This MIGHT be considered a hot topic. I know that some photographers are known for really pushing the first look, and while I am not one of those…I will admit that a first look has grown on me over the years. Let me explain:
My husband and I were married 7 years ago in Baltimore. When our photographer asked about doing a first look, I emphatically proclaimed that would NOT be happening. And I stuck to that. We had a beautiful wedding and have beautiful images to remember it by. When I made that long walk up the aisle I was overjoyed, but I was also extremely nervous and very much aware of everyone “watching” me and Will. I spent most of the time on the altar trying to contain my emotion rather than just experiencing it, as I was embarrassed to cry freely and afraid I wouldn’t be able to get my vows out! However, I will say now in hindsight, I wish that we would have shared a first look.
Here are five reasons why:
- The time spent during your first look is absolutely private between the two of you, with only your trusted photographer and maybe videographer present (from a distance). Maybe this seems silly, but if you are like me and get a bit antsy when you are being watched, a bit of time alone to exchange those first emotional moments would make a huge difference!
- It really will help calm your nerves! Honestly, I don’t care who you are…you will be a bit nervous on your wedding day. The person that you love and trust most in this world is not allowed to comfort you, and once you DO get to see each other you have to stand apart and just basically communicate through eye movements. I’ve seen so many couples take a big DEEP breath of relief on their way back down the aisle once they are able to speak freely and really love on each other for the first time. Why not do that before hand and make it easier to be present during your ceremony?
- He can freely express himself without worrying about the dreaded man-cry. Plenty of men cry. We all know that. But sometimes up in front of 200 people they will try their hardest to keep it under control, and this can result in some painful expressions as their beautiful bride approaches. I’ve told many brides that I will capture whatever expression there is to see, but I can’t control those emotions and sometimes he is just trying to hard to hold it in and it comes across as indifferent or very serious in pictures. With a first look, however, he knows he can be himself and just relax, and often get those emotions out of the way before the ceremony!
- If you choose to share a first look you can see each other’s reactions first hand without waiting for the pictures! Sometimes the aisle is so long the bride doesn’t even see her groom’s first gasp. But if you are standing next to each other you are able to take it all in at once and even talk about it!
- Last, but certainly not least, yes…it does help with portrait timing! I know that photographers may seem like this is all we care about, but that is far from the truth. If you do a first look we will capture that moment more sincerely without being restricted to the back of the church or behind rows of guests…but additionally you will be able to get twice as many portraits OR go to your cocktail hour earlier because we are able to do some family portraits before too! It’s a win-win in my book.