first look

If you’ve never heard of a First Look, let me explain. The First Look is a private meeting between a bride and groom prior to the ceremony. It breaks with tradition but there are some great scheduling advantages to having this session prior to the ceremony. If you do decide to go with this approach, we will start with your First Look after you get ready. You can laugh, cry, exchange meaningful gifts, and relax and think about the big day ahead. Then we can craft your schedule to get the most out of your wedding day.

why do a first look?


Timing is everything on a wedding day. Anything that can help with the flow of the wedding day photography schedule is welcome in my book! But what about your schedule? Traditionally, family formal portraits, posed wedding party portraits and couple portraits all would happen right after the ceremony. While guests are mingling at cocktail hour, the wedding party and family would dutifully wait their turn to line up for these shots. Rather than miss out on time better spent with your guests (many of whom you don’t get to see very often) a First Look can allow most if not all of those portraits to be done before the ceremony freeing up extra quality time. Or maybe your priority is extra time for couple portraits. A First Look can provide extra time to allow for travel to off-site spots if that’s on your wish list. Lighting can be a factor, especially for late fall and winter weddings. A First Look can catch the early setting sun (it can get dark fast after 4:00 October through March!).

reason #1

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Isn't it a jinx?


Not seeing each other before the ceremony is an age-old tradition that’s a steeped in superstition. Times have changed and most marriages (at least the ones I’ve photographed) are not arranged. I still completely respect anyone who wants to stick with tradition and hold the surprise for the ceremony, but if fearing bad luck is the only thing holding you back I’d reconsider. Having a little extra privacy and time together on what can be an incredibly hectic day is an added bonus. Sometimes the bride (or groom) is shy about crying in front of guests and would rather get that out of her (or his) system before the ceremony. It can help calm anxious nerves to share time together alone beforehand.

reason #2

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how does it work?


I try to make the moment just as special as that first look walking down the aisle. Typically, a First Look is arranged to be in a secluded spot…and yes I have nicely kicked out peeking family members so that the couple can have a private moment! Often the bride sneaks up behind her groom and a gentle shoulder tap initiates the big reveal. I’ve seen laughter and tears and witnessed the amazing connection between the couple. It’s every bit as meaningful a moment and sometimes even more treasured because it’s just for you. What happens next? Since you're alone together, it’s a great time to flow into couple portraits. Wedding party portraits and/or family portraits can then be done prior to the ceremony as well.

reason #3

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Probably half of my couples every season choose a First Look and the scale seems to keep tipping in that direction. Hopefully this clears up a little of the mystery!