Should We Do a First Look?

For Our Couples

We are asked this question by almost every couple we work with and our answer probably isn’t what you’d expect, so we wanted to share a bit more with you on this topic. 

Most people likely expect us to respond with “YES! Definitely do a first look. Please do a first look! It will make everything so much easier!” And the truth is, sure, it may make things ‘easier’, but in our minds, your day being easier for us isn’t what it’s about.  

First and foremost, we are your photographers. We are there to photograph your day, your vision, and your story. It isn’t about us–truly. We are there to serve YOU.  To do what you think is best and what will help make the day more joyful for you. Doing a first look is completely up to you!  We want you to make that choice based on what’s most important to you.  Either way is fine by us and we mean that. 

should we do a first look
should we do a first look

Reasons To Do a First Look

You get to spend more of your wedding day together.

By doing a first look, you’ll have more of the day that you can be together and spend your wedding day with your love. You can share your thoughts and feelings with each other and we can even plan for a small block of quiet time for the two of you in your timeline if you’d like, just to be together. 

 You’ll likely be way less stressed

For us, we knew we wanted to do a first look because I knew it would take away the stress of waiting to see him and the rushing of photos after the ceremony.  I’m more calm and relaxed when James with me during “big” things (like our wedding day), so I knew if I could be with him, I’d be more calm and relaxed.

You won’t spend the day hiding from each other!

If you’ll be at the same location before the ceremony for awhile, it’s tough to be sure you don’t see each other.  You need to go to the restroom? That means someone needs to go tell the groom to not come out of his room.  If you walk by outside, someone needs to be sure he can’t see you through the window. 

 You’ll receive MORE images of the two of you + the wedding party

If you see each other beforehand, you’ll have more time for photos of the two of you, wedding party photos, and family portraits with you both included.  You’ll have more time to do this, you may feel less rushed, and you’ll receive more images given that we have more time.

You can enjoy cocktail hour!

Whether you want to join cocktail hour with your guests or have a private cocktail hour with just you two or you two + your wedding party, you’ll have this time to enjoy yourselves, mingle with others, and relax a bit before the party gets started!

should we do a first look

Reasons NOT to Do a First Look

Tradition

 You may be someone who finds the tradition of not seeing each other until the ceremony and that’s okay. If that is important to you, by all means, let’s wait to do photos until after the ceremony.  Whatever makes you happy, we’re on board with. 

Gap between ceremony & reception

A lot of times, especially for Catholic ceremonies, the church requires the ceremony to begin earlier in the day because of mass in the evenings.  A lot of times this can be as early as 2pm,  If you’re getting married this early in the day, you could definitely wait to see each other until the ceremony. You’ll have plenty of time afterwards for photos, hanging out together, and enjoying the day. 

should we do a first look
should we do a first look

When decided between doing a first look or forgoing it, we recommend considering these four things:

What time is sunset? We want to be sure you have naturally-lit portraits. For winter weddings, this is especially important, as sunset is fairly early.

Where will your family be before/after the ceremony and will it be easy to corral them for portraits?

Will travel between the ceremony and reception allow for photos following the ceremony? 

At the end of the day, the most important question to ask yourselves is: What is most important to us as a couple? We’ll be here to help you plan accordingly. 

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