A “First look” or “Reveal” is when a couple meets privately before their ceremony, thus breaking with the tradition of not seeing each other until the actual I do’s. For some couples, not seeing each other before the ceremony is really important. However, for others a First Look is a really great opportunity to get some wonderful images, have a special moment together, and streamline their wedding timeline/schedule. I’m always excited when couples tell me that they’re considering doing a First Look because I absolutely love photographing them!
Here are my top 5 reasons for doing a first look:
1. A First Look makes for beautiful photographs
First looks are emotional and beautiful. I love the look of delighted, surprised or teary-eyed smiles that appear on bride and groom’s faces when they do a reveal. Those are incredible moments to photograph! I also I don’t think it ruins that moment of seeing your spouse-to-be walk down the aisle. I’ve seen brides and grooms cry at both the first look and then again at the ceremony! There’s tons of excitement in that moment even after doing a First Look.
Leah and Brendan’s Reveal makes my heart melt
2. Streamlining your timeline
By doing a First Look we are often able to get a chunk of photos done before the ceremony. That way you can have your cocktail hour or reception immediately after or very soon after the ceremony. Not only does this simplify your timeline, but it also makes it so that guests aren’t left wondering what to do in the hours in between the ceremony and reception.
Love the fact that Kirk & Ryan decided to do a First Look
3. You get to share a moment just the two of you before saying “I do”
Often with the hustle and bustle of the day, couples barely get a moment to themselves. Doing a First Look is a chance to be together and share your excitement before the ceremony. Of course there’s the photographer and second shooter there as well, but I promise we’ll give you space and time to just have a minute to yourselves.
See Jolene and Marc’s sweet first look here!
4. It’s a chance to see each other all dressed up for the first time in a more intimate way
Sometimes with the anticipation of walking down the aisle you don’t get a chance to really take in the scene and appreciate the moment. The first look is more intimate in that sense. That is also why I always recommend that the First Look be done with just the bride and groom not with the bridal party or family present.
Jessica was so excited to see Tim! You have to see their lovely fall wedding!
5. Your photos are done before the ceremony
With many of your photos done before the ceremony you’ll have more time to relax and fully enjoy the ceremony and reception. Awesome, right?
After Gabi & Neil’s first look we wandering around Whyte Avenue for portraits of the couple and the wedding party. After their ceremony they were able to enjoy the cocktail hour with their guest before moving right into the reception!
Of course all that being said, the First Look is not for everyone. For some couples they’d rather not see each other until the ceremony. Each couple is unique and each wedding should be a reflection of that.
p.s. There are also some fun alternatives to First Looks such as doing a Reveal with your bridesmaids or parents before the ceremony….
Or doing what Stephanie and William did and hold hands around corner or door. They got t0 say a few loving words to each other before the ceremony but didn’t break tradition by seeing each other.
I’d love to capture your special day… get in touch! I’d love to meet you!