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What is a First Look? I once met with a bride and discussed the layout of her wedding day and the wonderful things she has planned. When we discussed the timeline of her day, I asked if she had given consideration to the idea of a First Look--an opportunity for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony and share those first moments as husband and wife together. Bride and Groom hadn't thought too much about it, but were open to hearing more.... I often receive this question from other photographers as well: Why do some of your clients opt to see each other before the ceremony? When I speak to clients, First Looks are the only chance you get to spend time alone on our wedding day. When you see each other, it’s as if that moment was carved out just for you. Away from guests, details, and things that might have distracted your attention from the gravity of the moment. Just you and him ready to commit yourselves to each other. Many brides worry about forsaking the moment the groom first sees his bride walk down the aisle, but I think it's just as special having seen your man before the ceremony, if not more. Because you see each other before the ceremony, most of the time you are SO much more calm and relaxed. You descend the aisle looking at your husband to be, but at the same time looking and you friends and family surrounding you, and appreciating the moment of your parents giving you away. It’s as if you’re truly in the moment, and not just focusing on the man at the end of the aisle. The best part of a couple seeing each other before the ceremony is that it lends to a much smoother layout for family pictures, cocktail hour, and beautiful sunset pictures of the bride and groom after the ceremony. If a couple requests a First Look, I also encourage them to plan for family pictures and bridal party pictures beforehand. Come on...how many people want to miss the cocktail hour? Not many. By capturing formal photos before the ceremony, it frees the family and bridal party to mingle, catch up with out-of-towners, and simply enjoy the mood of the day. Some couples opt to spend cocktail hour with their guests as their time is so limited during the reception, or some opt to enjoy some time alone. I prefer a bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony, but--truthfully--it doesn't matter to me either way. More than anything, I want my brides to be happy. I simply explain their options because I know they'll make an educated decision. Often times brides think there are rules to weddings (Cannot see groom before hand, Must throw garter, Cannot be seen as a couple until the Grand Entrance), but I believe there should only be one rule: Do What Makes You Happy. :)


First Look