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Welcome to the Brp journal
I have a deep love for first looks, as do almost all photographers! This new wedding tradition has become increasingly popular in the last several years and a lot of couples ask about it. Below are a few reasons to consider having a first look and why I’m going to do a first look myself with my fiancé in April!
So what is a first look? A first look is just a way of saying a bride and groom will have a “reveal” with one another privately, with just the photographers (and videographers) at a distance to capture the moment.
I want to start by saying it’s a very personal decision for every couple and I would never want a couple to feel that they have to do one! But from both a photographer’s perspective AND a fellow bride’s perspective, here are some reasons to consider one:
1. You don’t have to hide from the person you want to see the most
I have seen brides go to great lengths to hide from their fiancé before the ceremony, including hanging out in a wine cellar and a walk-in closet. That’s not fun. The bride is stressed because she’s worried about being seen and everyone around her is focused on “standing guard” so the surprise isn’t ruined. Unfortunately, some venues just don’t have a lot of private rooms for everyone to stay separated! By having a first look, you can eliminate this stress of hiding from each other. The big reveal moment takes place in a planned, controlled environment and then you can be nice and relaxed to walk down the aisle.
2. A first look eliminates nerves
Brides are often nervous before their wedding, but it always seems to be the groom who gets the nerves before the ceremony. There’s a lot of pressure on the groom for his big reaction when the bride walks down the aisle and there can be anywhere from 50 to 350 people watching this moment! A first look lets you and your fiancé see each other and experience emotion freely without tons of people watching. I’m not good with a lot of attention and I know I’m going to be nervous on my wedding day, so I know a first look will make me feel better! Jason can always calm me down when I’m stressed!
3. You get to talk and touch each other
This honestly wasn’t something that had occurred to me before, but when the bride walks down the aisle to her groom, they don’t get to talk to each other! He doesn’t get to tell her how amazing she looks, how excited he is, hug her, kiss her, and love on her the way he wants to. And vice versa! The bride simply walks down the aisle, the couple takes hands, and the ceremony immediately begins. I personally need that – I want to wrap my arms around Jason and hold him tight.
4. A first look doesn’t mean walking down the aisle won’t be special
The biggest reason most couples give for deciding not to do a first look is they feel the moment of walking down the aisle won’t be special anymore. Or that there won’t be a big reaction then. To be completely honest, I always think there’s a bigger reaction after the first look! It seems as though the couple has shared a secret moment, the pressure is off, and they are completely focused on each other during the bride’s walk down the aisle instead of all of the people watching them. The groom is usually beaming from ear to ear or in tears watching his beautiful bride walk to him. The moment isn’t ruined. If anything, it’s more special.
5. You’ve invested a lot of money into photography – your photos matter
Photography is an investment. I understand that. I want you to make the most of your investment. When you have a first look, many photographers say you’ve automatically created 40% more time for portraits. That’s a LOT. Generally couples who do a first look then move easily into portrait time. They’re already relaxed, the pressure is off, there is no one around except the photographer/videographer, and it’s an amazing time to capture incredible bride and groom photos! Many couples still opt to do photos after the ceremony or during golden hour while guests are finishing dinner – but it’s a shorter amount of time.
Additionally, some churches have restrictions on where the photographer can stand and how close they can get to the altar. Even with a great zoom lens, you can only get so close to capture the groom’s reaction and bride coming down the aisle! A first look will take place in a location with great lighting (because the photographer chose it for that reason) and there won’t be restrictions on where they can stand to capture your reactions.
6. You can have appetizers and a drink at your cocktail hour
You’ve spent a lot of money on your cocktail hour – many couples don’t realize that they don’t get to enjoy their cocktail hour because they’re off taking photos! The point of a cocktail hour is to bridge the gap between the ceremony and the reception, but most couples want to partake in their own cocktail hour and talk to their guests. By having a first look, you’ve already done the bulk of your portraits so you can enjoy that time with your guests!
7. The bride’s hair & makeup is freshly done and the groom’s tux is still freshly pressed for portraits
This is especially applicable for hot summer weddings, but really for any time of year! You generally do your first look right after you’ve gotten ready and have your bridal portraits done. So you look awesome and so will your photos! No touch-ups required!
8. It just makes for a smoother schedule
A first look truly does make the day flow easier and everything always seems to be a little less rushed. You have spent so much time and energy prepping for this day – the last thing you want to be is rushed and stressed. In my experience, the wedding days that have run the smoothest were the ones with first looks.
I really hope this blog post helps you as you prepare for your day and decide on a first look! If you have any questions at all, feel free to shoot me an email: email@example.com!
See more from Maryam and Kaveh’s beautiful Colony Club wedding in Downtown Detroit!