A s your big day approaches, you may be wondering if you should do a first look or wait until you walk down the aisle to see your significant other for the first time. While it is tradition to wait until you see each other at the ceremony, 50% (The Pros and Cons of First Look Photos (theknot.com)) of brides decide to have a first look. As professional photographers, take it from us on why you should consider having a first look and why we plan each one based on our couples’ unique needs. 

Traditionally, family and group photos were taken after the ceremony. The ceremony was at a place of worship in the morning and then the rest of the day leading up to the reception was spent taking photos with your closest friends and family. As brides continue to buck traditions, the rise of the first look started to take shape. As professional photographers, we always recommend a minimum of thirty minutes for family photos and at least one and a half hours for bridal party and couple portraits. For couples having a shorter ceremony later in the day, your photography time and options might be limited. The first look gives us the ability to capture that WOW moment of seeing each other for the first time. Traditionally, that was only possible at the ceremony. Now it gives us the time to create beautiful and dynamic photos for your wedding album.  

If you find yourself at all on the fence about doing a first look, read on to see how to incorporate your personality and unique style to create unforgettable memories.  

A Grand Entrance:

It’s your big day and it’s completely fine if you want to let everyone know it. Leave your groom stunned and wow your bridal party by showing off your dress in style. Small moments are always cute but if you want to make a statement and have an amazing keepsake to look back on, a grand entrance is worth doing and worth doing in a big way!

Heart Felt Words

Reading vows in front of your friends and family can be a bit nerve-racking; or maybe there is something private you would like to share with your significant other in an intimate moment. Trust the professional photographer. There will be plenty of staged smiling photos. Use this time to talk candidly with each other and get those tears out early. It makes for a great opportunity to capture those genuine smiles or tears that only your partner can bring out!  

A Moment of Peace:

Many couples can be embarrassed by all the attention on them throughout the day and sometimes the best thing to do is just relax. Weddings can be a whirlwind and at the end of the day you may be wondering where all the time went. Cut through all the noise and take a moment to breathe and just enjoy being with your special someone before being whisked away for the rest of the night.

A Party Kick Off:

When two people come together on the big day it’s often with the support of friends and family. What’s a better way to include all the people that mean so much to you than having them partake in your first look? Weddings are after all, are a celebration, and it makes for a fun and exciting kickoff to the rest of the day. Celebrate with a kiss while your party cheers on your love.  

Parents moment to Shine:

Your mom and dad walked down the aisle years ago and now it’s time for you to make the same trip. While there are formalities that highlight the parents of the bride and groom, a first look with your mom and dad can make for precious moments to look back on for years and one day share with your children. Let your parents know how much you appreciate them with a first look or spice it up a gift exchange!