First Look: Why you should do one
The pre-ceremony first look has been increasing in popularity for a good part of the last decade. But it was preceded with the long held tradition of not seeing your spouse-to-be until you walk down the aisle. This has left so many couples struggling to decide if they should break tradition for a first look. I’m here to tell you that you absolutely should. Let’s talk about why.
Create a new tradition!
Tradition is only tradition because someone decided that was so. The first look can be, and is quickly becoming a new tradition among millennials and younger. Traditions should only be kept as long as they are serving us. For the majority of couples these days, waiting until you’re walking down the aisle to see their lover is agonizing. It creates undue stress, and puts more emotional pressure on that ‘walking down the aisle’ moment. Which leads us to our next point…
Get the jitters out
Creating a time for a first look before your ceremony does so much to help you calm down and stay excited, rather than nervous to walk down the aisle. So many couples feel stressed to the point of nausea on their wedding day, and the person they’re marrying is the person that could really help them calm down! Doing a first look gives you time to lean into each other and feel safe and supported once more before you get hitched. It also provides a beautiful opportunity to spend time in prayer together before you enter this exciting new stage of life.
Say your vows before the ceremony
Your vows, especially if you are writing them yourself are often incredibly personal and vulnerable. It’s not uncommon for couples to feel uncomfortable pouring out their heart that way in front of a lot of people. When couples choose to say their vows during their first look, they can feel safe and comfortable getting really personal with each other. It also creates an awesome space for me to get really beautiful and intimate photos of you both reading your vows to each other. Then you still get the ceremony and the ‘I do’s’ in front of all your loved ones.
Get formal photos out of the way
Formal photos are a big part of any wedding day, but they are way harder to do after the ceremony. Weddings become a lot like herding cats when everyone thinks it’s time to party. When you schedule your first look early enough in the day, it gives us time to get everyone together and do all of the formal photos before the ceremony. That way you won’t have to wonder if we got that shot of Great Aunt Barbara while you’re trying to eat your cake.
First look photos are a special kind of special
This right here is the biggest reason I want all of my couples to do a first look. Couples photos taken during a first look have so much emotion, excitement, and joy. They are often a couple’s favorite images from the whole day. These are the moments where you will be feeling the largest amount of emotions, and having beautifully captured photos of those moments is going to be worth it everytime.
Tips for great first look photos
Have I convinced you to do a first look? Great, now let’s talk about making sure those photos are perfect. Thinking about your first look location and lighting is going to be vital. If your wedding is early enough in the day, I can’t recommend a golden hour first look enough. Golden hour is about an hour after sunrise, so it’s for the early risers, but it gives you all the warm hues you could dream of. If you don’t want to do a golden hour first look, consider avoiding the middle of the day when the sun is highest, and harshest. Before noon, and after 3pm is best whenever possible.
When choosing where to do your first look, think about the kind of lighting in the area. If it’s an indoor location look for a spot with lots of windows and natural light. If there aren’t windows are there big doors that can be opened up? Maybe skylights? For outdoor locations, look for spots that are fully shaded, avoiding dappled lighting that will be distracting in photos.
When your wedding day comes, it will be beautiful, and I will capture it stunningly, whether you choose to do a first look or not. But the merits of adding one in are big, and can add a lot towards making your wedding flow better, be more enjoyable, and have more special moments with your brand new spouse.