DID YOU KNOW that the superstitious tradition of a bride and groom not seeing each other before the wedding originated in a time of arranged marriages? There was fear that if they saw each other before the wedding, they would have a chance to change their mind and back out of the arranged marriage. Nothing sentimental about that! I talk about first looks to all of our couples. I think a first look is the absolute best idea no matter what your wedding day schedule looks like. Most of our 2014 couples had a first look and because of that, we were able to get stunning portraits of them at each of those weddings.
Here are four reasons a first look is the best way to go:
1. It takes the stress out of getting photos after the ceremony, allowing you to spend more time with friends and family, and most importantly to all grooms, attend cocktail hour.
2. It gives the two of you intimate moments together in a day that passes quickly. This is especially important considering that you will feel the need to spend time with each of your guests. You wouldn’t believe how much this can relax the both of you. Every one of our couples who has ever done a first look have said they were SO glad they did.
3. In recent years we’ve noticed that wedding timelines have begun cutting photos out of the equation. I did that at my own wedding and it was such a mistake. We literally have one portrait of the two of us that we like because we didn’t allow our photographer enough time, and we regret it so much. A first look allows for as much time as you want to get the most beautiful and relaxed photos of the two of you.
4. It doesn’t in any way take away from the excitement of walking down the aisle. In fact, many couples have said it makes them even more excited for the walk down the aisle!
Here are some of our couples who had a first look
Mike and Jessica were married at my favorite venue in Central NY, Owera Vineyards, and had the perfect spot for a first look among the vineyard. We had such a fabulous time taking photos and we were able to take some really stunning photos of them because they chose to do a first look. Their reactions at seeing each other were beautiful and emotional, both during the first look and during her walk down the aisle.
Leasa and Eng were married at a venue that does 2 weddings a day, leaving a very tight timeline for it’s couples. Their first look was so beautiful and Eng cried while Leasa walked down the aisle.
Sarah and Sxon married at a stunning location with an orchid garden that we wanted to take full advantage of. The first look photos were stunning and Sarah and Sxon also left plenty of time for photos after the ceremony so we could take advantage of the wonderful sunset and beautiful grounds. It wouldn’t have been possible to take advantage of the entire location if photos had only been on one side of the ceremony. If you choose a location you’re in love with and that has several spots, it’s a must to schedule time both before the ceremony and to schedule the ceremony so there will be time for sunset photos afterwards.
Debi and Jeff chose to do their first look on the Spanish Steps in Washington DC on a rainy autumn afternoon. They were married in front of the Jefferson Memorial in the midst of a lot of tourists, so not the most romantic setting for a walk down the aisle. The Spanish Steps were gorgeously romantic and Debi was a vision of beauty walking down the steps for the first time. We drove around DC to take photos at different important sites and would not have been able to do that after the ceremony because it was a very intimate wedding and the short reception was in a restaurant, so it was not ideal to keep guests waiting.
Layne and Brett were married in Mexico with a small gathering of family and friends. To take full advantage of the beautiful surroundings, a first look was absolutely necessary since they were getting married at sunset and the light faded quickly after their ceremony.
Alicia and Andrew had an adorable rustic wedding in the mountains and photos are super important to them, so they wanted to make sure they got as many as possible. Getting to the ceremony site in time for sunset took extra time, so we made sure to do a first look in addition to those photos.
Sarah and Ben had the ceremony and wedding at the same location, so doing a lot of photos after the ceremony would have been impossible. We had a few minutes with them after the ceremony for sunset photos, but the bridal party photos and the two of them took place at a park. They also wanted their dogs in the photos, so they were brought to the park by a friend just for the photos.
Zoa and Julius had friends and family from all over the world, so the last thing they wanted was to keep them all waiting after the ceremony since they had come from so far away. They had such a heartfelt and sweet first look and were able to include their precious rescue pup Dirk in a few photos since he had to be taken home afterwards.