Benefits of a First Look - From a Wedding Photographer and Bride’s Perspective • katehensleyphillips.com

Benefits of a First Look – From a Wedding Photographer and Bride’s Perspective

It seems like one of the biggest decisions on your wedding day is whether or not to do a first look. As a wedding photographer and bride myself, I get it. The decision feels like a really big deal! Let’s talk about the benefits of a first look and whether or not it could be the right decision for you!

From the time I was about 12 years old, I loved weddings. Pinterest started to make a name for itself around then and well, I fell in love with all the very early wedding trends that (I think I can speak for all of us) I am now glad are long gone. I said I would NEVER do a first look for years! I couldn’t imagine missing out on that amazing moment where my almost-husband saw me for the first time walking down the aisle. But then I became a wedding photographer, I suddenly was able to see the benefits of a first look and my opinion completely changed! This mental shift resulted in me and my now husband doing a first look at our own wedding in 2021!

Let’s talk about the benefits of a first look and why it might be right for you. But listen, the main thing is that you are happy about what you decide. Remember, this is YOUR day…it is not mine, or your mom’s, or you guest’s. It’s you and your partner’s. So as the decisions get tough, back up and think about what you two want! Your wedding day is going to be beautiful and wonderful no matter what you decide!

Here are the benefits of a First Look from a Wedding Photographer and Bride’s Perspective:

More Time Together

  • If time together is important to you, you may want to consider a first look. You will get alone time to just be together, talk, embrace, and take each other in on the best day of your life. 

Privacy

  • You have the chance to say your vows, read letters, or exchange gifts in private. A lot of my couples want to express their love for each other on their day in some way, but would prefer to do it in private rather than in front of potentially hundreds of people. A first look gives you the perfect opportunity for that.

Finish Photos Before the Ceremony

  • Photos can take a lot of time on your wedding day! When you do a first look, it gives you and your photographer the chance to get all of the most important photographs done before the ceremony even begins. Your couple portraits, full bridal party portraits, and even some family photos will be finished before you even say “I do”. This will automatically make time with friends and family your top priority during cocktail hour and reception. 

A Chance to Get Creative

Genuine Reactions

  • Doing a first look may give you a better space for genuine reactions, since some people get nervous in front of a crowd. You will also get TWO reactions from your groom with a first look! One during the first look and one during the ceremony. They will both be really special, I promise.

couple on wedding day during first look reacting with lots of emotion

Calms Nerves

  • Your nerves may be a little more settled before your ceremony with a first look. OR If you’re nervous about a flood of tears in front of guests, a first look may help to give an opportunity for your emotions to play out before standing at the alter. 

Daylight

  • A first look will guarantee way more daylight, giving you lots more time for outdoor photos! This is especially important during the fall and winter.

couple on wedding day during first look with soft smiles linking arms

My personal experience as a bride doing a first look was wonderful and I do not regret it for one second. In fact, when I look back on my day, it was my favorite moment. My now husband was able to see me for the first time in a private environment, we were able to embrace and be close, we read meaningful letters to each other under a tree, he got to really take me in as a bride, and I got to take him in as a groom.

We were able to take all of our photos before the ceremony, which gave us time to spend with friends, family, and each other after the ceremony and during the reception. We would not have changed our decision whatsoever and now I am able to truly speak on the benefits of a first look from a bride’s perspective, not only a wedding photographer’s perspective. 

Again, no matter what you and your partner decide, your day is going to be incredible and you are going to be MARRIED at the end no matter what! That is the MOST important thing. While details can be important, your love and happiness trump all the details in the world any day!

If you have questions or want to know more about the benefits of a first look, don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I’d love to help you navigate through your decision!

If you liked this blog post, you will want to check out my post on “Why You Should Schedule a Bridal Session Before Your Wedding Day!”

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