Wedding: First Look

This was originally posted on 05-13-11. 
However, lately I’ve been talking with several people about this topic again and wanted to share a handful of new photos and interesting article links. 
Please take a peak and let me know your thoughts!

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Choices, choices, choices.

An amazing photographer friend, William Walker, first explained the concept of First Look to me and I thought it quite interesting.  Although it is not the traditional “walk down the aisle in front of all your guests” first glance, it is an incredibly powerful moment in different ways. The concept is that prior to the ceremony, while guests are settling, the couple has a few moments alone (with the photographer of course) to enjoy an intimate First Look together.  I really love the fact that those first special moments and your reactions seeing each other are caught on camera. You have the entire evening ahead filled with your closest friends and family… so why not take a minute for yourselves? 

As this lovely bride says,
Looking back, I think it was one of the best decisions we had made. We had tons of fun, and we got to enjoy each other in such an intimate way. And at the ceremony, we were both so much more relaxed.” …read more

Another great thing about this concept is that since you are getting the majority of your couple portraits taken before the ceremony, your hair & makeup will be fresh, you’ll spend less time taking post-ceremony taking pictures (you’ll still take the family and bridal party shots), and you may be able enjoy a little bit of your cocktail party (if you’re having one). If a traditional aisle first look happens, the couple typically misses the entire cocktail party (which is just plain silly) 🙂

Lauren, from Every Last Detail has a post on this very topic, weighing the pro’s and con’s. She says she strongly wishes someone had told her about this prior to her wedding. Now, she greatly regrets she didn’t get the chance. 
A First Look isn’t for everyone, and it’s not the “traditional” thing to do. But if photography is important to you, then you should seriously consider a First Look. Some of the absolute best wedding photos I have seen have been when the bride and groom have a First Look.” …read more 

The Knotty Bride shared their point of view – along with lots of great photos. And, be sure to check out all the reader comments too! One reader, Emily, says,

Absolutely, first look all the way. We did one, and it was one of the most special parts of the day. It also relieved some of the stress/jitters, it was a moment of “oh yea, that’s why I’m doing this!” And the moments before the church door opened could be about what we were about to do and not about if he’d like my dress. The bad luck legend is totally a holdover from when people hadn’t always met their future spouses before the wedding and might freak out and run away.” …read more

OMG! What a creative and unique twist on the First Look! The setup is beautiful and the photographer, Ellie Marks Photography, captured their moment beautifully. Check out the rest of the photos on Done Brightly

And, lastly, check out what the guys have to say here in Jasmine Star Photography’s Groom’s Perspective article.

Having the opportunity to see Ala during our “First Look” was one of the most special moments from our wedding. I personally like to think of it as two little kids sneaking downstairs on christmas eve to see how big the gifts are underneath the tree and then sneaking back upstairs before you get caught by your parents. And, this analogy is definitely our style. I was pleased at the opportunity to get to spend intimate time with my soon to be wife” – Steven. 
Being able to share that moment with my fiancee, without 130 people watching was incredible. I truly believe that if we hadn’t done our first look before the ceremony, we wouldn’t have been able to get the photos we did. Also, it didn’t change the feeling of watching my beautiful bride walk down the isle. Oh, it also alleviated me from being a crying mess” – Robert.   

And… I of course had to talk with our own wedding photographer, Ashely Bee, and hear her thoughts regarding the First Look. She said,

We do our best to educate our brides of the benefits of doing a First Look: more time for photos while everyone is fresh, dedicated private moment for the bride and groom to see each other for the first time, less anxiety leading up to the ceremony, a relaxed and casual photoshoot following the ceremony during the sunset during the cocktail hour and just all around less time feeling rushed!” 
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Choices, choices, choices. I know which way I’m swaying….  what about you?
What did you do? What will you do? What do you think are the PROS and CONS of a First Look?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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