I absolutely love First Looks! So much so that I’ve even written about them before for the Urban Wedding Company, but what on Earth are they?!
Simply put, it’s the first time the couple sees each other in their gorgeous wedding attire looking absolutely stunning. Normally this happens at the ceremony, but what if you were to switch things up and do it privately, just the two of you (and your photographer) before the ceremony?
Yep, I heard you gasp, BEFORE the ceremony?!?!? That’s right.
First Looks aren’t a new thing, they’ve been popular in America for a long time, but in England, they seem to be taking a while to catch on.
Here are a few reasons I think it’s worth thinking about having a First Look:
Let’s start with a practical reason. If your ceremony isn’t until later in the day, it might already be dark by the point you actually have time for your couple’s photos, or you might have to rush them between the meal, the cake cutting, the dancing, and celebrating your wedding day. Doing them earlier means you can free up more of your day leaving more time to celebrate, whilst sneakily creating a quiet moment for just the two of you.
Take It All In
You’ve spent a long time adding all those beautiful unique details to your wedding attire, this gives you a chance to take it all in. You can truly appreciate how beautiful you each look, absorb all the little touches right down to the jewellery and crazy socks.
Calm The Nerves
If you’re nervous, a hug from someone you love can put the world to right. I once shot a First Look where the couple were both really nervous, but instantly felt better and relaxed after seeing each. We even set it up so that after the photos, I was shooed away so they could have a private cup of tea and a biscuit, just the two of them, before the ceremony.
Of course you’ll still get those beautiful photos of your faces as you walk toward each other during the ceremony, but a First Look gives you so many more chances to get even more photos. You can even switch things up and do all your couple’s photos before the ceremony, giving you even more free time to celebrate later.
The Other Side Of The Coin
Now I could leave it with just the positives and amazing arguments for a First Look, however, you all know I’m far too honest, so here are some of the realities and considerations:
Technically It’s Not Just The Two Of You
I’m only 5ft4, but that’s still tall enough to be noticed, especially when I’m holding my camera. Yes, we all love to talk about the privacy and intimacy of a First Look, but your Photographer and Videographer will still be there. We promise to be discrete, to give you this moment, but the truth is we’re still there.
Certain times of day do not produce the most flattering light for photos. For example, go outside and take a selfie at noon and then take another one at sunset, spot the difference? Lighting is something photographers study for a long time, we know how to make it work, but the truth is that some light is harsh, so sometimes it worth waiting until later to get that beautiful light.
Playing It Cool
I blame Hollywood for this, but there is a huge expectation about partners having a BIG reaction to seeing each other. The truth is that some people always look calm and collected on the outside, whilst on the inside they are overflowing with emotion. If your partner is like this, set your expectations, don’t assume a First Look will get you that BIG Hollywood reaction.
Location Location Location
Think about the practicalities. If you’re both getting ready in separate locations, have to travel to the ceremony at different times, then have to travel to the reception, sometimes it’s just not practical to have all that traveling in one day.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, I friggin’ love them! It might be because I’m impatient and the idea of having to WAIT to see my partner just isn’t me. But I love the romance of them, I love how it’s a quiet moment on a very busy day, I love seeing couples take it all in, for the nerves to melt away and for them to just be.
But What Do They Look Like???? Are They Any Good????
Yes, we’ve got to the bit you’ve been waiting for you, a real-life example.
Lea told me that initially she had been worried that having a First Look might take away from the ceremony and seeing each other on the aisle. However, she told me how it took the pressure off, how she felt they were a team, and it was nice having a little secret from the guests as Lea and Mazz knew what each other looked like, but guests didn’t!
We opted to have their First Look at the AirBnb where everyone was getting ready. You can even see a few cheeky bridesmaids looking through the window.
It was such a beautiful moment, they had time to take everything in and see how incredible they looked (seriously, they both look epic!).
So, would you consider a First Look?