When I first start to talk about the wedding day timeline with my couples to figure out how much coverage they will need, one of the biggest decisions that can impact your timeline is whether or not you want to do a First Look. Many times, when I ask couples if they are considering a first look, they have one of three answers:
SO, for those of you in that number 3 group, or if you are on the fence about it, this blog post is for you!
First looks are almost always my very favorite part of a wedding day and many times they bring me to tears because they are just SO. STINKING. SWEET. Here are my top 5 reasons that I think doing a first look on your wedding day is TOTALLY worth it.
1. It calms your nerves
No matter who you are, or what you think you’re going to feel like on your wedding day, you WILL be nervous. No, you might not be so nervous you feel like you’re going to pass out or throw up (although those feelings aren’t totally out of the question), but you will definitely have some of those super jittery butterflies in your belly. Being able to see your sweetheart before the ceremony ALWAYS calms people’s nerves because with one hug, you are able to remember exactly why you are putting yourself in this stressful situation to begin with – your deep and unending love for one another. And what’s more calming and reassuring than that?
2. You can enjoy the moment freely
Seeing your bride walking down the aisle in front of 200 people can be a liiiiittle nerve-wracking and a lot of people feel pressure to react a certain way. Like if you can’t work up at least one solid tear, then you obviously don’t think your bride is beautiful. This is SO far from the truth you guys!! Some people are just not cryers. No matter how sad the movie is or how beautiful their bride is, tears don’t come to their eyes… and that is okay. BUT for those of you that are, indeed, “cryers”, being able to take that pressure of 200 sets of judgey eyeballs out of the equation always allows you to feel what you feel because you feel it – with no extra pressure to “cry pretty”.
3. It extends your wedding day by 2 hours
Your wedding day is going to FLY by. Yea, yea, I know everybody says this, and you can roll your eyes if you want to, but for real, those 8 hours are going to go by a lot quicker than you realize. When you have a first look, we push all of the getting ready part of the day a little earlier so that the day actually does last longer (more like 9 or 10 hours usually). You are able to get all the bridal party photos out of the way before the ceremony, so this also allows your besties to enjoy the entire hour of cocktail hour instead of sitting around waiting to take photos (in a sense extending the fun in their day as well). We’ve been planning and investing in this day for a whole year, why not squeeze as much precious time out of it as possible, right?
4. It is some of your only alone time
Your bridal party, your family, your closest friends, and maybe even some distant relatives and people you don’t get to see very often are ALL going to want to spend time with you on your wedding day. This is awesome, but again, a few hours is not a ton of time to chat and hang out with each and every person attending your wedding, so it is likely you will be busy and running around like a chicken with your head cut off the majority of your reception. Doing a first look gives you and your beloved a few precious moments of alone time (other than Casey and I lurking in the shadows taking photos, of course). The first look is a time to really soak it all in with your love and revel in the fact that this glorious day is finally here!
5. You get 40% more portraits
Let’s be frank – you’re spending a good chunk of money investing in your wedding photos (if you know what’s good for you), so getting even more quality bride and groom/bride and bride/groom and groom portraits by doing a first look is always worth it. This extra portrait time allows us to not feel so rushed if we only have 20 minutes scheduled for portraits of you two after the ceremony(which is typical). First looks also allows us to do your portraits in more than just one location since we aren’t so pressed for time. And variety, my friends, is definitely the spice of life – and wedding portraits.
So there you have it lovelies, my top 5 reasons that I LOVE doing a first look with my couples, and why Casey and I opted to do one on our own wedding day last year. I do still understand that some couples just want to stick to the tradition of not seeing each other until the ceremony, and I will 110% respect your decisions and still make sure your wedding day is perfect. But, in my opinion, doing a first look is always a great idea, especially if you don’t want to feel rushed or nervous on your wedding day. 🙂