Let me preface this blog by saying that I am always fully supportive of whatever my couples decide is best for their day. I do not require my clients to do a First Look! For me, it’s about taking the time to educate so everyone understands how different timeline options affect the photography experience.
A First Look is a modern trend which the bride and groom see one another before the wedding ceremony. This moment is organized with the photography team to take place in a private location, away from the eyes of friends and family. The First Look is a special time the couple shares with one another where they can have a few moments of alone time together on their big day.
When it comes to the wedding day, nothing gets me more excited than when my couples tell me that they’d like to share a First Look. And here’s why:
If you’re planning on squeezing your family photos, bridal party shots and Bride & Groom portraits into cocktail hour, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You’ve made a big investment in your wedding day photography and I want to give you the best possible experience. Creativity takes time and so does organizing large groups of people!
Couples who opt for a First Look get 40% MORE PORTRAITS than those have a traditional timeline. Why? Because we can spend as much time as you’d like taking portraits before the ceremony. This usually this works out to around 45 minutes for the Bride & Groom alone!
If we wait until after the ceremony, we have about 45 minutes of cocktail hour to do ALL formal portraits—that’s bridal party, family, and bride & groom. That’s a lot to accomplish in a small amount of time! It’s simple: less portrait time = less images
(The exception to this is if you have a significant amount of time between your ceremony and the beginning of cocktail hour–think 2+ hours.)
The First Look is typically scheduled shortly after the bride gets into her wedding gown. This is the time of day when her hair and makeup have been freshly done. Starting portraits shortly after beauty has been completed, can ensure you still look fresh before heat/humidity/happy tears have a chance to take their toll.
Imagine the sense of relief knowing you’ll have the majority of your portraits completed prior to the ceremony. All you have left to do is say your “I Do’s” and celebrate! I want you to ENJOY portrait time and be present in the moment; not worrying about how much time is left or whether you’re keeping your guests waiting.
I’ve heard from SO many couples that seeing one another prior to the ceremony really helps with those wedding day jitters. Couples who share a First Look often go into the ceremony feeling more relaxed.
After the ceremony, the rest of the evening is meant for enjoying the company of your family and guests! Without a First Look, you (& your bridal party) will be tied up with formal portraits and you’ll miss out on mingling and socializing with your guests during that time. If being present for cocktail hour is a priority to you, then a First Look is the way to go!
(Trust me, your best friends will thank you for being free to enjoy cocktail hour. Seriously…no one wants to miss out on those signature cocktails!)
Alyssa is a fine art wedding photographer based in the Lehigh Valley. To contact Alyssa about your upcoming wedding, send a note here!