First looks are always a topic that comes up in wedding consults when I am first talking with a couple. The first thing that I always say is that I’ve never had someone regret that they did it. That being said, there’s times that they aren’t necessary unless the couple would just like to get some of the nerves out.
During the summer months, when the days are longer, the timing is perfect to hold off on a first look and do all the photos with the couple after the ceremony and at sunset. When the days are getting shorter, sometimes it’s nice to go ahead and do a first look and here is why.
1. You can have almost all of your photos done before the ceremony so after you can get a few newlywed photos and go enjoy cocktail hour.
2. The lighting for winter weddings is better earlier in the day. November-January is perfect for 3:00-3:30 ceremony times if you’re not doing a first look. But, if you are, then you can push the ceremony a little later.
3. You can get all the nerves out before the ceremony and still enjoy your groom seeing you walk down the aisle! I still have had grooms cry or have a great reaction to brides coming down the aisle.
4. More photos! You get more relaxed time with photos and it’s not rushed. You don’t feel like everyone is waiting on you to get to the reception.
5. You don’t have to hide and worry about your person seeing you before the ceremony! Less stress!
6. First looks are even a great time to give each other gifts and/or read letters to each other.
If we don’t do a first look, work with your photographer on the best times for ceremony so that you can still have those amazing photos in the best light!
And, if you decide that it’s just not for you, that’s perfectly OKAY! We will work around the best light and advise you on what would work best. I usually will take the couple out from the ceremony first before family photos start and give the guests time to transition to cocktail hour and give us a little time to snap a few photos of you newly married! This time together is just as special as a first look! We then finish with the bridal party photos and move on to family photos.
Some of my favorite first look and couple portrait moments are below!
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