You’ve just put on your wedding dress and it’s almost time to walk down the aisle… and join your soon-to-be HUSBAND hand in hand! You can’t wait to show him your beautiful gown and see him all suited up for the most important day of your lives. When you get to the start of the aisle, you can’t help but almost wish that you two could be alone so you could just get a closer look, tell him you love him, and maybe share a few kisses to calm his nerves before you say your I Do’s.
Traditionally, this is how wedding days work. Brides and grooms generally show up to the ceremony site separately, and they don’t see each other until the bride is on her way down the aisle. Well, there’s a new trend called a “first look” that lets you and your fiancé have a much more private and intimate moment with each other before the ceremony and reception fun begins, and I think it’s the best idea ever…! :)
Many venues now offer a spot for both the bride and groom (and their parties) to get ready on-site. This means that you’ll both most likely have a few minutes of downtime between putting the finishing touches on your look and heading to the altar. Why not spend those moments together?
You may be swaying from “tradition,” but what you get out of a first look can be totally and completely worth it!! For one, it’s an intimate moment that you two will cherish forever… some couples even say that the favorite part of their wedding day was the first look! I’ll also be just around the corner and able to capture the look on both of your faces when you see each other up close and personal for the first time as bride and groom. Walking down the aisle is going to be a powerful moment in itself… but your groom can’t tell you how beautiful you look and you can’t gush about how CRAZY it is that you’re about to get MARRIED!! A First Look lets you two have this moment together that most likely wouldn’t otherwise happen after 30-45 minutes of staring into each other’s eyes during ceremony vows. After your First Look we can then sneak away for a few minutes to take a few bride and groom portraits right when you’ve both just finished getting ready and look your absolute best!
Here’s an example of what a wedding day timeline might look like with a First Look:
12:30 I arrive at venue site, get my bearings,and check in with you!
1:00 Detail shots (invitations, programs, jewelry, dress, etc.), bride & bridal party start getting ready!
1:45 The bride puts on her dress and we take a few fun bridal party shots :)
2:30 You have your private First look together and we take some Bride & Groom portraits!
3:15 All bridal party portraits
3:30 Bride touches up makeup, groomsmen welcome guests
4:45 Family formal portraits
5:15 We catch a few more portraits for the newlyweds!
5:30/6:00 Reception fun begins and the bride and groom can be introduced :)
The KEY to making your wedding day timeline is to cushion!! You don’t want to be rushed at ANY point of the day, and having an extra 5-10 minutes to sit and relax is much more appealing than running 15 minutes behind and having to rush!!! When we do a First Look before the ceremony, we’re able to knock out some Bride & Groom portraits which saves us time later after the ceremony when your guests are ready for dinner!
If you opt to not do a First Look, that is completely okay too. This is YOUR day! We can make it work! Bride & Groom portraits would then solely happen after the ceremony. Keep in mind that this is also when we will be doing family and wedding party portraits as well (unless we set time aside to take Bridal Party and Groomsmen portraits before the ceremony). Your B&G portraits are probably going to be some of your favorite images from the entire day, so building in some time for them (I recommend a good 45 minutes TOTAL) is super important!! :)
At the end of the day… this decision is up to you and your fiancé. I’d be happy to help you schedule adequate portrait time into your wedding day with or without a First Look. Regardless of what your timeline looks like, I’m so excited to capture the most exciting day of your new life together and your first moments as newlyweds. But here are a few of my all time FAVORITE First Look moments I have captured!!!