This post is one that is definitely a controversial topic among photographers. Almost everyone in the industry is pushing for a First Look it seems, but I guess I am the exception to that rule. First of all, some of you might not know what a First Look is… it’s a time on the wedding day where the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony in order to allow for more pictures to be done before the ceremony. For example, if the bride and groom see each other before they walk down the aisle, then it allows us to shoot all of the wedding party and a good majority of the bride and groom portraits beforehand! After the ceremony we then only need 45 minutes to shoot family formals and a couple more photos of the bride and groom with “glowy light.” Now all of that sounds great for a photographer but to be honest with you as the bride, I wasn’t convinced.
On my wedding day, of course I cared about the photographs, but what was super important to me was walking down the aisle and having everyone else get to experience the look on Morgan’s face the first time he saw me. I felt selfish taking that away from our friends and family. Also, if I’m being honest, the last wedding we went to before we got married, the bride and groom did a first look and saw each other all day long, and when the bride walked down the aisle, the groom didn’t even look excited. I didn’t want pictures of that!! I wanted the picture that I got instead of Morgan looking at me for the first time in front of all of our family and friends!
Now I recognize that that’s not always the case! There are plenty of times where the groom is still so ecstatic to see his bride coming to him down the aisle! I’ve seen tons of beautiful pictures from First Looks before, but as a bride, I didn’t want to risk it.
So how did I solve the problem of time then? I wanted tons of photographs but didn’t want to participate in the very thing that would guarantee that we got them. Well our solution was simply to allow time for two separate portrait times. Morgan and I took photos with our family and our wedding party and had our portrait time directly after the ceremony in our 45 minutes.
Then we went to the ceremony, got announced, ate some delicious food, and headed back out with Katelyn for some more portraits. This was AWESOME because we had some beautiful glowy-light pictures as well as all of our other gorgeous ones.
So if you’re worried about doing a first look, my suggestion: just don’t do one. The only time it would be a problem is if there wasn’t enough light after the ceremony to take any pictures because then you wouldn’t be able to make that happen. So for any of you planning an 8 o’clock PM ceremony… a first look is pretty much mandatory for you. Besides that though, the day is yours! Do what you want!