What it will be like for you...
A first look is an excited unveiling, an intimate moment, a stolen kiss, a moment of prayer, or a chance to celebrate in a moment of calm. A first look is an opportunity to be (mostly) alone with your soon-to-be-spouse as you see each other for the first time on your wedding day. It is quiet yet exciting, over-joyous, sometimes a little teary, and always amazing. I have never had anyone regret this option.
Many of my couples have opted for a first look so that they can share that first sight of one another in private and so that it can be documented even better than during the ceremony because the photographer has a much larger range to move around. This is the perfect option for couples that are nervous, anxious, or shy as well. But it is also for couples that value privacy or alone time especially on your wedding day when you will not get any of that for the rest of the day. My husband and I actually opted for a first look because we are bit on the shy side and we were really looking forward to a private moment since we knew it would be the only one we would have all day.
Now this next part is extremely important. So, write it down if need be! ;) I insist that this moment is private. Meaning only the two of you + your photographer and their 2nd shooter (and videographer, if you have one). The photographers will typically shoot from a fair distance to really give you a few moments alone together. Having family, bridal party members, or random on-lookers around will ruin this experience for you, so ensure that they stay tucked away by explaining this to them beforehand.
As a photographer...
From a photographer's standpoint, the first look does allow for a few extra perks. The first being, that the photographer can choose your first look location that will allow them to photograph this incredible moment in the best light and from the best angles to make sure that they get both of your expressions simultaneously. Being able to choose this location will increase the quality of your images because ceremonies are often in darker churches with very little room to move around. PLUS, if you are planning an evening ceremony, this will also ensure that you get plenty of natural light, gorgeous portraits before the sun goes down.
A less important perk but still a great one, is that this also allows you to get all of the formal portraits and family portraits done BEFORE the ceremony which will make your timeline go so much more smoothly for the rest of the day. It puts far less pressure on that bit of time in between your ceremony and reception. Which means you can spend that time capturing a few more bride and groom portraits and then get on to the fun stuff!
I completely understand! A first look is not the right option for everyone. Don't be pressured into having one if it just doesn't feel right for you. That is more than ok. A traditional first look of seeing each other during the ceremony is still precious and will still be beautiful.
Talk to your love. Discuss this option and if it feels right, tell your photographer you would like a first look.
If you had a first look and would like to encourage more brides and groom to consider this option, leave them a note below telling them why you had one and what you loved about it!
Happy wedding planning!!! <3