Are you interested in doing a first look at your wedding? That is a question I ask all my clients. Sometimes they haven't decided or sometimes they say 'First look, what in the world is that?' A first look is exactly what it sounds like. A first look between you and your soon to be spouse before the actual ceremony. Every couple is different and every wedding is different and whether or not you choose to do a first look is entirely up to who you are as a couple and how you want your wedding to play out. No one can make that decision for you. I can however, tell you why I chose to go that route for my own wedding in November.
For me the first look started out as purely practical. Our wedding was in November, after daylight savings. Therefore it was dark by 5:00. Super dark by 5:00 as in unable to take natural light photos outside kind of dark. The ceremony didn't even start till 5:00. If I wanted those photos there was no choice but to do a first look.
Beyond that me and my husband felt that doing a first look would give us a chance to hang out before the ceremony and calm any potential nerves. Because both of us are rather introverted, this felt like a good idea. Despite those perfectly logical reasons (and having shot many weddings myself), I was still unprepared for how happy I would feel with the decision afterwards. I was completely surprised by how intimate the moment ended up being. As I walked towards my almost husband as his back was turned I was filled with a rush of emotions. Because it was just us I felt no pressure to suppress anything nor did I have to think about anyone watching. To me it felt like there was no better way for us to connect and just be with each other before the ceremony.
As a more non traditional couple I was not concerned about the moment taking away from the ceremony, but I needn't have worried anyways, it did not take away from any moment in the whole day. I felt relaxed and prepared to walk down the aisle after being able to be with him and hold his hand before the ceremony. Plus we had the added bonus of being able to hang out with our friends and family during the cocktail hour which I wouldn't have traded for anything.
I obviously love first looks. I love the joy on the couples face, the intimate moment where they just hold each other and breathe and are able to fully take in the moment they are in alone together. I have seen many benefits of the first look. But what I ultimately love about weddings are their individuality. How each one is so unique and specific to the couple that is being joined for life. No matter how you choose to spend your day, first look or not, it will be an amazing celebration of the love between the two of you. That is what I love the most.