimes be a little overwhelming. If you choose the non-traditional way of a first look, I’m certain you won’t miss the frustration of having to chase down the flower girls who have taken off to their newfound play areas, round up parents who just saw Aunt Bessie for the first time in five years, or corral groomsmen in search of the bar!
And, if you are concerned that a first look will take away from the excitement of your groom seeing you for the first time when you walk down the aisle, trust me, ladies, he will be just as “wowed” whether he first sees you before the ceremony, or if he waits to see you walk down the aisle.
I will be honest. From a photographer’s standpoint, a “First Look” is a gift from above and just makes the day easier and run smoother. Give yourselves plenty of time and have your wedding party and family meet anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 hours before the ceremony starts, depending on how large your wedding party is or if you are using more than one location. Not only is there more time to capture amazing photography, but an added bonus of seeing each other before the ceremony makes for a more calm bride and groom during the actual wedding ceremony itself! Be fun and flirty during your “first look” photo shoot and you will be amazed how it takes the edge off those wedding day jitters!
So how about it? Are you ready to break tradition?