Is It Better To Do A First Look Wedding?
As your wedding day approaches you may be wondering whether or not you should be doing a first look. It’s one of the most frequently questioned traditions these days because doing a first look certainly comes with pros and cons. Your wedding photos are a very important aspect of your big day since it’s the time capsule you’ll carry with you the rest of your lives! So making the right decision here can be overwhelming, but don’t let it paralyze you with fear. Either way, we’re going to make it amazing and beautiful. But I’m here to help answer your question; “is it better to do a first look wedding?”
To Look Or Not To Look…
I have shot a lot of weddings where the couples want to see each other for the first time at the ceremony. This is a beautiful tradition because it builds great suspense for your big moment, and can be a wonderful surprise. The traditional superstition of the bride and groom not seeing each other until the ceremony has remained rooted in our society, but it can be tricky to get the right shots when done this way. It is commonly a lot easier for photographers to do a first look before the ceremony since we have the time and structure to get all the shots we need (and the couple wants!). However, this is not to say that doing a first look is inherently superior to seeing each other at the ceremony. I have come to see the beauty of doing either one. It totally depends on what you two want for your big day!
First Isn’t ALWAYS Better
Let’s get the perks of doing a first look out of the way…FIRST! It is easier to get all the shots we want because we have the time and a relaxed space away from the commotion of all the guests. There is plenty of time to get great shots with the bride and groom alongside their wedding parties and the wedding guests. The first look is when you two have a perfect stage to shine. You’ve gone to such great lengths to look your best, so let’s take a good amount of time to make sure we capture that. A first look is a more comfortable and relaxed way to have your photos taken before the momentum of the wedding gets going. So why would you opt for no first look? Well, the tradition of waiting until the ceremony may seem like a silly superstition, but many couples have shown over the years that it does create a little bit of magic for the guests to witness. That first glance a bride and groom share as the ceremony begins can be fireworks! Want proof of the FIREWORKS? Check out the photos I took of Danielle and Dan’s wedding at La Paletta Mansion in Burlington, ON. Deciding between a first look or not doing one is hard, like whether to find out the gender of your baby during pregnancy. There is no wrong way, both lead to a beautiful outcome. Even in a first look, the bride and groom will light up with fireworks. It’s all a matter of timing and preference.
When The Surreal Becomes Real
Whether you opt for the first look or not, rest assured I have you covered! I have shot many weddings where the couple wants to wait for the ceremony to see each other. When this happens we just work together on a timeline so we have all the shots covered. We will sneak in some wedding party/family photos earlier in the day. We will also build extra time into each of the getting ready portions of the day for your album. The getting ready photos will be something you two cherish because they show that beautiful suspense all couples have before their wedding. It’s one of the most surreal days of your life, and the getting ready photos always seem to channel that magic. It’s absolutely my favourite part of every wedding. The nervous excitement. The tearful looks between mother and daughter. The father sharing a warm hug, and maybe a scotch, with the groom.
Here’s Looking At You!
I really hope this helped you decide between doing a first look or skipping it for your upcoming wedding. If you still feel undecided, contact me using the form below and I’d love to help you figure out how to decide. Keep in mind, seeing your partner before the ceremony or during the ceremony for the first time is going to be magic either way. You two just need to figure out when you want that magic to happen!
by Gillian Foster