The First Look

When I describe what a First Look is to people, there is always a mix of reactions. I was a Bride a year ago and I experienced each of those reactions, so I always understand! I kind of knew what a First Look was, but didn't understand the importance behind it. It wasn't until it came to planning the timeline of our day that due to circumstances we decided it wasn't going to work to do one. If not for that I was willing to try and make it work but Frank wanted to go the more traditional route. Sometimes I entertain dreamy thoughts of "what if we had done a first look" and he quickly says that he preferred the way we did it. Sometimes I agree and other times I drift off in thought and continue to wonder...the romantic in me always feels conflicted about it! :)

(All of these pictures are from interning/second shooting with Jessica Mae Photography!)

Why am I telling you this? Well because this is a very important decision to make about your wedding day, and while I don't think there is a wrong way to do it, I do think your decision should be a well informed one. After seeing many brides and grooms have these moments with each other, I have to just say it...I'm jealous! Sometime soon I might make Frank get all dressed up and do a Second Look... :)

So, what exactly is a First Look?

A First Look is a private moment before the ceremony where the Groom gets to see the Bride for the first time. These moments are captured by the photographers at a short distance. When I was walking down the aisle to Frank, I had so many tears in my eyes and was trying so hard not to cry that I couldn't really see his reaction.

After the Bride has gotten ready and the groom is in place facing away from the bride, she approaches him and either taps him on the shoulder or says something to him to let him know she is there. It is so cool to see how very couple is unique and does it differently! By far my favorite moment is seeing his reaction. The couple takes a few moments to talk and pray together, savoring the moments. Afterward there is usually plenty of time to do portraits of the couple.

Some of the perks to doing a first look:

  • I have found that the Bride and Groom are always SO calm after doing a First Look which sets a tone for an extremely relaxed day!
  • They can privately react, interact and share their thoughts and emotions - which there are so many of on a wedding day.
  • The bride's makeup and hair are at its freshest and best when the Groom sees her!
  • It allows enough time for the photographer to get Bride and Groom portraits, and Wedding Party pre-ceremony so that there is less time between the ceremony and reception!
  • More pictures! When couples do a first look and portraits before the ceremony they still get pulled out of the reception for more pictures (or sunset pictures).

Not everyone chooses to do a First Look, and that is okay! (As I mentioned, we did not!) There are different benefits to going the traditional route, and there is something very special about tradition. I hope that this was helpful to all you Brides who are on the fence - from a recent bride who has learned a lot in the last year!