Way back when John and I had our wedding day (when I was only 23!!), the First Look was a somewhat new tradition. But now over six years later, many more couples are choosing to make this a part of their wedding day, which seems to mean that the First Look is here to stay! More and more of our couples opt to participate in this new-ish tradition and as photographers, we think that’s really great! Although the First Look is a tradition that’s steadily gaining in popularity, it’s one of the things we most frequently get questions about from new and potential clients. As a photographer and as a bride who did a first look, I know there are so many great and wonderful benefits to making a First Look a part of your wedding day!
Here are some of my top reasons to do one as well as one really good reason you actually SHOULDN’T do a first look!
BENEFITS OF DOING A FIRST LOOK:
More time with your significant other. If you really think about it, if you don’t do a first look and you have a typical evening ceremony that starts at 5:30 or 6:00, you actually go almost your entire wedding day without seeing your spouse to be! The first time you see each other is the ceremony and it’s not like you can talk or hug or really interact. If you do a first look, you have so more time together on this special day to really experience the wedding day TOGETHER rather than apart! I am so glad that more of my memories of our wedding day have John in them than not.
It simplifies transportation and other logistics. If you do a first look, it makes it easier to figure out transportation since you’ve already seen one another and can ride together or take one shuttle with the entire bridal party instead of having to make two trips. Making things simpler on a wedding day is always a win! Doing a first look also gives us more flexibility on a wedding day in case of bad weather, traffic, or other things outside of our control. If it rains the entire hour we had scheduled after the ceremony for photos and you haven’t done a first look, you may not get very many photos at all thanks to Mother Nature…On the other hand, if you’ve done a first look, we have SO much more flexibility in when we can do portraits and we can work around the rain by sneaking out for some of that beautiful natural light during dryer moments!
More time to party! One thing I learned as a bride that I’ve also seen time and time again as a photographer is that there really aren’t enough hours in a wedding day. The time flies by SO quickly and doing a first look really does help squeeze more moments out of an already packed day. One example of this is that you’ll most likely get to enjoy at least some of your cocktail hour with your guests if you’ve done photos beforehand! You’ll definitely want to enjoy the signature drinks you’ve picked out and all of those appetizers you carefully chose with the rest of your friends and family.
You get more photos (yay!) On average, we deliver around 50 percent MORE portrait images if you schedule a first look on your wedding day. Most of the time, when you don’t do a first look, the only option for ALL of the photos is cocktail hour. If there’s any travel time involved, this reduces the amount of time we can shoot even further. If you do a first look, many of the photos are taken earlier in the day, so we have the option of taking photos again after the ceremony or during the dinner hour for sunset!
You look hotter (but feel cooler) It’s true, the earlier we do your photos, the better you’ll look and feel in them! Your professionally done hair and makeup will still be nice and fresh and there are less opportunities to get sweaty or have your attire get wrinkled or stained. Less stress is always a good thing, am I right??
So you’ve heard the reasons that I think a first look is a great choice, but here’s the one reason that it might NOT be a great idea for your wedding day!
If you have a very early ceremony and a somewhat large gap between ceremony and reception, it may be too stressful to add one more thing into an already jam packed, long day. Especially if you have a wedding day photo or video coverage based on an hourly package and really want to maximize that time! In this situation, where you’re getting married most likely early afternoon and still having a dinner reception, I’d suggest skipping the first look since you’ll have so much extra time in between the ceremony and reception!
When it comes to deciding whether or not to make this new tradition a part of your day, it’s important to take all of these things into consideration and make a decision based on what works best for you! Also, chat with your vendors and see what they recommend based on your wedding day schedule! They’ll most likely have some great suggestions and input to add!
Got a Wedding Planning question you’d like me to blog about? Leave a comment or shoot me an email!