The First Look

And why you should consider doing it.

When planning a wedding, one of the most challenging things is figuring out the timeline of the day.  There is so much to think of, so much going on, that it can become quite daunting.  As a photographer, it is my role to assist with the organization and give some helpful advice such that you are less stressed and fully enjoy your wedding day.

If you have not heard of the First Look before, it is when the bride and groom see each other on their wedding day BEFORE the ceremony (generally 1-2 hours prior).  We have the groom stand in a designated area looking away from where the bride will be walking from.

 Ming waiting to see Patricia for the first time.

Ming waiting to see Patricia for the first time.

The first look can be done in a big open space like the image above, as it can be done behind a tree or around the corner of a wall.  It is fun to photograph the groom waiting anxiously not knowing when he will be surprised by his future wife.  The expression on both of their faces is always precious.   

 Ming seeing Patricia for the first time in her wedding dress.

Ming seeing Patricia for the first time in her wedding dress.

Obviously, the first look is not the traditional way of seeing your partner for the first time on your wedding day.  Typically, the bride and groom see each other for the first time as the the bride walks down the isle at the ceremony.  As weddings are becoming less and less religious but more focused around the experience, the First Look is becoming more popular.   I find the First Look better for two reasons explained bellow. 

 Patricia seeing Ming in his tuxedo.

Patricia seeing Ming in his tuxedo.

FIRST REASON - Better pictures

When the couple sees each other for the first time before the ceremony, it is a more intimate experience and they have more time to simply admire one an other.   With a traditional reveal, all their guests are looking at them and there is no time to speak to one an other as the priest or officiant will begin the moment the bride arrives at the alter.

In such, the First Look makes for some really special pictures as it gives the photographer time to capture the different emotions that the bride and groom experience when seeing each other for the first time.  During the traditional ceremony, not only is there to photograph the reaction of the couple, but that of the bridal party and the guests as well.  

 Emotions run high during the first look.

Emotions run high during the first look.

SECOND REASON - Less Stress

Since the First Look takes place before the ceremony, we use this opportunity to capture the official couple portraits at the same time.  In doing so, we have to rush much less between the ceremony and the reception to capture all these important images.  It also gives us the opportunity to do the bridal party portraits such that the only thing left to do after the ceremony is the formal portraits with family members.  

In such, the bride and groom will not be rushed at any point in the day and be able to fully enjoy their experience.  On top of that, with the traditional timeline, the couple often misses out most, if not all, of the cocktail hour as that is when we would be doing the official couple portraits.  With the First Look, you will be at ease knowing that you will be able to spend time with your guests from from start to finish.

 Embracing each other.

Embracing each other.