As a Columbus Ohio wedding photographer, a first look is often a topic I will discuss with my couples. And now that you are planning your wedding day a first look is on your mind too. You’ve discussed it with your mom, your friends, your partner and now it is up to you to decide: Should you have a first look? Let’s chat!
Let’s start with the basics. What is a first look? A first look is a moment set up by the photographer when the bride and groom see each other for the first time on the wedding day while the photographer takes photos. This staged moment is usually done away from family and friends to highlight the intimacy.
After the first look there will often be portraits of the couple and then of the bridal parties. This helps move the day along and can make it possible for you to really enjoy your wedding and your guests when it’s time.
So now that you know what it is? What do you think? Should you have a first look?
There will be some that say having a first look breaks tradition. They will say it makes walking down the aisle less exciting because the anticipation is gone. Others may say that it’s bad luck. And of course there is a chance that your dress won’t be pristine for the ceremony. If you are open to ignoring these nay sayers then read on!
Reason #1 : It is calming.
Wedding days are stressful. There are so many vendors and people around that something going less than perfect is more likely than not. You are stressed by all the wedding day adventures and you desperately want to share it with your best friend. The catch is that you aren’t “supposed” to see this person.
And for those of you like me, you are anxious about walking down the aisle in front of your guests. Some guests you know, but others on the groom’s side may be complete strangers. You are worried about talking in front of the crowd and fear you won’t be able to relax while on display.
If you fall in to either of those situations above, seeing your partner for a first look will calm you for the rest of the day. You will hug and laugh and kiss and chat. You will be reminded of why you are doing this and know that being married to this person makes all the stress and anxiety worth it. You will feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day!
Reason #2 : You will still have that moment in the aisle.
If the emotions and love are really there and they are going to show up in the ceremony, they are going to show up….even if there was a first look. Yes it is about seeing you for the first time, but it is also the feeling of being surrounded by those that you love. Your friends and families are there supporting you and you can feel their love. You hear the music being played and you are being walked down the aisle by your father. This is a moment you have dreamed about and it will be amazing.
Reason #3 : You get to party!!
Ok! This is a big one. Now I know that many will plan out their timeline and think that they have given themselves enough time between the wedding and reception for all their photos. I can tell you from experience that that is almost always not true.
Photos get rushed, people get agitated, and the warm happy feelings you had at your ceremony begin to fade. Why? Because it has been a long day for you and your bridal party. You are so happy to be married and you are ready to get the party started with your beloved guests. Your wedding party is annoying you by complaining how long this is all taking and they want to get to the reception. Or maybe you are starving and can’t wait to get to dinner.
No matter what your reason, there always seems to be one to hurry up and finish the photos. As your photographer, I will yield to you, but I will also warn you that you may not get all the photos you want or that you had asked for by rushing through.
So what can you do? Have a first look. Go off with your partner and the photographer and get some killer photos. Love on each other and talk about how excited you are for your wedding day to be here. Then, grab your wedding party and knock those photos out!! Your wedding party is more likely to be agreeable because they haven’t had to stand for 30 minutes at the ceremony and they are freshly dressed. Their make-up and hair is perfect and the guys have yet to mess up their tuxes. Even better, they aren’t completely intoxicated and inappropriate.
You will get your must-have photos completed prior to the ceremony, leaving just the family formals at the church. Then you can take just a couple more photos in the church of you and your partner for maybe 15 minutes, tops. After that, you are off to join your guests! You’ll get to enjoy hors d’oeuvres too!
Reason #4 : More time for photos.
Ha! I see you there! You are thinking this one is all about me. And as much as I love being a Columbus wedding photographer and I love first looks, this isn’t about me. This is about you.
Your wedding day is a once in a life kind of day. When you look back on your special day, the pictures are going to be what you have to remember it. You’ll find things in the pictures that you’ve forgotten or things you didn’t even know happened. I want you to have these photos! And the best way to get these, is to have enough time set aside to take them.
Weddings are a time when distant family gets together. Inevitably, I am pulled to the side and asked to take a photo of everyone together because it has been so long since there has been a get-together. And then there are those that are aging and will soon be gone. I want you to have photos of the family and of your grandparents. I want you to have a photo of you dancing with your dad. These are the photos you will want to look back on. You will remember how it felt to be there. You will cherish these memories.
And because we took most of your posed or formal type photos before the ceremony, you will have time at the reception to make the memories. You will be present on your day. You’ll get to soak in the joy and excitement of the music by the dj, you’ll taste amazing food, and you’ll be blessed to be surrounded by your loved ones.
If you are looking for a Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer or a wedding photographer in the Ohio area, please contact me here: Wedding Contact Form. I would love to chat with you and help plan your special day!