To my brides that i’ve asked before “are you up for doing a first look?” I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about this, and I must forewarn you ahead of time. You all know how much I love the “untraditional” first look and not because its “untraditional” (you know i’m an old fashioned gal) but because it has so many benefits! A lot of my brides have written this off idea off before even considering it, and I get that. How will you explain it to mom? Will you still get the reaction you want? Let me tell you, I was that bride. I contemplated it for weeks, talked it over with Brandon (who of course just wanted me to be happy) and eventually decided to go with it!
I am so glad I did! I still got all the butterflies walking down the aisle as well as a teary-eyed groom, it was still the moment I dreamed up in my head. Brandon and I were able to talk and embrace each other without 150+ people watching for his reaction or expression! A lot of brides think they will loose that intimate moment with their groom if they see each other before the ceremony and thats just not true. In fact, it gives the groom the opportunity to be emotional (and himself) without the pressure! Having a first look with Brandon did so much for our wedding day and it does for so many of my brides that choose to have one as well.
Let me just say, if you choose not to have a first look there is nothing wrong with that decision! It is YOUR DAY and you and your hubby get to choose how it goes and what you want to have captured. You’ll have a beautiful, intimate moment regardless of how and when. But, for my brides that are considering it here are some of the many benefits the first look has for your wedding day!
- Get’s rid of those jitters! Let me tell you, those nerves will be going the morning of the wedding. It’s a completely natural thing. However, the moment you two see each other, it all washes away – especially for the groom. It helps to ease them and you’ll both enjoy the day so much more!
- Intimate time together, that you wont get until the evening! Let’s say you don’t have a first look the day will look something like this – getting ready (apart), straight to ceremony (where you don’t talk to each other) followed by family formals (around all the family), bridal party photos, and THEN your portraits together. That at least 45 minutes before you guys get to be alone and he gets to tell you how beautiful you are. When you have your first look, only the photographers and videographers will be there. We pick an intimate spot where the two of you are alone and can just be yourselves. We photograph from afar and wait until you tell us you’re done!
- Longer wedding day! Typically if you have a first look, we start much sooner in the day than we normally would! There’s no rushing through the day or your portraits. Which means more fun with your friends in the bridal party! I’ll post a sample timeline below!
- More portraits! You have invested a lot in photographer – take advantage of that! My couples that choose to have a first look receive twice as much portraits as they normally would and 25% more bridal party portraits! You’ll do portraits at the first look, cocktail hour (if you choose) and then sunset! That’s a lot of great photos!
- You have the option to enjoy cocktail hour. I know a lot of couples choose to hide and be unseen before reception introductions but a lot of time, that isn’t even an option! Couples that don’t do a first look have to squeeze family formals, bridal party, and their portraits into cocktail hour and then get ushered away quickly by the wedding planner for the introductions. When you have a first look, theres the option to hug all the guests (instead of wasting the reception doing that) or simply have a drink and take a breath together alone!
Here is a sample timeline of a day without a first look –
1pm getting ready photos, 2:30 ceremony, 3pm cocktail hour (family formals, bridal party, bridal portraits) 4pm tent introductions, first dance, toasts 5pm dinner served 6pm parents dances & cake 7-9 dancing.
Here is a sample timeline of a day with a first look –
11:30 getting ready photos, 1pm first look followed by bride and groom portraits and bridal party 2:30 ceremony 3pm cocktail hour (family formals, possible bride and groom portraits or relaxing) 4pm tent introductions, first dance, toasts 5pm dinner served 6pm parents dances & cake 7pm sunset photos and dancing 8pm photographers leave.
I know this is a big decision. As a bride, this is something I took very seriously but at the end of the day I am so glad I had one! I hope this blog post helps in making the decision for you and your groom!
June 7, 2019