"A first look at a wedding is an intimate moment where the bride and groom see each other before the wedding ceremony. The wedding photographer will set up the couple at the right angles for the best photos. Usually, the first look and its location are decided far in advance before the wedding day."
Having a first look at a wedding is such a hot topic among photographers. Some love it and some don't really care for it. There are so many pros and cons about this moment you can have on a wedding day. This blog is to express my personal and professional opinions about having a first look. I really hope you enjoy it!
Please note, these are my own personal opinions that I am sharing as recent bride myself. I will also be sharing my professional feelings about it coming from a photographers stand point. To my brides out there, I want you to use this as a stepping stone about making your decision. This is 100% up to you. If you dream of having a first look, then go for it girl! It is your day. Not mine.
Lets get down to it...
My personal, recently a bride opinions: NOPE NOT ABOUT IT. Having a first look in my opinion is a no go. When I got married in June (2018) I didn't even have to think about if I was going to have a first look.
> I am traditional. There is nothing more I wanted than to see my husband looking at me for the first time on our wedding day as I walked down the aisle and I am so glad we chose to do it that way. It was such a magical moment. You know when something happens in your life and it feels like it goes it slow motion? That happened to me. That moment was so incredible I will never forget what I was feeling.
>First looks can build up pressure. Tons of it. Yes, it is said that it will help calm nerves for when you do walk down the aisle, but a bride is going to be nervous no matter what. I would feel more awkward in front of a photographer seeing my soon-to-be-husband for the first time than I would have walking down the aisle. Of course I wouldn't know that for sure because I didn't have a first look, but just thinking about having a moment of just me, my future husband, and my photographer standing there just didn't do it for me. Which leads up to my next point...
>First looks aren't as private as you think. You have the bride, the groom, the photographer, the videographer all there for this "intimate" moment. That is in no way intimate in my opinion. That's awkward!
"Yes, we did [have a first look], and it was kind of awkward! My groom didn't really know what to do, and he felt weird having all that attention and expectation on him. People expected him to cry or something, but he didn't. He just said, 'Oh you look beautiful!' And we moved on with our lives." —@ivyjacobshair
>You also have to add more time into your already busy hectic schedule. My wedding day started at 7am and my ceremony wasn't until 4pm. I was always on the go, getting makeup done, getting hair done, pictures, toasts, etc. I had a first look with my dad which to me already felt rushed to begin with. There was no way I was going to squeeze in another!
>Brides and grooms think this is a moment where you need to read your vows to each other. Yes, this is a moment in the day where you can do that. However, there are so many other opportunities to do so. My husband and I read ours privately right before the ceremony. We both wrote our vows down in a book and exchanged them, took a moment and read them quietly to ourselves in separate rooms. That was perfect for us. You can also stand between a door or a wall and read them outload to each other without seeing each other. There are so many other options where you can read your vows! Just remember, if you read them at your first look, you are reading them out loud for everyone there to hear.
My professional photographer opinions: GO FOR IT if you want.
> First looks can create a moment for some precious pictures, but only if the emotion is there. If you don't mind having a photographer stand there as you do a first look, then perfect!
>If the first look happens fast and time allows it, photographers can sneak in some more bride and groom photos. More pictures the better, right?!
>If your ceremony is inside or at a time of day where the sun isn't the greatest, first looks can guarantee good photos with natural sunlight.
Overall...some photographers might agree with me, some might not. Again, these are my personal opinions. The decision is ultimately up to the bride and groom. If a bride asks me if they should do a first look, I will most likely say no just because of how I felt on my wedding day. Every bride is different! Your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life, think about what you want, how you might feel, etc. You know yourself better than anyone. If you think a first look will help you and create a moment that will last a life time, do it. If you don't think a first look is for you, don't!
Thank you so much for reading!
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