Brides dream about the moment when their groom sees them for the first time in their dress. Traditionally, it happens when the bride is walking down the aisle during the ceremony, but what if I told you there was a BETTER time for this moment?
What is a First Look?
Some brides love traditions (I was one of them!!), but after experiencing my own wedding and photographing many more I have realized that what a bride really wants is the reaction from her groom and a minute or two to appreciate it. Those who are not interested in a first look usually think that by seeing each other beforehand, they will lose part of that reaction. They also assume it will not be as emotional or as intimate as it would be if they were coming down the aisle.
Wedding days are stressful enough! The entire day is focused on the bride and groom, they need to look their best, they need to be on time, and little by little the tension grows before the ceremony even begins. By the time the ceremony starts, the gravity of what is about to happen starts to sink in! As soon as the coordinator ushers the groomsmen into the ceremony space, the groom finds anywhere from 25-300 eyes staring right at him. They are waiting for his reaction too.
This is the furthest experience from the “intimate moment” brides dream about. What if…instead of keeping the groom separate and in a confined space until the ceremony, you took him to a private place with no people, no on-lookers, and no distractions? What if you called his name or tapped his shoulder and had him turn around to see the love of his life for the first time in seclusion? He could embrace his bride, cry with her, kiss her, and ENJOY that moment with her for as long as he wanted. That is exactly what a first look is for! It gives you time to relish in the moment and APPRECIATE one another without also having to acknowledge your friends and family members or what your officiant is saying next to you.
Following this quiet moment, the bride and groom can move on to romantic portraits. No one is around and there’s no pressure. Afterwards the bride and groom can meet up with their best friends, take more portraits, and can all hang out together before the ceremony!
Once the ceremony starts, the bride and groom can look to each other and express their excitement free from stress. They can ENJOY it from start to finish!
I remember on my wedding day, I spent most of the ceremony wishing I could have talked to Andrew and told him how good he looked and how excited I was to marry him. I know he wished the same. We only exchanged a couple of words to each other when our wedding ceremony began, and the entire time I wish I could have just pressed pause! I don’t think we really got any time to talk until dinner. Knowing now what I didn’t know then, I would never want my brides and grooms to experience this frustration on their wedding day.
The First Look: Why it’s Worth it
- 40-50% MORE portraits. You will be adding in more portrait time, rather than trying to squeeze in bride & groom portraits, family formals, and wedding party portraits after the ceremony and before your reception starts.
- Enjoy the surprise freely. You actually get to have intimate time on your wedding day! Most brides don’t realize that once the ceremony starts, you have to wait until the ceremony ends to really talk to each other. The groom can’t even truly react and tell his bride how amazing she looks in the moment!
- Extend your day by 3 hours. Again, instead of trying to squeeze in time with your partner and best friends right after the ceremony, you can actually enjoy them and have fun hanging out on your wedding day!
- Your only alone time. The first look allows you to be TOGETHER and alone on your wedding day for a few minutes. It will put you in the perfect mood for your romantic portraits. If your romantic portraits are rushed after the ceremony, it can be difficult to get into the “lovey-dovey” mood–especially with family members around!
- Diminishes nerves! I have so many testimonials from grooms who were initially not excited about the first look, but afterwards admitted to being so much more relaxed and READY for the ceremony to begin!