Let's talk about first looks. Basically, I’ve photographed tons of weddings and some couples chose to do a first look, while others chose to wait until the ceremony. Either way, we make it work with the proper planning. That being said, there are some awesome advantages to doing a first look that you might not think of: 1) You get a ton more portraits! Roughly 40% more because we're not stressed cramming a few pictures of you and your spouse into the slot between ceremony and reception. Wedding photography is an investment in the two of you, so by starting earlier with portraits of you two, stress free and all teary eyed and giddy, you really get way more out of it! Trust me, we have our wedding pictures everywhere! Apart from that, there's that whole daylight thing. Sure, I've got flash, but if you want the bright, airy portraits that you see on my website, you're going to have to give me the time of day to create them. Remember, sunset is far earlier in the Fall, Winter and early Spring - a 6pm ceremony in October will allow almost no time for intimate portraits afterwards.
2) The intimate experience. A lot of people think that by doing a first look you throw out that special something that is supposed to happen on your wedding day. Not. at. all. Unless the couple requests otherwise, I always like the firstlook to be a private thing. With me, of course! Other than myself and maybe a second shooter, there will be nobody there, allowing you two to really be in the moment. Something people also don't think about is the fact that, sure, there is a wow moment when you first see one another walking down the aisle, but then that's it. Y'all can't speak, touch, revel in the moment until after the ceremony. That can be up to 1.5 HOURS! What? Trust me, that wow moment still exists when you do a first look, except then you get to hug, kiss, touch, speak, cry, jump or whatever it is your little hearts desire. Yay freedom!
3) Couples that chose to do a first look seem so much more relaxed! I'd say most of the times it's the bride that chose the first look, and the groom is less than pleased. What, moooore portraits? What happens then is pure relaxation! Hey, you already saw each other, you didn't faint, you're there TOGETHER and it's all ok! Luke was so much more relaxed after he finally saw me, his whole expression changed! After the first look, the ceremony is a piece of cake!
4) Speaking of cake, you can party immediately after the ceremony. No waiting around for your guests until you're done taking photos, you can celebrate WITH them! Enjoy the cocktail hour that you paid for!
Uhm and, hello! You might even get something super awesome like this:
What we did:
I am so glad we chose to do a first look. We were so much more relaxed the rest of the day, we got some kick ass portraits, and we were able to attend the Cocktail Hour! That was so important to us. We didn't want to rush out and take some quick snaps while everyone inside waiting for us to show back up. Also, it poured on our wedding day, and the First Look and all the portraits happened before the Ceremony, outside, in dry weather. Had we waited until after the Ceremony, we would have gotten stuck inside, possibly with no portraits at all! As for that intimate moment, we did have our bridal party watch, mostly because I really didn't care and nobody told them otherwise. And honestly, I don't even remember anybody being there except Luke. Oh, and from personal experience, walking down the aisle with 100+ people watching you is way more terrifying than romantic.