What is a "First Look?"
“What’s a first look?”
This is a question I get asked pretty frequently so let me give you the low-down of this Photography lingo.
A first look is the moment a couple sees each other for the first time on their wedding day. While some couples opt for that first look to be traditional when the bride comes down the aisle, others would rather it be in a (private) moment before the ceremony.
First Looks are common in instances with a tight timeline between the ceremony and reception so the couple can have all of their portraits done in advance and not have to worry about organized photos after the ceremony. Other couples choose a first look because they don’t want hundreds of eyes on them when they first see each other and want to be able to express openly how they feel. (I personally chose one because I had an evening ceremony and didn’t want to spend my whole wedding day without my groom). No matter the reason, a first look gives you the opportunity to have that special moment with your spouse-to be.
“Is it set up? I don’t want it to be fake.”
Unless you tried on your wedding attire together before the wedding, there will always be that first moment where you first see your bride/groom all dressed up. No matter where you first see each other, the emotions are what they are and nothing is faked! For a planned first look, I have the bride or groom go to a spot with good light + privacy and to face away from the direction their partner is coming. I tell their partner that it’s completely up to them what they do (they can go up and tap them, they can ask them to turn around, they can grab their butt - it’s their call!). I stay back the entire time and photograph from a distance to give them as much intimate space as possible to take it all in together.
“Does it take away from the special feeling of my bride coming down the aisle?”
I can’t answer for you, but I’ve never had a client say it has ruined any part of that moment for them. In fact, I have so many more clients say they’re so happy they chose one than didn’t.
Whether a first look is optimal for your wedding is ultimately up to the two of you! There is no right or wrong way because either way YOU’RE GETTIN’ MARRIED!