Choosing to do a first look on your wedding day is a very personal decision. When I get asked about first looks, I always recommend them to my clients! So what exactly is a first look? Who should you plan to have participate? Why consider a first look on your wedding day? Let’s answer those below!
What is a First Look?
A first look takes place on the wedding day, before the ceremony. A first look is typically between brides and grooms although we’ll discuss other options in the next session. Before the ceremony, the photographers scope out a location that is secluded and has beautiful lighting for the first look.
There are a few ways to make this happen. The groom can be already in place with the bride walking towards them. The bride can be in place and the groom blindfolded walking up to her. Or, the bride and groom can be placed back to back and turn around at the same time. These are just a few ways it can be done! First looks allow the couple to have this first moment together, privately and away from the eyes of all their guests and family. I have found that it doesn’t take away at all from the moment he sees her coming down the aisle for the first time!
While most first looks are between bride and groom, groom and groom, or bride and bride, one of my favorite combinations is between the bride and her father, or parents. Weddings are an emotional time for parents too! This is a small moment of the whole day where they get to soak in the reality of the celebration! When the couple has children, the bride will sometimes do a first look with the kids! I recommend that this moment takes place away from other family and guests so you get to soak in all the feels!
How does a first look affect my wedding timeline?
First looks only need about 15 minutes on the wedding timeline and they are well worth it! Some couples choose to do portraits directly following the first look as well, but that depends on the events for the rest of the celebration. If you choose a first look on your wedding day, you’ll not only have those private moments together, but also receive more photos. Each little event like a first look gives photographers moments to photograph, beyond the candids! This is always the perfect time to share special tokens or designs in your wedding attire too! The groom below had a custom made suit with photos from their dating life!
Vow Readings After the First Look
A romantic and intimate option following the first look is to read vows to each other. Some couples exchange vows privately at this moment. Others choose to read the letters they wrote each other for on their wedding day. Several couples choose this as the time to exchange wedding gifts to each other. While the first look is completely optional, as is any exchange of vows, letters, or gifts, it can add to the intimacy of the day!