My stomach churned as I sat in the vault of St. Hugo’s Wedding Chapel. How could I possibly be SO excited to marry my best friend, but still have a stomach full of knots? My palms were clammy and the anxiety of walking down the aisle crept up on me. I NEVER thought I would be nervous about being the center of attention! Luckily I had my best friend Jackie there to make me laugh so I started to forget how nervous I was. But, dang! That aisle was LONG! I kept thinking I would catch a heel on the runner and end up straight on my back. Only I had both parents, one on each arm, to carry me through…Like they always have. It really was the best day, and now I have an amazing husband of my own. But…
If I could change one thing about my wedding (other than my brother-in-law’s horrific speech…lol), we would have chosen to do a first look. Now I was HELL BENT on not seeing Jon before walking down the aisle, but if I knew then what I know now, I would have taken the advice of my now educated, photographer self.
I was so nervous and emotional that day I actually think seeing Jon beforehand would have calmed me right down, allowing me to enjoy my walk down the aisle. All that anticipation almost killed me 😉
Many couples are now opting for a first look and now that you’ve heard my story as a bride, I’d love to share a list of reasons to do a “First Look” from a photographer’s perspective.
Why Do a First Look?
- It allows for more time and less rushing for portraits
- It is a quiet and intimate moment for you and your partner, unscripted
- Seeing the person you love WILL help calm any nerves
- It allows for some true raw emotion that can be beautifully captured
- Seeing each other before the ceremony allows you to get ALL formal and bridal party pictures done BEFORE you tie the knot so you can spend the rest of the day having fun with your loved ones
- If you are getting married after or during sunset, doing a first look will allow you to take advantage of natural light for your portraits (and this is my favorite source of light). For example, let’s say you’re getting married in January and Golden Hour (the time of the day the light is the prettiest…And makes for amazing photos) begins at 3:30pm. Having a ceremony at 3 PM will not leave adequate time to take all portraits before it gets dark out. This shouldn’t be a problem if your photographer is experienced in using off camera flash, but choosing this method of lighting will make for more dramatic, and less light-and-airy images such as many of the images seen on my website. So if you’re thinking of a certain look for your wedding images, it’s important to take the time of day they’ll be taken into consideration. Likewise, photos taken in bright, harsh, full sun will also produce harsh shadows in images so “Open Shade” or some cloud cover is your best bet.
To see some wedding images of a couple who elected to have a first look, click here.
If you’re not sure if a “First Look” is right for you and your love, drop me a line and we can talk it over!