First Look Story
What is a first look?
A first look is when a couple chooses to see each other before the ceremony for a more intimate first moment together on their wedding day. This is quiet. Its private. Its also joyful! There is so much anticipation and readiness that needs to happen that the experience is unique and unforgettable.
In this story, I share a one couple's first look story. Here, you get a first-hand view of why this is a great idea to make you feel so in-love on your wedding day!
A Waiting Bride!
For our story, I placed our Bride, Christy, on the far side of a column while her groom waited to be placed on the opposite side of a building. After she was in place, I excitedly ran over to walk my groom into his place!
You could opt for blindfolds but I didn't want anything else in their hands when they got to finally see each other. Jon, our Groom, was very good about keeping his eyes closed as I walked him behind another pillar.
I also grabbed a quick shot before they got to see each other!
Shock, Emotion; Smiles and Love
When I told Jon and Christy that they could peek around the front of the columns to see each other, there was a moment of surprise for each of them to see their spouse-to-be so beautifully ready for the day. Then, they broke out into huge smiles.
I invited them to walk around the front of the columns to meet in the middle. They walked with open arms - so glad to see each other - and ended in a sweet embrace. It was also an emotional moment. This was when my directions stopped. They deserved this time together without my interference. My assistant and I still snuck around them and snapped their moments together, but without interrupting that precious time.
All Their Own:
They had this time to beam at each other - to really appreciate seeing each other on this day that is a step on an amazing journey together through this life - to have something that was all theirs.
Benefits of A First Look:
Not only is a First Look a perfect time to spend intimate time together but it is also a perfect time for Bride and Groom portraits. The flowers are fresh and not wilted. Her make-up is flawless and not yet affected from the heat and dancing. Her hair is perfectly styled and humidity hasn't hit those curls.
In addition, by doing portraits before the ceremony, we only had to snap a few family formals afterwards. That left time for the bride and groom to do a soft-entrance and enjoy cocktails and mingling with their guests if they wished to have extra time to catch-up and celebrate. Other couples might view it as a perfect time to bustle a dress and have a drink with the wedding party before being formally announced.
Finally - it is such a nice way to care for your guests by not having a long period of time between the ceremony and reception. Occasionally when the two events are quite spaced out, you end up with many people only choosing to attend one rather than both parts or the day gets long for them if they do attend both and they'll duck out early. By optimizing your guests' experiences, you'll get to have lots more time and fun celebrating with them into the night.
Because Jon and Christy chose to do a First Look, we had time not only for photos of that first moment that they saw each other on their wedding day, but also for their formal couple portraits as well as individual portraits. This made the the rest of their day feel much more calm and enjoyable.
An Intimate Beginning to a Journey Together:
A successful First Look requires early planning and scheduling with your photographer and perhaps with other vendors as well. My bride and I met one rainy spring evening to find a perfect spot that allowed them both to remain hidden until we were ready for them to see each other for the first time. Be sure to communicate early on about your interest in a First Look.
My husband I did a First Look way before they were cool. I just remember feeling glad that the portraits were done - knowing that I could relax and enjoy the rest of that day together. It really gave us a beautiful start on our marriage. I love those images more than any of the other images from that day because I remember how I felt in those moments. That is, after all, why our photographs are meaningful to us - they aren't in our lives just to show us what we looked like - they are there to remind us of our emotions and our relationships.