I'm gonna start this out by being real honest with you, I'm totally biased when it comes to first looks. I love them. I love the photos we take away from them. I love how they can help the day flow seamlessly from one event to the next. It's what Zak and I did on our day, so yeah, totally and utterly biased.
But, that's not to say that I don't love the more traditional timeline, too! I understand and respect couples 'I don't want him to see me until I'm walking down the isle' points of view. There is a beautifully vintage romance to the classic and traditional ways as well. One of the things I love most about being a wedding photographer is how different every day is. How unique all our couples are. I'm blown away by the fact that with each and every wedding I still find myself saying, "I've never seen that before! I love it!" And then I get to photograph it. :)
But I've been wanting to write about first looks for a while now. I hope to shed a little a light on what a first look is for those that might not know. I will of course give you a couple reasons why I think first looks are awesome. And best of all, I get to share some photos from a few of my favorite first looks I've had the honor of capturing in recent years. :)
A first look, you say?
A first look is the moment you take to see your soon-to-be for the first time, before the ceremony. First looks are very often followed by most or all of your wedding party and family photos, which is sometimes viewed as one of the biggest advantages of choosing to do a first look, because after your ceremony, you, your families, and your wedding party are all able to simply enjoy the beautiful day you so thoughtfully planned.
First looks are awesome
If I've learned anything from almost ten years of photographing weddings, I know pictures are not anyone's favorite part of the day. I get it. So why not get them out of the way early on in your timeline? Let's not rush, let's not stress, let's get to the good stuff.
From a photograph's stand point, a first look timeline has everyone fresh and camera ready! Hair is on point and make up is at it's pre-ceremony-tears peek! Not to mention, groomsmen are still on their best behavior and okay with being in their tuxes. ;)
Emily + Collin's first look at The Waters in Oshkosh turned out to be the only time we were able to actually get out by the waters because of wind and rain the rest of the day. A first look timeline seems to have a little more flexibility and wiggle room, so your day can include a couple more spots for photos if need be, which is a huge added bonus. Especially in Wisco! :)
If you're still wanting that element of surprise, there are so many sweet ways to do it.
Emily added a beautiful and dramatic veil right before walking down the isle! Love!
Brooke changed dresses! An absolutely stunning surprise! She began the day with an amazing antique dress she found, and then surprised everyone by changing looks right before walking down the isle. See, first looks are awesome.
Why the Romantic In me Loves First Looks
Here's what a first look looks like to Jamie the cheeseball, the story-teller.
A bride and groom taking just a couple minutes to simply be together before the ceremony. Together the couple minutes that are right before the next couple hours, that are right before the moment they start the rest of their lives together and walk down the isle. To tell each other how much they love each other, to give her a twirl and tell her how beautiful she looks today and every day, to be able to be the balance your other half might need, to make a toast to their love, promise their vows privately, quietly; these couple of minutes can offer what you might not even know you're missing.
Carly + Joe, their love for each other, and their first look all put the awwww in awesome. :) From amazingly thoughtful gifts that got the waterworks started early, to the perfect secret garden-feeling venue, their first look is still one of my favorites.
For me, I loved how when I turned the corner toward the willow tree in my parent's backyard that Zak was waiting under, I wasn't nervous or anxious about him seeing me for the first time because he already had, in those very special couple minutes, that were right before those next couple of hours, right before the moment I walked down the isle and started the rest of my life.
Happy Weekend, Friends! I'm gonna go get ready for our first wedding of the season tomorrow! Thanks for hanging out on the blog for a second today, I appreciate you!