CHARLESTON, SC • estd. 2020

CHARLESTON, SC • estd. 2020


5 Reasons to do a First Look

Client Education

Jun 9, 2021

Your first thought may be “Everyone talks about doing a first look, but I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal to do one.”… And that’s a fair thought! Most people are not aware of how AMAZING first looks are unless they’ve done one themselves! Brides often get caught up in all the wedding “traditions” that they feel they HAVE to follow and get nervous about being judged if they go against said traditions. The first look is one of those wedding tradition topics that brides often immediately write off because one two reasons: it’s supposedly bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding ceremony; or because they want that REACTION of the groom seeing her for the first time as she walks down the aisle. But I’m going to tell you why neither of those should stop you from doing a first look as well as some added BENEFITS from doing one!

It’s every girl’s dream to see their husband-to-be at the end of the aisle with a big cheesy grin or tears in his eyes as he sees you walking towards him. It was my dream too! But I realized that just because he’s already seen me in my dress doesn’t mean he isn’t going to be excited to see me walking down the aisle too! Who says he can’t have a reaction for both?? Ryan and I opted to do a private first look (just us and the photo/video team) before our ceremony and let me tell you what.. it was such a SWEET moment we got to share! Because it was just us, there was no pressure not to cry in front of people or worrying about not being able to fix my makeup if I cried. It allowed us to just hug and kiss and enjoy getting to see each other for the first time that day! I got to do a few twirls and show off my dress as we laughed out of pure joy and excitement that we were getting married! If you don’t do a first look, you won’t be able to enjoy any of those little moments because you’ll be immediately moving into the ceremony once you reach the alter.

I know, you’re still wondering if he won’t have any reaction at the ceremony since he’s already seen you? The answer is he will most definitely still have a reaction to seeing you! In fact, at our wedding we were both more emotional at the ceremony than we were at the first look! Your groom can’t help but smile when he sees you walking towards him, no matter how many times he’s seen you that day. It’s a moment you will NEVER forget and doing a first look won’t spoil it one bit. In order to keep an element of surprise for the ceremony, some brides will opt to leave the veil out for the first look and then put it in for the ceremony so that when he sees you walking down that aisle, it will be the first time he gets to see you in your full bridal attire!

The second, and less common, objection to a first look is that it’s bad luck or goes against tradition. Let me ask you this: do you know where that tradition stemmed from? Do you know WHY they said it was bad luck? It’s a pretty awful reason once you find out. The whole idea of it being “bad luck” for the groom to see the bride before the wedding comes from back when marriages were still arranged. They didn’t want the groom to see the bride before the wedding because oftentimes the groom hadn’t seen the bride at all and they didn’t want him to run if he thought she was ugly.. How terrible!! So rest assured, it is not bad luck for him to see you because he loves you and seeing you before the ceremony is only going to get him more excited for your wedding!

So let’s move on to some BENEFITS of doing a first look. And before I continue, I want you to know that I am in no way saying you absolutely HAVE to do a first look. In fact, it’s absolutely okay if you read this and decide you still prefer not to do one. I simply want you to know why it is my preference and why I think the benefits of doing one outweigh any disadvantages. I want what’s BEST for my couples and that’s why I want to help educate you on why I think doing a first look is such an AMAZING option.

1. It relieves all the pressure and nerves

Before the ceremony, tension starts to grow as everything starts to sink in. The groom is usually waiting in a little room or off to the side of the ceremony and all he has on his mind is how BIG of a moment this is. When he is finally cued to enter, he then walks into the ceremony and sees hundreds of people looking at him anticipating that moment when the bride will enter. They are all watching him waiting to see what his reaction will be. Now, I don’t know about you, but that makes ME nervous! Most grooms get very nervous on the wedding day because they aren’t used to being the center of attention like that. So when you put a nervous groom in that situation, it just becomes compounded. It’s the furthest thing from an intimate moment. Now imagine, the first time he sees you he actually gets to tell you how GORGEOUS you look! He can hug you, kiss you, twirl you around and take in how beautiful his bride is! Then, you and your fiancé get to spend the rest of the morning amongst yourselves and your best friends. All that pressure and nervousness is gone! You’re more at ease and can now fully enjoy the rest of your wedding day! When that happens TRUE emotions can be expressed and he can take it all in without any built-up tension! It’s the BEST!!

2. You get more portraits

You’re investing a lot into your wedding photography, so you want to get as many photos as you can! When you opt for a first look, you get 40% more portraits of you and your groom! Once you finish the first look, you will casually move into some romantic portraits with just the two of you. There’s no one rushing you to get lined up for the ceremony, no trying to rush to cram in as many photos as possible because it’s cocktail hour and you still have to do family formals. You just get to ENJOY being together by yourselves (trust me, this is a rare occasion on a wedding day). Once your portraits are done, you get to meet up with your guys and girls for some bridal party portraits! You enjoy spending some time with your closest friends laughing and having a good time! Think about how many additional portraits you just got that you wouldn’t have if you waited to try and fit all this in PLUS family formals during cocktail hour before you’re being called up for your reception introduction..

3. You get to stretch out your wedding day

Normally, your wedding day starts with getting ready and then waiting around until the ceremony starts and you get to walk down the aisle. Then the ceremony ends, you rush out to take family photos, try and grab as many portraits as you can before they’re calling you up for introductions, and then you’re into the reception. When you include a first look, you get to start taking portraits almost 3 hours earlier! You get to actually relax and enjoy the time with your best friends during bridal party portraits! You don’t feel rushed and you don’t feel stressed.

4. You get more variety

When you only have 20 minutes to grab husband and wife portraits after the ceremony, you usually are limited to how many locations you can visit. Usually one, MAYBE two. But when you do a first look, you allow yourself time for additional bride and groom portraits before anything else has even started! You can take photos in additional available locations that you wouldn’t otherwise have time for. You also get photos in two types of LIGHTING scenarios! You get those bright, clean images during the day plus additional GLOWY images during golden hour after the ceremony. So essentially you get TWO portrait sessions on your wedding day. All the more images to choose from when you decide what to put up on the wall!

5. You get time together alone

Trust me when I say you will hardly ever be alone on your wedding day. Between getting ready with your bridal party and being surrounded by all your guests at the reception, there will constantly be someone around. First looks give you time to just be alone together! When Ryan and I saw each other for our first look, it was the longest we had all day with just us! We smiled, we LAUGHED, we cried and it was so sweet and romantic.. It’s the perfect lead into getting those cutsey lovey photos because you’re already giddy from seeing each other!!

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