A First Look- Should we do it?
So what is a first look??- Well, it's simple really. The first look is when a couple schedules a moment before the ceremony to see each other for the first time on their wedding day. What are the pros to having a first look??- One of the biggest things I say to consider when discussing whether a first look is right for you is- are you or your partner anxious over getting emotional in front of all of your guests? Often times I hear from one or both partners(but especially my grooms) that they feel this overwhelming pressure to cry(or sometimes-to not uncontrollably bawl their eyes out) in front of all their friends & family. On your wedding day your emotions are all over the place & sometimes unpredictable, & that's okay! Taking the performative pressure off of you for a few minutes of the day really helps you relax & enjoy the rest of the moments that follow. It gives you time to-well, cry, but also really soak in the moment & take a breather together before you take one of the biggest steps of your life. -Oh, & it makes for some super cute photos!
Do you always photograph the first look??- 90% of the time I take a very journalistic approach to photographing wedding days. This means a majority of what I am capturing is your authentic 'in-the-moment' reactions & emotions. I photograph as much or as little as you want me to. This means if you want me to capture that emotional moment- in it's full teary eyed, snotty nosed, glory- I will be there!! If you choose to have that moment solely be between you & your fiancé, then I will stand guard & shoo away any nosey Nancys & onlookers! This is YOUR day, YOUR way. Is the first look something I only do with my fiancé??- Absolutely not!! You can do a first look with your mom, your dad, your wedding party, or anyone you want to! I have many couples who opt to do a 'traditional look' between the two getting married- but choose to do a first look with friends & family instead.
What is a 'Traditional Look' ??- A traditional look is when the couple decides NOT to see one another before the ceremony & instead chooses to have a 'big reveal' moment at the ceremony. Example: one partner is facing away from your guests while the other starts their decent down the aisle, then turns to have their reaction witnessed by all of your friends & family. This also makes for really adorable teary-eyed photos!
Okay, so what if I want this moment with my fiancé before our ceremony but I also like the idea of a traditional look??- There is an option for this too!- You can do what's called a 'first touch'. This is where you & your partner will stand on either side of a door, a wall, or a corner, & without looking you reach your hand out to touch one another. This gives you that moment to chat while getting the jitters out, but also still building that anticipation of seeing each other at the ceremony. The giggles & excitement here is always one of my favorite parts of the day!
Okay, so what do we even do during this time??- I describe this moment like the short period of time you are sitting at the top of a rollercoaster waiting for those breaks to release, You take a deep breath, maybe say a few last words, look over at the love of your life & say "you ready for this?" in which they respond with a "hell yes, I am!" & if you are an adrenaline junkie like I am, this sounds freaking amazing! That really is the best way to describe it because honestly, after that moment the day just takes off & you are the center of everyone's attention after that. So scheduling small moments throughout your day to be alone together will really help you dedicate some time for one another. Oh & for the more introverted couples- this is a great time for you to read personal vows. Many people do not like being on the spot even on their wedding day, so the idea of reading these very intimate & personal feelings in front of everyone is anxiety inducing to say the least. Take this moment to tell your partner all your feelings & promises of the future without that pressure of public speaking.
Alright, we can definitely tell you are an advocate of doing a first look!!- While yes, I LOVE an emotional first look, I would more consider myself a huge advocate of - "It's your day to do whatever the hell you want!" As your Oklahoma Wedding & Elopement Photographer- I will be there to help you decide, plan, and execute these moments in your day-of timeline while capturing every little detail of emotion- or not.
...more things to consider when thinking about doing a first look: Time of year- This is HUGE. If you are getting married in the fall when the sun sets earlier in the evening & you plan a sunset ceremony- you will NOT have enough time/ daylight for all of the photos that will need to follow the ceremony. example: family portraits(15-30 mins), wedding party portraits(10-15 mins), couples portraits(30-40 mins). Timeline- With a first look we can push the wedding party photos to pre ceremony & save the family & couples portraits for post ceremony. This will not only break up those portraits so you aren't straining your cheeks from smiling for 2 hours straight- it also gets you to your reception faster!! With that being said you want to do your first look 1.5 hours before your ceremony. 15 minutes for the first look & 15 minutes for the wedding party photos. This will give you enough time to tuck away before your guests arrive(because they WILL TRY TO TALK TO YOU) and to freshen up on makeup, deodorant, tequila shots, etc.