Should wedding photographers do a first look or not?
Updated: Sep 25, 2019
As a wedding photographer, one question I get the most from brides is....first look or no first look? That is always one of the most difficult decisions. Whether they choose to have a first look or choose the traditional way, I always tell them that it's gonna be special no matter what. But.....I also strongly recommend having a first look for several reasons.
Reason #1: It feels more intimate. It's just the bride, the groom, and me. No one else is watching. The bride and groom get to spend special one on one time together before the craziness begins. Other than the photographer, no one is around to distract or overhear. It’s the last time the bride and groom will be alone together as Fiancés! They can also exchange letters and can pray together at this time too.
My husband and I exchanged gifts at our first look. I gave him an initialed Bible and he gave me Tiffany diamond stud earrings! It was super special and intimate and Jenifer D. Imagery captured it all.
Reason #2: It helps the nervous jitters go away. Couples just can't believe how less nervous and anxious they feel after seeing each other for the first time. Seeing their future husband/wife made all their nerves and jitters go away! That made it worth it to them. My husband can testify! He said that he was a nervous wreck leading up to the first look, but after he saw me and hugged me, the nerves disappeared!
Another nice thing is that after the first look, the bride and groom can then spend the next couple hours leading up to the ceremony enjoying the day together out in the open... and not in hiding.
Reason #3: It is much easier for photos. When you do the first look, the bridal party and sometimes immediate family photos are able to be taken before the ceremony. That way the only photos to take after the ceremony are more family photos....and the guests don't have to wait nearly as long before the bridal party arrives to the reception. That's always the number one complaint at weddings by guests...that they have to wait hours before they can eat. And it also puts less pressure on me as the photographer....I always feel like I can take a little more time with photos when we do them before the ceremony because I don't have hundreds of guests waiting on me!
First looks are preferred by almost every photographer, but what we prefer even more is a happy bride and groom. The traditional way is just as special! About half of my weddings are first look and half traditional....and both are wonderful in their own ways. So if you are a bride (or you know of one) who is trying decide to do a first look or not, hopefully this post is helpful and feel free to pass it along! Yay weddings! Remember wedding photographers love your input!