I absolutely love it when my couples choose to do a First Look! A first look is when the bride and groom arrange a time to see each other before the ceremony. There are so many reasons couples choose to do the first look. Although it is my preference to do a first look, I will encourage my couples to do whatever they want to do. After all, it’s their wedding So although I love it so much, I do want to capture their day how they envision it. I wrote this to help you decide if it’s right for your special day, and why I recommend it so much!

1. All portraits can be done before the ceremony. Some family formals, bridal party + bride & groom portraits can be done before the ceremony even begins! This takes usually an hour, so by doing a first look, you can go right to the reception after you say your I do's. And… Your hair and makeup is also fresh and super camera ready!! I normally recommend saving sometime after the ceremony for family formals that we could not get before the ceremony, because it can be difficult to have everyone show up early. I also always try to sneak the bride and groom away during the reception for a few more bride & groom portraits at sunset.That takes only about 15 min. This is when the light looks absolutely stunning!

 2. Instead of trying to cram all of the portraits + family formals in an hour you can give yourself a more relaxed timeline. This is much less stressful for yourself and your entire bridal party! All my couples that do not do a first look and do photos before hand, are usually frustrated and ready to stop shooting before we even capture everything on their list since it becomes rushed. When the majority of the portraits are done before the ceremony, they are very relaxed and a lot more fun! Plus, we can usually go to more than one location and get a lot more variety. And this leads me to my next point…

3. You’ll receive MORE portraits in your final gallery. If you have a first look, this gives us a LOT more freedom to go to a couple different spots, either on location or off! This leaves you with so much variety for portraits in your gallery! Couples that do a first look typically receive 20% more portraits in their gallery.

4. When your groom sees you for the first time when you walk down the aisle, he can’t hug you or tell you how beautiful you look. He has to wait 30 minutes plus before he has the chance to do so, and by then, the initial first reaction has worn off! It let’s your groom show their emotions freely! I always try my best to find the most secluded and private spot for you two to share this special moment. This part of the day might be your only time alone together all day!

5. It diminishes nerves. So many couples say how most of their nerves went away after they saw each other! It helps relax you both and makes the ceremony more enjoyable.

I do hope this helped you decide on what’s best for your wedding day! In the end, I do want my couples to choose what they want… because it’s their special day, and it should be exactly how they envision it!