It’s a big decision to make, whether or not to do a first look on your wedding day. There are pros/cons to both sides, and will affect your day of timeline depending on which route you take.
Today, I am advocating in favor of a first look if you answer “yes” to any of the questions below:
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then my recommendation is to do a first look. Here’s why…
Q. I want a lot more variety of pictures with my fiance and wedding party
Of course you will want a variety of captures for your romantics and wedding party photos regardless of what you decide, and your photographer should be able to deliver on this. However, by doing a first look, you will have more time for creative wedding party captures AND you will have a variety of lighting scenarios for your romantics. Consider this, most cocktail receptions have 45 – 60 mins allotted which is when most of your portraits will be conducted. If you have a large family and/or wedding party it is unrealistic to assume you will get the variety you are hoping for in that time span. It’s not impossible, but your photographer will have to be strategic with time and depending on how everything flows will determine just how much time you actually have. So you need to set your expectations accordingly. If you do a first look, you will have at least an extra hour available for more picture taking. Doesn’t that sound nice?!
Q. I am feeling nervous and anxious about the ceremony. It may be helpful to break the tension if we can have an intimate reveal prior to the ceremony
If you or your spouse tends to be emotional (I mean this in a good way!), you feel nervous to be in front of people, or you just want to spend more time with your person on your BIG day, then these are all reasons to consider a first look. Our couples that opt in for a first look tell us how smooth they felt the day went and how much more enjoyable the ceremony was knowing that they got their nervous excitement out in an intimate setting with their betrothed.
Q. I want to be able to enjoy all or part of the cocktail hour
If you want to enjoy cocktail hour with your guests, then your only option is to do a first look and conduct all portraits prior to the ceremony.
Q. I have a large family and will want to get a variety of formal family portraits after the ceremony
If you have a large family and shot list, then we highly recommend a first look. Our tip here is to create your preferred family photo list before the BIG day and share it with your photographer. Having a list to run thru will alleviate a lot of time and headache. For us, we certainly don’t want to miss any key family portraits, so being as prepared as possible is helpful. Generally, if we do a first look we have more time for family portraits and then our couple can decide if they want additional portraits (generally with the softer sunlight) or if they would like to join cocktail hour.
I want to read my vows uninterrupted to my future spouse prior to the ceremony
Writing your vows is important work! If you want to share these with your fiance prior to your ceremony so that you both can soak in your heartfelt words, then the first look is the right choice for you!
I know it is a lot to consider and I hope this post will help provide clarity on the route you wish to take. Just know there is no wrong way to enjoy your wedding and whatever you decide will be just as it was meant to be.
I would love to hear from you! If you have comments about this post then please share them below! If you wish to get in contact about your BIG day, then fill out this form and I will be in touch soon!
Thanks for reading!
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