Choosing to do a “first look” is definitely something that’s gained a lot of traction in the wedding industry lately, but I still think there is some confusion or some concern about whether it is the right choice as brides are planning their wedding day. While I whole-heartedly believe that each bride & groom needs to make the choice that best fits them as a couple, I do think that the first look is a GREAT option for a variety of reasons!!
As a bride myself, I have to admit I was a little nervous about how the first look would impact that moment of walking down the aisle – would it still be as special if Max had already seen me prior to that moment? Ultimately my photographer side won out and I decided that having the extra time in our wedding day timeline for portraits was really important to us, and we went for it. And y’all, I can’t tell you enough how glad I am that we did it, but mostly for reasons I didn’t expect…
I tell brides all the time that our first look ended up being one of my favorite parts of our day. Yes, getting to just focus on Max and our reactions to seeing each other was great, but really, that was such a special time because it was the only time we were alone pretty much all day! You’re surrounded by family & friends all day, and often you don’t have much time to just be together. The first look was a chance for us to just have time with one another, and it also allowed for us to have more time alone later in the day because we could get a lot of our wedding party photos done pre-ceremony.
Getting to get gorgeous golden hour bride & groom portraits, PLUS being able to sneak away in our first moments of being husband and wife? Loved it.
Another thing I didn’t really think about was the way that getting to see Max helped me kind of settle into the day. There are so many emotions flying around, and seeing Max helped me feel grounded and able to really just soak in our wedding day. That was definitely a bonus I didn’t really expect! I know this has also been helpful for any grooms (or brides for that matter!) who may not be too big on being the center of attention – getting that time with their soon-to-be-spouse eases nerves & makes things so much more enjoyable for them!
As for the fear of not having that amazing coming-down-the-aisle moment, I think this photo can clear up some of those worries! There’s nothing that can take away from the moment of walking down the aisle to your forever, and when the groom sees his bride walking through their family & friends on her way to him, it’s an incredible moment – regardless of whether it’s the first time he’s seen you!!
So of course, as a photographer I love that the first look gives some breathing room in the timeline so my brides & grooms can relax a little more.
Of course I LOVE that it allows for more portrait time.
Of course I love getting to get great photos of that initial reaction of the groom seeing his beautiful bride.
But most of all, I love what it does for my brides & grooms as they start their marriage. Because after all, the wedding is about the beginning of a life, not just the party or the dress. And those moments together to really cherish what’s happening, those are my favorites.
For more in the For Brides series, check out these posts: