March 28, 2023
Seeing your fiance’ for the first time on your wedding day is such a big moment. Whether you decide on doing a first look, or waiting to see each other at the altar, it’s always an emotional moment. As a photographer, I think first looks are a great idea to consider for your wedding day! However, not many people are aware they have this option, or what benefits having a first look can have for your wedding day. Here are some of the top reasons why you should consider having a first look on your wedding day.
First looks allow you and your fiance’ to spend more time together on the wedding day! Rather than spending it hiding from one another until the ceremony, you get to spend more time with them before the ceremony even begins! Instead of rushing to get portraits done and hide away before the ceremony, you actually get to enjoy your time together and with your closest friends.
Since you have more time to be together on your wedding day when including a first look, this means you will also receive more portraits of the two of you! Portraits after the ceremony can sometimes feel rushed because we’re short on time and sunlight, so when you opt for a first look we have so much extra time to take more photos. Your bride and groom portraits will be the ones you will print and have in your home, so having more of the photos that will be the most used is definitely a plus!
Majority of the time grooms are always so nervous before the ceremony! Having a good reaction in front of hundreds of people can be a lot of pressure as well. Getting to see his bride-to-be before the ceremony helps ease those nerves not just for him but for the bride too. Most grooms are very anti-first look, but after experiencing it they are always so glad they chose to do one!
When doing a first look, the groom’s reaction will still be just as amazing as if it were at the altar! (Sometimes even better!) When you first walk down the aisle the groom can’t even touch you, embrace you or talk to you. You have to wait until after the ceremony for him to react and tell you how incredible you look. And by that time the reaction isn’t the same as that initial first glance. Since the first look is just between the two of you the groom’s reaction is very genuine. And believe me when I say that the buildup before the first look is just as exciting as if it were at the alter! Something about seeing the bride walk down the aisle, even when the groom has already seen her, stirs up so many emotions and oftentimes the groom will shed tears all over again!
When you opt for a first look, most of your portraits will be completed before the ceremony. Typically the only portraits that need to be taken after the ceremony are family formals. So once family formals are done you can go straight to the reception and enjoy cocktail hour with your guests! Your wedding day will go by so quickly, and it is often difficult to get to spend quality time with each guest. This will give you the perfect opportunity to say hello and hug all of your friends and family who you don’t often get to see.
If you are getting married in the winter months, a first look may be necessary. As a photographer who thrives in natural light, I always encourage couples getting married this time of year to do a first look. Since the sun sets so much earlier this time of year, a first look is oftentimes necessary so we can get photos done in natural light. Plus if you have a late ceremony time, it will likely be dark after your ceremony. So having a first look is crucial if you’re wanting those dreamy natural light portraits.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve had bridesmaids or groomsmen go missing when it’s time for bridal party photos because they want to be at cocktail hour. Having this happen slows down portrait time, and in the end you don’t get as many photos. When you do a first look you get all of the bridal party photos completed before the ceremony! So after your I-do’s everyone can go relax and head straight to the party!
Oftentimes it can be nerve-wracking to read your own vows in front of hundreds of people. So if you want to have more than just traditional vows, you can privately read your personal vows during your first look. This is also another great way to help ease any nerves you may have. Just stick to traditional vows for the ceremony.
I hope these tips were helpful when deciding whether or not a first look is right for you! I always tell my couples first looks are not required, so whatever feels right to you is what you should do! There are clearly several benefits to having a first look, so take them into consideration when planning your wedding. I promise you they’re not “bad luck!”
Check out more of Alyssa Michel Photography’s work by heading over to the portfolio. Want to reach out about your own wedding? You can do so by contacting us through our contact form. I cannot wait to hear from you and learn more about you and your fiance’!