Many couples ask me about The First Look. It’s a unique, intimate moment shared with only the bride, groom, and me, your photographer. This photography session takes place before the ceremony, before the cocktail hour, and before the day gets crazy. It can result in a lot of pent up emotion and provide a bit of peace before the nuptials. In short, I cannot recommend it enough. However, there’s plenty of couples who are hesitant about breaking such a long-standing tradition.
I would never want my couples to feel pressured or swayed to make decisions that they aren’t comfortable doing. However, I do want to lay out the benefits of opting for this opportunity. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing firsthand how impactful and special this moment can be. There’s a reason why 70% of my couples choose to include it!
Oftentimes the groom doesn’t realize how nervous he is until he sees his bride or groom walking down the aisle. Suddenly, the tone has changed from a few hours ago when he was carefree and golfing with his groomsmen. Of course, he’s excited, but taking a look at you all dressed up for the first time, suddenly things become real. All eyes are on him, examining his reaction, probably making him even more nervous. The tension in the room is mounting with every step you take towards him.
The first look helps alleviate that tension. It allows the groom to see his beautiful soon-to-be spouse in an environment that’s less intimidating. At this point, you’re probably both starting to feel the Big Day jitters. Including the First Look in your timeline gives you the chance to calm each other down. You are each other’s best friends, after all, and no one knows you better.
Should you choose to opt-out of a first look and stick with the traditional routine, you’ll be missing out on a private moment amidst a chaotic day. When a groom sees his bride for the first time during this shoot, he’s free to compliment her, hug her, and kiss her. He can watch in awe as she shows off her dress and gives him a little twirl. You can both talk eagerly about this celebration that you’ve been planning for so long. It very well may be the only private moment that you two will share on your wedding day.
Without a first look, your partner won’t get the opportunity to do that right away. The compliments can’t start pouring out until after the ceremony when you’re no longer in front of friends and family. Getting his verbal reaction thirty minutes after he sees how beautiful you are doesn’t have the same impact.
Going with a first look photoshoot gives you a distinct advantage. You’ll have a more extensive catalog of photos to choose from! Capturing that first look gives you 40% more images from me. The shoot is candid and elicits genuine reactions from both parties. A lot of the other photo sessions that follow are a little more structured. This set of images allows you two to be natural and organic. Those emotional reactions caught on camera are the photos you’ll want to hang up all over your first home.
Incorporating the first look into your day allows for more time to celebrate. Should a couple opt-out of the first look, you won’t see each other until the ceremony. That means that all of the portraits have to take place afterward. The bridal party shots, the family shots, and the just married shots have to happen in the window of time between the ceremony and reception.
With the first look, your wedding day extends up to three hours longer. All those other shots are blended in with the first look, rather than squeezing them in after the ceremony.
Suddenly, you now have time to relax with your best friends and bridesmaids during cocktail hour. You’re no longer feeling rushed through the group and family portraits! Time is precious on this exceptional day. I guarantee you’ll be grateful for any reason to slow it down and soak in the excitement.
By and large, the biggest reason why brides are hesitant to include a first look is because of the reaction they want from their spouse. Nothing beats that authentic, emotional feeling when your partner sees you walking down the aisle for the first time. Sometimes there’s tears and laughter, and you can always count on a huge smile. And who wouldn’t want to feel that love emulating from their partner in crime?
You might be surprised to learn that a reaction will happen regardless. The adrenaline pumping through your partner at that moment is so overwhelming that he’ll be itching to see you. He will barely be able to contain his emotions from the moment he looks at you.
Think of it this way; Whether it’s the first time or the millionth time that day, your new spouse will be glowing every time they see you. With that in mind, why not capture some of those genuine feelings on camera?
As you can imagine, most wedding traditions are being compromised in 2020 due to the pandemic. One such example includes the prep time. Typically, couples choose to get ready separately, sipping mimosas or Miller Lites, and excitedly chatting about the day to come with their closest friends and family. With 2020 being the year of scaled-down weddings, this experience may not be feasible for many. But hope is certainly not lost.
Something incredibly heart-warming that I’ve noticed with the quarantine couples is that they choose to get ready together. Since many brides and grooms are opting in to “minimony’s” with a sequel wedding to follow, your nuptials might not be an all-day affair. Spending every beautiful, precious moment with your love is imperative. If this is something that appeals to you more than a first look does, let’s get in touch and talk through your options.
If you’re hard-pressed on the idea of the traditional reveal, I would never want you to feel pressure to do otherwise. Besides, it is your day! It’s always best to stick with your vision. But if you couldn’t tell by now, I am a strong proponent of the first look. It’s personal, unique, and intimate. It allows for extra time spent with the love of your life. And most importantly, through my photography, you’ll gain physical memories of some of the intense emotions felt on your wedding day.
Into the idea of a first look, or still an advocate for a more traditional wedding? Let me know in the comments!
Copyright 2020 Gavyn taylor Photo LLc
A city living fur momma who has turned a love for photography into a dream career. Now I am providing my couples with beautiful memories that they will cherish for a lifetime!
All Rights Reserved