"You don't take a photograph, you make it. "
- Ansel Adams
"You don't take a photograph, you make it. "
- Ansel Adams
I’ll be terribly honest. I LOVE when a couple decides to do a First Look! Love. It. Love. There are so many pros to the First Look and I’ll get to those in a minute. I wanted to share with you why I did a First Look for our wedding.
I get terribly terribly nervous in front of people; which is funny because I never used to get this nervous. I took some speech classes in college and actually did pretty well with it! We had to do a lot of public speaking as part of our tests. At the end of the semester, each teacher calls on one or two of their students from every Freshman and Sophomore speech class to recite one of the speeches they did really well on during the semester. Mine was to memorize a short story and recite it like a monologue. As part of the short story, you were required to act out each character in the story. I chose a book from Ramona. I had an absolute BLAST with it! I was able to get into each character and block where each character was supposed to be. Anyway, I was one of the students my teacher asked to perform in front of the entire freshman and sophomore speech class. I loved every bit of it. Now, though…forget about it. My arm pits start sweating like crazy if I’m called out in front of people. I can’t handle it…everyone judging me like that. 😉
We chose to do the first look because it helped calm my nerves. And we wanted to meet at the spot where we first met. Being with Brian right before the ceremony helped me relax. It helped me know that I wasn’t the only one up there talking in front of everyone. And, we were able to give each other our gifts without anyone else around.
That being said, here are the PROS to doing a first look:
Pro 1: It’s intimate. Really. It’s such a sweet, quiet, intimate moment between just the two of you (and photographers). You can give each other gifts, hug and kiss for a bit, pray together before the ceremony, talk about her dress, his tux, the night before. It’s so sweet and real and natural. And if you’re one of those that think it might take away from when he sees you walk down the aisle, it really won’t. I’ve seen grooms cry during the first look. And bonus points, he can grab you and pull you into him while he’s having an emotional moment! Again, intimate. I have a hard time holding back my tears sometimes.
Pro 2: It’ll calm your nerves. (At least it did for me) Seeing Brian really helped me calm down. I can’t tell you the difference I felt before I saw him and then after seeing him. I was just able to let my guard down and be myself and not care about the people staring at me. If your groom-to-be is your rock. Go see your rock to calm your nerves before the big moment.
Pro 3: You’ve JUST gotten your makeup and hair done. So you will look your absolute BEST the first time you see him. Sometimes, bridesmaids pictures or some family pictures will be done after the bride and maids are done getting ready. Thus, making your makeup and hair not as fresh for when you walk down the aisle. Granted, you’ll still look AMAZING, but it won’t be as fresh.
Pro 4: Family pictures, bridal party pictures, some bride and groom pictures…etc, etc…can all be done with before the ceremony starts. Thus, leaving time for you to enjoy the cocktail hour or the social hour just before the reception starts. Being done with family pictures is the biggest pro in this bit. All of your family can be done and off to enjoy the wedding the rest of the time. They are no longer needed. And, if there are little ones that need to be in pictures, the earlier you can get them to cooperate, the better. Most kiddos have already had a long day, are skipping their naps, and haven’t eaten, so by the time family pictures are ready to start after a ceremony, they are just done and will be less likely to cooperate.
Pro 5: If you have a later wedding, the only time you might be able to get pictures done of just the bride and groom will be before the ceremony starts due to the sun going down. It’s important to think about scheduling on your wedding day. So if you have a ceremony that starts at 4:00pm and the ceremony last for an hour (hello, Catholic weddings), you won’t have any sun to do pictures of just you and your groom. Any photographer will tell you to think about when the sun goes down and when you’ll want to get pictures done of the bride and groom.
Pro 6: It’s intimate. Yes, this was pro tip #1. But I can’t stress enough how intimate it is. The time of just the two of you before becoming husband and wife is the sweetest time and you’ll be so glad you had that moment together and have the pictures to show for it.
Now, please don’t get me wrong. There are so many pros to the groom seeing his bride walk down the aisle for the first time. I just won’t go as in depth with it for sake of this being a really long post. If the groom seeing you walk down the aisle for the first time is something you’ve dreamed about your whole life, then that’s great! I will capture that with great joy and will most likely cry along with you and the groom. It’s sweet and emotional and so romantic. Here’s a con to that though…guests will get in the way and if there’s not a middle aisle, he most likely won’t see you until you are almost to the front. Even if there is a middle aisle, Aunt Sue, who think she’s a photographer, might step out in front of the groom in the aisle (yes, this has happened), so that she’ll be blocking the groom’s view of you.
Now, please understand, I NEVER pressure my brides into doing something they don’t want to do or hasn’t been a part of their dream wedding. I want your day to be the day that you’ve dreamed of forever. I do share the pros and cons of both just like I have here. I want to capture you as a couple, and if seeing each other before hand isn’t something you would like to do as a couple, then that’s fine. I want to capture your true selves.
I wanted to lay out for you pros and cons about the First Look. Educating potential brides is a good service photographers will do for them. Planning a wedding is daunting. There is SO much to think about, and when a photographer helps a bride think about such things like this it can really help the bride plan her day much better.