Why You Should Do a First Look!

La-Verne-California-Wedding-Photographer-67.jpg

Traditionally, a Bride and Groom would never see each other on their wedding day until the big walk down the aisle. However, it’s becoming quite popular to actually do a First Look instead! This basically means that the Bride and Groom will see each other before their ceremony. I am a huge fan of this awesome new wedding tradition and I am happy to say that my now-husband and I did a First Look in our wedding and I’m about to explain all the reasons why you should do a First Look too!

How it works:

We will have the Groom stand in a pretty spot with his back turned and eyes closed, then we’ll go get the Bride and have her walk up to him at her own pace, give him a little tap on the shoulder (or a hug, or a booty grab, etc.) and reveal herself in her amazing dress she specifically chose for this monumental occasion! *cue all the feels* Then we will let you guys have an intimate moment just to be with each other, no rush, and just let you be there together, soaking in the moment (and we’ll capture it all of course!).

first-look-california-wedding-photographer-4_orig.jpg
first-look-california-wedding-photographer-9_orig.jpg
first-look-california-wedding-photographer-10_orig.jpg
first-look-california-wedding-photographer-11_1_orig.jpg

We will have the Groom stand in a pretty spot with his back turned and eyes closed, then we’ll go get the Bride and have her walk up to him at her own pace, give him a little tap on the shoulder (or a hug, or a booty grab, etc.) and reveal herself in her amazing dress she specifically chose for this monumental occasion! *cue all the feels* Then we will let you guys have an intimate moment just to be with each other, no rush, and just let you be there together, soaking in the moment (and we’ll capture it all of course!).

More time together:

As ironic as it sounds, Brides and Grooms really do not get much time together (especially not alone) on their wedding day! Crazy, I know! A First Look allows you to have a time specifically set aside for you to have some time together. For most of the wedding day, your time will be monopolized by family members and other guests, as they all want to gush over you on your wedding day of course! It especially gets difficult to spend time together after the ceremony when relatives and friends are all over you with hugs and kisses (which is awesome) and there are other activities throughout the day taking up your time. Many couples have said it was their favorite part of their day!

Quail-Ranch-Simi-Valley-Intimate-Wedding-18.jpg
Quail-Ranch-Simi-Valley-Intimate-Wedding-19.jpg
Quail-Ranch-Simi-Valley-Intimate-Wedding-20.jpg
Quail-Ranch-Simi-Valley-Intimate-Wedding-21.jpg


Intimate moment that’s just for you two:

Not only does a First Look give you more “quantity” of time together, but more “quality” as well. This is such a wonderful moment and the anticipation of it is so magical! It is a time when you are truly alone together on your wedding day (besides having your photographer and videographer there to capture it, of course!), without the pressure and anxiety of all of your guests watching. When you are walking down the aisle, there could be a hundred or more other eyes on you! It is also one of the few moments in the day that is just about YOU, and nobody else, and really reminds you of what this day is about. It is a raw, intimate, and magical moment.

When you take the walk down the aisle and your groom sees you for the first time, it may be a pretty long aisle and it may be hard to even see his reaction, plus when you get up there, you just have time for maybe a quick hug and then have to get on with the ceremony, you don't really get to soak in that moment. Many brides and grooms are so happy that they can really cherish and savor that moment when they see each other for the first time by doing a First Look because instead of being rushed right into a ceremony when all you want to do is hug each other and even cry together and talk about how the morning went and how happy you two are and how excited you are and how much you love each other. You get to have a true and genuine reaction and moment together without holding back or worrying about “everyone is staring,” and you also get to have it documented!

P.S. You can also read letters together, or even do pre-ceremony vows, etc. Brianna and Erich (below) decided to read their letters together that they’d written for each other!

Tropical-Intimate-DIY-Wedding-University-of-Redlands-52.jpg
Tropical-Intimate-DIY-Wedding-University-of-Redlands-53.jpg
Tropical-Intimate-DIY-Wedding-University-of-Redlands-56.jpg
Tropical-Intimate-DIY-Wedding-University-of-Redlands-57.jpg
Tropical-Intimate-DIY-Wedding-University-of-Redlands-64.jpg

Calm your nerves:

There can definitely be a bit of nerves as you anticipate that walk down the aisle! For me, as I was getting ready, I could feel the nerves building up - I was worrying about everything running smoothly, wondering how the guests were doing, how do all the decorations look, and all those other little things you worry about on your wedding day, but when I saw him during our First Look, it all just went away. This really helps get some of the jitters out of the way and honestly you are just so happy to see each other and are so excited that you’re about to spend the rest of your lives together that nothing else even matters.

 
Cooks-Chapel-Anaheim-Packing-Intimate-Wedding-Elopement-76.JPG
 


More time for photos:

I may be totally biased here, but a First Look gives you way more time for photos! It helps things go way more smoothly in your timeline and it will generally be a lot less rushed/hectic during portrait time. The First Look really helps open up your timeline a bit more and just adds a lot more room in the whole schedule, which helps give some cushion so things don't end up feeling rushed - which happens all too often on a wedding day. It also means that you don't have to take as much precious time away from the actual wedding time to take photos.

Quality photos:

Since you won't be as crunched for time, you'll actually be relaxed during your photos instead of stressed out, which will lead to way better photos - trust me, you can see a difference! You'll also have more fresh hair and makeup, which you probably spent a bunch of time and money on too!


 
 One of the many perks of having more time together - relaxing and having a beer together!

One of the many perks of having more time together - relaxing and having a beer together!

 



What about the walk down the aisle?

I’ve heard some couples express some hesitations about a First Look mainly for the reason that they want that “special moment” when the groom sees his bride walking down the aisle, but what’s funny is that the groom still ends up crying anyway and it is a wonderful and emotional moment regardless of having done the First Look, because it is a whole new set of emotions! And everyone I've asked has said that the First Look did not take any of the special-ness away from the walking-down-the-aisle moment and that they're so so so glad they did it and had that moment together!

Get the party started sooner!

Honestly, you get a lot more time to party! Depending on the sunset time on your specific date, the portraits can really dig into the party time, giving you less time to enjoy the wonderful reception you worked so hard to create. With a First Look, you can get started on the dancing, fun, and laughs sooner.

 
 Courtney and Eric share their “First Touch” - a great alternative to a First Look if you don’t actually want to see each other yet!

Courtney and Eric share their “First Touch” - a great alternative to a First Look if you don’t actually want to see each other yet!

 

Alternative "First Look" ideas (without seeing each other):

Although these wouldn't really have the added timeline benefits of a First Look where you do see each other (wherein you could get Bridal Party and Family photos out of the way before the ceremony), these are still good options if you're adamant about no First Look. If you really really really don't want to "see" each other until the ceremony, there's alternatives to the common First Look that I've been talking about above! For instance, you could both have blindfolds on so you can still talk and hold and hug each other without actually seeing each other! I've also seen couples just stand back-to-back while they both read their letters they wrote for each other or even just talk. There's tons of ideas for "alternatives" to First Looks that will still allow you to have some extra/quality time together without actually seeing each other if you really don't want to do that! But again, I still highly recommend the option where you see each other to help open up your timeline a lot more!

Conclusion:

In all the craziness of a wedding day, the First Look really just gives you that chance to take a step back, spend some quality time with the love of your life who you’re about to marry – oh my gosh – and just be with your best friend on the best day ever!

 
Virgnia-Elopement-Photographer-Wolftrap-Farm-254.JPG