The First Look: Pros and Cons

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Now that the busy wedding season is upon us, a big question I get asked is:

” Should we have a first look? “

In a heartbeat, my answer will always be, “Yes!” But here is the thing. Not only is it my professional opinion as a photographer, but I was also a bride a few years ago and regret not doing one with my groom. I did have a first look, but it was with my bridesmaids. So before you start stressing out, hear me out. It doesn’t matter if you decide to have two first looks or none. As your photographer, I support every decision you make and make THE best out of it.

Some of you might be wondering.

“What is a first look?” defines it as: 

The first look is when a couple sees each other for the first time on their wedding day. This intimate moment typically makes for an emotional photo opportunity.

I know what you’re thinking.

“It’s bad luck, isn’t it?!”

“But I want him to get emotional when I walk down the aisle.”

And I hear you! THOSE WERE MY EXACT THOUGHTS when I was in your shoes a few years ago. Then, I had no idea what a first look was, and now it’s one of my biggest regrets! Why? There were so many thoughts and emotions going through my mind and heart, I wanted to tell him many things, but I couldn’t. At least not until the ceremony was done, and guess what? The moment had already passed.

The Pros of Having a First Look

From a wedding photographer’s (and personal) point of view, here are the pros of doing a first look.

  • This will be one of the only times you get to be alone with your soon-to-be spouse. Yes, seriously. It will give you a moment to connect and talk to each other without having everyone’s eyes on you.
  • You get most of the pictures out of the way before the ceremony, AND you get more photos together. After your first look, we take about 15 minutes to take pictures of just the two of you. A big perk is that your hair and makeup will be fresh and looking perfect. If time allows, family formals and wedding party pictures will also be taken before the ceremony, and guess what? You’ll actually have time to enjoy cocktail hour instead of rushing through group photos after the ceremony!
  • You get to see their reaction up close and personal. You can’t even see your fiances reaction many times because the aisle is long, and people have their phones sticking out, and all you see is… not the reaction. With the first look, that moment is yours and yours only. As a photographer, I love to capture those moments, and trust me when I tell you, they will be one of your favorite pictures to look back on.
This couple decided to have their family and bridal party join them on their first look.

The Cons of Having a First Look

  • The lighting might not be ideal, but a professional photographer will know exactly how and where to capture such an intimate moment.

And honestly, that is the only con that comes to mind! If you’re Hispanic like me, you’ve heard that seeing each other before the ceremony is bad luck. So, I’ll share another blog post explaining where this tradition came from and why it no longer applies.

Are you recently engaged and planning a wedding? Reach out, and let’s have a chat!

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