July 29, 2020

Why you should consider sharing a first look.

Your first look is an amazing part of your wedding day! If you aren’t sure if sharing a first look is for you, this blog post will explain why it would be a romantic addition to your wedding celebration that not only adds to the experience but also reduces stress. Please know that I would never want any of my couples to feel pressured to have a first look. However, I do want to make sure that I give you all of the benefits of a first look because there is a reason many of my couples do this and LOVE it!

I have confessed I have a deep love for sharing a first look. There is a reason for this. They’re AWESOME! However, not everyone knows this. Some couples get caught up in how “non-traditional” first looks are, and they immediately write it off.

I can talk about those couples because I was one of them! As a bride, I wanted a reaction. I wanted Michael to be so surprised and overcome with joy when I walked down the aisle that he bawled at the first sight of me! Isn’t that everyone’s dream? Who doesn’t want that reaction? Luckily, Michael did get teary-eyed but we were not able to talk, hug, or kiss each other! He was in tears and so was everyone who was watching him!! YESSS!! I felt incredible. Walking down the aisle on my wedding day was a moment that I will treasure for a lifetime, however, I will always wish we had more alone time!!

After experiencing my own wedding and photographing so many others…. I’ve come to this conclusion. Some couples love “traditions”…. but what they REALLY want when it comes to seeing each other for the first time, is a REACTION. Those who are not interested in sharing a first look usually think that by seeing each other beforehand, they will lose part of that reaction. They also assume that it will not be as emotional or as intimate as it would be if they were coming down the aisle. What I have found (this is starting to sound like a research paper!) is so ironic! Everyone knows that wedding days can be a bit stressful for the couple.

The whole day is focused on them, they need to look their best, they need to be on time, no one has any idea what side the boutonniere is supposed to go on and little by little… the tension grows.

It’s before the ceremony and the gravity of what is about to happen starts to sink in and the calm, collected person who was hiking just a few short hours ago is now starting to feel a little anxious. So what happens next? They wait in a little room somewhere for a cue from the coordinator. It seems like it’s taking FOREVER. Finally, the coordinator opens the door and lets them know it’s time.

With clammy hands, they enter the ceremony, and what do they find? Anywhere from 80-200 people and they’re all looking where? Right at his face… because everyone has expectations and anticipation about that first reaction. This is the farthest thing from a private, intimate moment. Sure, it’s SO powerful and SO wonderful. … I already said that walking down the aisle was one of the BEST PARTS of my WHOLE wedding day!! It’s magical!! But more than anything I just wanted to hug Michael, and I couldn’t. We jumped right into the formalities of who is giving this bride away. It was a full hour before we finally got a second to just say I love you!

So if I were to condense what I just wrote… basically, couples normally become incredibly nervous on wedding days…. even if they seem cool and collected. For most people, the nerves kick in before they see each other because when they see each other, everything becomes VERY real!

So when the nerves start creeping up, instead of staying in a secluded space until it’s time to enter the ceremony, what if you went to a private place… no people, no on-lookers, no distractions…. and you quietly call out the love of your lives name and have them turn around to see you for the first time. They would turn around and finally get a first look at their stunning partner and not only would they get to see you… they could embrace you… cry with you…. kiss you… and ENJOY that moment with you for as LONG as they wanted. As you sway together and twirl a few times you then ask what they think… their nerves start to diminish. After all, you’re the one who can make them most comfortable anyway. Sharing a first look gives you these moments.

Because you aren’t on a time crunch… you casually move into their romantic portraits. No one is around, the coordinator isn’t announcing “15 minutes left”, and there is no pressure. It’s just the two of you and myself….. capturing the excitement and the joy of your wedding day. This is your time to be TOGETHER…and to be ALONE. When does that happen on a wedding day? Without a First Look…. it doesn’t. After romantic portraits are done, you meet up with your best friends. The wedding party joins in and because you still have plenty of time to spare we get to have a little more fun!

There aren’t any guests waiting impatiently at the cocktail hour and there isn’t a DJ coming to find the photographer to get a time check. It’s wonderful!

The guests begin to arrive and the ushers are in place. Pretty soon it’s time for the processional music to begin and one by one, your wedding party makes their way down to the front of the ceremony. As your partner clasps their hands… they aren’t clasped out of nervousness but excitement. The music builds, the mothers stand and all of the guests follow their lead. When you look up you see your best friend, your companion, your sweetheart…..they are stunning…. ABSOLUTELY stunning. The closer you get, the bigger they smile.

Now let me put a disclaimer here before we continue…my clients are not required to do a First Look by any means! I used to feel bad for sharing this option with couples who were against it because I didn’t want to push anything on them. However, I’ve seen the benefits of sharing a first look over and over again, I only share this because I want the BEST for my couples!! It’s totally ok if couples choose not to share the first look! For anyone not interested in a First Look, let’s start chatting soon about how we’ll create a special timeline to fit everything in and create a little time just for the two of you to celebrate!

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