I’ll keep this short & sweet because more than likely you need to send this post to somebody to do some convincing and I'm sure they don't want to read a novel. I’ve said it 100 times and I’ll say it 1,000 more… DO A FIRST LOOK. Unless you have an early ceremony, I STRONGLY encourage a first look.
1. It gives you more time for photos.
Sometimes venues don’t offer the best outdoor photo opportunities. We often have couples that want to drive to a certain park or specific area of the city for their wedding photos. Doing a first look gives you as many hours as you want before the ceremony to travel for photos. Having more time for photos also allows your photographer to be more creative, giving time for some new ideas. You paid a lot for your wedding and your photos are the one thing that lasts forever from it. You want to spend a bit of time on photos.
2. It allows guests to wait MUCH less.
Doing a first look (along with bridal party/couple portraits after the first look) means that you can get alllllll of your photos done before the ceremony. Once the ceremony is finished, you can head right to your reception (or enjoy cocktail hour) and your guests don’t need to wait for 2 hours.
3. It it so much more intimate & emotional.
This is my favorite reason. I know some people fear that seeing each other before might ruin the day. I disagree. The first look is one of your only, private moments together (I’ll be hidden in a tree somewhere to capture it). Our most emotional moments ever are during first looks. And to be honest, not all guys are criers.. or even show a ton of emotion and that’s perfectly fine. But nonetheless, it’s the perfect way to just have a moment together. After surveying a few of our couples, they said that even after doing a first look they still felt the emotions walking down the aisle.
4. You get all of the busy stuff out of the way so once the ceremony begins, you can enjoy your day.
Photos are personally one of my favorite parts of the day but after 5+ hours of getting ready and a few hours of photos… it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy your day. Getting all of the photos done early allows you to sit back and enjoy the ceremony & reception. You don't feel like you're being rushed from one event to another.
5. You get photos right after your hair and makeup is done.
Your hair and makeup hopefully will stay all day but you want to look your absolute best seeing each other (and for photos). If you wait to do photos after the ceremony and it's a humid day - sweat might have gotten the best of your hair and makeup.
6. It allows flexibility for rain.
If you have a first look planned and rain is being called for in the evening, we can get all of your outdoor photos done prior to the rain. If your first look has rain during it, we can work around it. We aren’t in a rush to head straight to the reception so we can work with the weather. It helps to have extra time and it allows your timeline to be rearranged to work with the rain.
7. You get to spend more of the day together.
If you have a late ceremony, you only get to spend so many hours with your husband/wife. You invested so much time and money into this day, you should be able to spend the majority of it with your significant other. First looks get you together sooner.
8. It calms your nerves.
First looks are great for couples who might get a bit too nervous before the wedding. If you feel like you’re a fainter, or somebody who hates large crowds, first looks help calm you down prior to seeing so many guests.
9. Dad First Looks *
If you can't do a first look with your groom (or even if you can) I love first looks with Dads as well. Some Dads get really confused on what a first look actually is but the reactions are so beautiful everytime. Dad reactions always make me cry. If your Dad isn't in the picture, you could do a first look with somebody you are close with. Even with your bridesmaids!
I would say 60% of our couples do first-looks and 40% choose not to. We don't mind either way but we just strongly encourage first looks. Wedding photos aren't any better with or without a first look, first looks just allow more time. Don't feel bad for not wanting to do one (and please don't let this cause a fight while planning your big day). We can work with whatever you give us. This is just some friendly advice! Feel free to share with your friends!