Three Reasons You Should Have a First Look | Virginia Wedding Photographer

If I could go back to my wedding day, I would have had a first look and had some time set aside to see my soon to be husband and pray with him before our ceremony.  Even though I had a wonderful wedding day, that is one thing that I wish I could have done.  A “first look”, the first time a couple sees one another before the ceremony after getting completely ready, can be a beautiful moment for you as a couple.  If you’re considering a first look but aren’t quite sure if it would work for you, keep reading.  I have had some couples who really love the idea of having a first look on their wedding day, while others prefer to see each other for the first time as the bride walks down the aisle during the ceremony.  Ultimately it is entirely up to you.  Each couple is unique and each wedding is unique. 

Having a first look is a preference, but as a wedding photographer I must tell you that a first look can be very beneficial and memorable.  In the following paragraphs I will share three reasons that you should consider having a first look on your wedding day.

1. A Chance to Calm Your Nerves

It is natural to feel a little nervous on your wedding day.  I know that when I got married, I felt a little nervous.  Mostly I was so excited about this next chapter in my life, but I had definitely had butterflies!  We actually ended up sneaking off to see each other and pray together before the ceremony, which helped tremendously.  A first look can definitely give you a chance as a couple to see each other for the first time that day and have a private moment (except for the presence of your photographer) so that you can interact and take in that moment.  Once guests arrive, your day will be like a whirlwind.  I have witnessed joyful first looks, quieter first looks, and energetic first looks!  You have an opportunity as a couple to be yourselves together in this moment, knowing that you’re about to join your lives together. 

2. Get to Cocktail Hour Faster

Second, having a first look can get you to cocktail hour much faster.  Typically at a wedding without a first look I will photograph the bridal party (including the couple) all together and then the family immediately after the ceremony while everyone else moves to cocktail hour.  After I capture those groups and send them to cocktail hour, I work with the bride and groom to capture them for the first time as a married couple.  I prefer to use a 30 minute time slot for my wedding couples to ensure that they can relax, breathe, and enjoy their session instead of feeling stressed and rushed.  With approximately 40 minutes for the bridal party (depending on the size of the bridal party) and the family groups and 30 for the couple for their portrait session, that is about an hour that you are away from your guests.  Guests normally understand this, but if you prefer to join cocktail hour sooner than that, a first look may be a great option for you because not only can I capture your first look and do your bride and groom session, we can also allot time to capture the bridal party (and the family groups too) which can save more time after the ceremony.

3. More Images of the Bride and Groom

Third, you will have more images of you together as a couple on your wedding day. A first look generally takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Within that time period, I capture your first moment together on your wedding day as you interact along with images of you together as a couple. This allows me to capture more romantic portraits for you. With the first look and a 30 minute golden hour session on your wedding day, you will have a larger variety of images of you as a couple.

Would you like to chat about how I can serve you on your wedding day? Click the link below to start the conversation!

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