There's a lot of buzz going around lately about first looks on your wedding day. Should you have one? Should you not? Or maybe you're out there thinking, "What the heck even is a first look anyway?" I got you. As a professional wedding photographer who has shot weddings with first looks and weddings without, I figured I should give my two cents on the issue, because I want you as a bride to have the absolute BEST wedding day. For those of you who don't know what a first look is, let me explain. A first look is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time privately before the ceremony. The opposite of a first look is typically referred to as a traditional aisle look, where the bride and groom do not see each other until she walks down the aisle. Depending on who you talk to, many people have differing opinions on which one is better. So here's my personal stance as both a photographer and a past bride myself: I believe a first look is a necessity on your wedding day in order to make it the most intimate, efficient, and wonderful day of your life. Here are a few reasons why I fully believe in first looks:
1) You Won't Have to Spend Most of the Day Apart
So hear me out here. Most wedding ceremonies take place in late afternoon or early evening, right? If you do a traditional aisle look, that means that you don't get to see or spend any time with your fiancé for the majority of the day. Do you really want to spend most of your wedding day hiding from the love of your life? Looking back on my wedding day, I'm SO glad we went with a first look because we were able to spend more precious moments together rather than apart.
2) You Get That Intimate Time Alone
Trust me, your wedding day is going to go by SO fast. I can barely remember every event that happened on my own day, and talking to other brides I've heard the same. It will be the most magical blur of your life. There is SO much happening on your wedding day, and it's really easy to get wrapped up in every little thing going on, instead of focusing on what really matters: you and your love. A first look allows you to stop, take a breath, and have that intimate, alone time with your fiancé. Honestly, it might be the ONLY time you'll have alone with each other. Plus, a first look relieves all that pressure of seeing each other for the first time. Would you rather see each other for the first time alone and intimately or in front of all of your friends and family staring at you? For me, it was a no brainer.
3) You Get More Time For Photos
Ok, full disclosure, this section is a bit selfish since I am a photographer. But I'm only being selfish because I have your best interest at heart. A first look logistically allows you much more time for portrait photos of you and your love, the wedding party, and family. It's pretty simple. If the bride and groom can physically see each other before the ceremony, we can knock out all of the portraits and formal shots before the ceremony even begins. This gives us so much more time to play around and get creative, ultimately giving you more portrait photos. Your wedding photography is a big investment, so wouldn't you want to get the most bang for your buck?
4) More Time With Guests
This one goes hand and hand with #3. If the bride and groom wait until the ceremony to see each other, it means that all of the portraits have to be taken after the ceremony. Which is fine and dandy until you think about it from your guest's perspective. They are there to celebrate you while having a good time, but they probably aren't fond of waiting an hour after the ceremony while you get your photos done. Lastly, from your perspective as a bride and groom, you've invited all your closest friends and family to celebrate you on this one day. You'll probably never see all these people in the same room again, so wouldn't you want to spend every second you can celebrating with them? A first look avoids making your guests sit around and wait, while maximising the time YOU get to spend with them. Win win. :)
There you have it friends. These are my top 4 reasons why I LOVE first looks and believe wholeheartedly in them. I love to talk to my clients about this, share my own wedding day experience, as well as my experience as a photographer. I know first looks aren't always for everyone, but if you're even considering it, I beg and plead with you to truly think about implementing it into your wedding day. In my opinion you'll have a more intimate, efficient, and happy experience with doing one. In fact, no couple I've ever photographed regretted doing a first look. So tell me what YOU think! How do you feel about first looks? Did you do one for your wedding? Are you thinking about doing one? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!
Lindsey Roman is an adventurous, destination wedding and elopement photographer based out of Oahu, Hawaii and available worldwide. She lives for outdoor adventures, intimate moments, and candid images. Her style is raw, passionate, and authentic. She believes in chasing sunsets, laughing too hard, and most importantly: capturing genuine moments that evoke feeling over perfectly posed photographs.