The Advantages of a First Look

Still thinking about it? Here are some advantages!


The Advantages of a First Look at a Wedding

As a wedding photographer, I’ve had the honor of capturing countless first looks and witnessing the magic they bring to a wedding day. A first look, where the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony, has become increasingly popular, and for good reason. While you should always create a day that is authentic to you, here are the top advantages of having a first look at your wedding.

1. Intimate and Private Moment

One of the most compelling reasons to have a first look is the opportunity for a private, intimate moment between the bride and groom. Away from the eyes of guests, this moment allows couples to express their emotions freely. Whether it’s tears of joy, laughter, or simply a heartfelt embrace, the first look creates a space for genuine, unfiltered reactions that are beautifully captured by the photographer.

2. Eases Nerves

Weddings can be stressful, and it’s common for both the bride and groom to feel nervous before the ceremony. Seeing each other beforehand can help ease these jitters. Sharing a quiet moment together allows you to relax and focus on the excitement and joy of the day. This can lead to a more composed and serene experience during the ceremony itself.

3. More Time for Photos

A first look can significantly enhance your wedding day timeline by allowing more time for photos. By having the first look before the ceremony, you can take advantage of the time to capture beautiful portraits and group shots. This means you’ll have more time to spend with your guests during the cocktail hour and reception, rather than being whisked away for photos.

4. Capturing Genuine Reactions

While the traditional walk down the aisle certainly has its merits, a first look offers the chance to capture the groom’s and bride’s reactions up close and personal. These are often some of the most emotional and powerful images of the day. The groom’s reaction as he sees his bride for the first time in her wedding dress can be profoundly moving, and having a private moment ensures these emotions are captured without distraction.

5. Flexibility with Lighting and Locations

Scheduling a first look can provide greater flexibility with lighting and locations for your photos. Often, the best natural light is available before the ceremony, especially if it’s an afternoon or evening wedding. You can choose picturesque spots for your first look and portraits without being constrained by the ceremony’s timing or location. This flexibility can result in more creative and varied photographs.

6. Enhancing the Ceremony Experience

Some couples worry that a first look might diminish the emotional impact of seeing each other at the ceremony. However, many find that it actually enhances the experience. Having already shared a private, emotional moment, you can fully immerse yourself in the ceremony and focus on the vows, the guests, and the overall experience. It often leads to a more relaxed and present state of mind.

7. More Time Together

Your wedding day will fly by, and it’s one of the few times in your life when you’ll be surrounded by all your loved ones. Having a first look allows you to spend more of your wedding day together. Rather than waiting until the ceremony, you can share more of the day’s excitement, emotions, and experiences from the very beginning.

8. Logistics and Practicalities

From a logistical standpoint, a first look can make the day smoother. It allows for a more streamlined schedule, reducing the time guests spend waiting between the ceremony and reception. It also ensures that you can enjoy more of the reception, mingling with your guests, and participating in the festivities without needing to carve out significant time for photos after the ceremony.

9. Weather Considerations

If you’re concerned about the weather, especially in regions with unpredictable climates like New England (just wait 5 minutes and it will change!), having a first look provides a safety net. If the forecast predicts rain or harsh sunlight during the ceremony or later in the day, you can plan your first look and essential portraits during the best weather window.

10. Customizing Your Day

Ultimately, a first look allows you to customize your wedding day to fit your preferences. It’s your day, and it should reflect what makes you comfortable and happy. Whether you value privacy, efficiency, or simply want to enjoy every possible moment together, a first look provides an additional option to tailor the day to your unique love story.

A first look can add a deeply personal and practical dimension to your wedding day. From easing nerves and allowing for more relaxed and intimate photographs to enhancing your overall experience and providing logistical advantages, the benefits are numerous. As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen the joy and emotion that a first look can bring, and I highly recommend considering it as you plan your special day.