As a newly engaged couple, planning your wedding requires quite a few decisions to be made in a short amount of time. It is so important to take time in the first few days and weeks of engagement to process and consider what events of your wedding day are most important for you to focus on, especially when it comes to your photography. The moment you see your best friend and love of your life for the first time on your wedding day is one of the most memorable parts of your big day, so I always tell my couples there are 4 reasons why you need a first look on your wedding day.
What is a First Look?
A first look is a moment in your wedding day where you see your future spouse before the ceremony begins. This intimate moment allows you to spend some time together before going before your family and friends to exchange your vows. During this part of your day, I take you somewhere private on the venue’s property to remove any distractions for this special moment so the focus can be on you two only. There are four reasons why I encourage couples to consider a first look on their wedding day: spend time alone with your fiancé, calm your nerves, look your best for your photos, and spending more time celebrating with your guests. Below, I’ll share some thoughts from former couples on why they ultimately chose to do a first look on their wedding day.
Take Some Alone Time with Your Fiancé
Your wedding day is a celebration of your love and commitment to one another, but the truth is that it is easy for dedicated alone time with your fiancé to simply not happen without a plan going into your wedding day. With a first look at the beginning of your celebrations, you will have set aside time to simply see your best friend all dressed up, share a hug and a kiss, or maybe even cry happy tears together as you share in the joy of your marriage. A first look also gives you an opportunity to talk and express your love, where you might be less inclined to do so when you are standing at the altar getting ready to share your vows in front of your family and friends.
“I am so glad we did the first look,” Sarah Levesque said. “It was so great to have some quiet private moments together before the big moment. I still walked down the aisle to Miles, but it was in an empty church and it was awesome! It didn’t take anything away from the big moment during our ceremony; if anything, it made it better. I was just so overwhelmed with emotion seeing all of our friends and family I almost had trouble focusing on Miles alone when the ceremony began. I do remember his face during the private moment we shared and the exact words he said to me during the first look. We had 30 minutes to slow down and just be.”
Calm Your Nerves Together
Having a few quiet moments with your fiancé at the start of your day gives you an opportunity to let out some nerves and jitters, so you can look comfortable and relaxed for the rest of your photos on your wedding day. Standing in front of your family and friends while seeing your spouse for the first time can be a lot to take in, but having that time together before the altar can allow you to relax and be ready for your big entrance.
The first look also gives you a chance to let your emotions flow, and the photos from the first look are usually some of my couples’ favorites from the day. Having the emotional moment of seeing your spouse for the first time on your wedding day is one you’ll want to remember for a lifetime. This time carved out of your timeline allows you to take alone time together to process through your thoughts and feelings during the moment, as opposed to if you wait until the altar where you can’t really share those thoughts during the ceremony.
“That day, I just really wanted to see Tyler and talk to him,” bride Mollie Folk said about her first look for her Indianapolis wedding. “Having a moment together before the ceremony started was so calming for me and made the rest of the day a lot less nerve racking.”
“It gave us both a chance to calm down and re-center ourselves and truly just focus on each other for a few moments,” bride Cassie Jones said about her first look at Charley Creek Inn wedding. “you’d be surprised how little alone time you have with your partner the day of your wedding!”
Look Your Best for Your Photos
With a first look, you can take your couples portraits early in the day, and the best part? You will look absolutely incredible! Of course, there is no denying that you will both look amazing all day. But with the first look scheduled right after you finish getting ready, your hair and makeup are fresh and your dress is pristine and beautiful. A first look allows you to look your best for your portraits before you start to sweat or cry from the emotions of the day, and you deserve to look your best for these iconic images that will hang in your home forever.
Spend More Time Celebrating with Your Guests
Lastly, a first look will save time later in your day when you transition from your ceremony to your reception. With all of your photos done ahead of time, you can start celebrating with your family and friends! One of the biggest concerns I hear from couples when we begin to discuss their timeline is not wanting to cause their guests to sit and wait hours at the reception for photos to wrap up, so a first look allows you to transition very quickly to your reception, and your guests will thank you!
“We did a first look because I wanted as much time as possible for photos,” former bride Ali Newton-Lopes said, “But I didn’t want my guests waiting on me to eat. We went to a wedding recently and cocktail hour seemed like it lasted forever.”
“The first look gave us an opportunity to get great photos in a more relaxed atmosphere and decreased the time between the ceremony and reception,” bride Cassie Jones said. “After the ceremony, we both felt like we had more time to celebrate and greet our guests during our reception at Charley Creek Inn because we already had great pictures with each other.”
Your wedding day will have so many sweet candid moments to capture, but the first look truly will be one of the only times you and your spouse will spend alone without any distractions on your wedding day. The day goes by faster than you ever dream, but having just a few minutes to yourself in the early part of your wedding day allows you to relish in the joy of marrying your best friend, the love of your life.