Why you should have a first look
Many of my couples ask me whether or not they should have a first look. If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering the same thing. In my professional opinion, I think they are an excellent idea. I love first looks. I know that they are a bit ‘untraditional,’ but let me explain the benefits of a first look.
Your wedding day will be crazy busy. No getting around it. You have so much to do and so little time to do it in and it can all become overwhelming. If you have a first look, it helps to calm down the day a bit. Instead of trying to rush around to get everyone together and have pictures taken between the ceremony and reception while your guests are waiting, you’ll have that time to relax and enjoy your guests and not have to worry about being late to your reception.
We can do all of the main portraits before the ceremony even begins – at the very least, the couple and wedding party photos. This way, your hair and makeup are still perfect, as they were just finished. If your family is coming earlier, we can do their photos beforehand, as well, or we will only have to worry about those portraits after the ceremony and not the wedding party shots.
A first look also gives you a very special, intimate moment with your new spouse. If you are nervous or stressed out, this will especially help to relax you, and your spouse. During the ceremony, there are many of people around and you can’t fully take in the moment because you are the center of attention. With a first look, that moment is just between you and your spouse (and your photographers, of course). We will walk away after we capture the moment to give you some private time that you just will not have for the remainder of the day.
Even if you have a first look, your spouse will be just as happy to see you walking down the aisle and you’ll still take their breath away. Don’t worry that you’ll be spoiling the moment by seeing them prior to the ceremony.
If you decide that you want to forego the first look, that’s totally fine, too! Here are the minimum times you will need to schedule out for photos after the ceremony.
1. For family formals, you will need 30 to 45 minutes depending on your family size.
2. You will need a half hour for your portraits and 30 to 45 minutes for your wedding party pictures, depending on the number of people in your party.
3. If you are taking photos off location, you will have to gather everything together and transport it. It is a good idea to designate a friend or someone who is not going to be in photos to do this for you to save time.
4. Keep in mind that it is super hard to keep family, friends, and bridal party members together and all in one place after the ceremony, especially if it is a large party. For that reason, you need to plan some extra time in case someone goes missing.
These are the minimum times. If you have more people in your family and wedding party photos, you may want to add some more time. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions at all.