As I start to book more weddings on my own I realized how important it is to educate brides on the possibility and the pros of having a first look before your ceremony.  Some brides quite possibly have never even heard of this as an option.  It is very ingrained in our minds that you just do not see the groom before the ceremony.  When I was married I never even knew this was an option.  Even if my photographer would have asked me if I wanted to, without her explaining it first, I know I would have immediately said no.  I mean isn’t that the tradition.  You want the groom to be surprised and see you the first time while walking down that aisle?

While researching wedding photography, I have been seeing these first looks more and more.  The more I learned about them and saw the results of them I quickly decided that I am a total fan.  There are many reasons why a first look is awesome.  I am going to give you some information here as well as provide links to other articles written on the same topic.  Hopefully after reading this you will consider doing it.  I mean only if you agree with all the benefits of doing it and you want those photographs that can only be gotten at this particular time.

One of the biggest reasons for a first look is that you and your groom will be seeing each other for the first time on your wedding day alone (with the photographer of course).  The first time the groom will see his beautiful bride will be in private.  If you think about it, would you rather have your first time seeing each other on this super important day be when you are walking down the aisle with a big group of people watching?  Or would you rather it be just the two of you?  I mean you are most likely best of friends and do the best job of calming each other down and reminding each other why you are marrying the other, without even saying a word.  Just seeing your future spouse can ease all of the nervousness of the day.  Just think how much more relaxed you will each be as that ceremony begins.  The photographs that are captured during this special moment cannot be directed or posed.  The smiles and hugs and embraces are just what naturally will happen as you both see each other for the first time on this special day.  Some of the most moving and emotional photographs I have seen of the bride and groom come from this moment.

Another great reason for this is that you can schedule it so you have some time before the ceremony to get more photographs.  Many times you allow an hour or so between ceremony and reception for the photography.  If your ceremony is near nighttime then you will possibly be out of sunlight which is by far the best light for all of your portraits.  One hour can be tight when you have alot of family portraits that you want to take and imagine if you have to travel to the reception location as well.  By doing the first look you are giving yourselves more time to get those photographs of the bride and groom alone.  Most of the time your favorite images and the ones you will most likely hang on your wall are going to be the ones of just the bride and groom.  Most of the time you will even be able to fit in the bridal party portraits or even the family portraits in as well.  This will allow you to have more time in between your ceremony and reception to relax and not feel rushed.  You can spend more time with your new spouse and even fit in some more photographs if you want.

I highly recommend a first look to all brides.  It provides the bride and groom with more special time with just each other and can help you get some amazing photographs as well.  I will not push this on any bride though.  For some brides and families this is not something they would like to do and I support either decision 100%.  I just like to inform brides that the option is there and why it might work for you.

Alot of photographers I follow have written blogs or articles on this same topic.  They probably explain it more eloquently than I do.  I am definitely not the best writer.  So check out some of the articles below as well when you consider doing this for your special day.  xo-Jamie

A discussion on first looks on wedding wire

Jasmine Star’s input on a first look

New York Wedding Boutique on first look