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As a Wedding Photographer in Louisville, I’ve noticed a big trend this year. Several couples that I have booked are opting not to see each other before the wedding. This sounds like a really cool idea, it goes along with tradition, and it sounds kind of romantic, in a way. As exciting and romantic as this may sound, in my experience, it leads to a more hectic, rushed, and nerve-racking wedding day for the bride & groom as well as their families.
The alternative to not seeing each other until the wedding ceremony would naturally be to SEE EACH OTHER! You’ve probably seen images or heard stories of a wedding day “First Look.” This is when the Bride and Groom have a private moment to see each other for the first time in their wedding attire. I am such a fan of this moment… not just as a photographer but also as a former bride. I’d like to talk through some of the reasons why I love when a Bride and Groom decide to do a First Look!
As you might have guessed, a bride and groom are typically spending their wedding day, anxious, nervous, or overwhelmed. Getting married is a big deal, and getting married in front of hundreds of people makes it feel even bigger! Not to mention the dozens of other things that might be going on in your mind. “What if I trip on my dress?” “When do the flowers arrive?” “I hope people are having fun!” “Is this really happening!?” In those moments of anxiety and nervousness, who do you really want to see? Of course, you want to see your best friend, your future spouse. I know my husband, Alex, has a way of calming me more than anyone else in my life. He gives me a hug and reminds me that things are going to be just fine. I think I do the same for him. When he is worried or anxious, I am able to bring him some peace and comfort. On my own wedding day, and after capturing the First Look for several couples, I’ve seen frazzled brides walk away with a sense of calm. I’ve seen panicky grooms walk away with a sense of ease. Seeing each other before the wedding reminds you of what is most important. You can forget about tripping on your dress because in that moment it is only about You and your best friend committing to a lifetime of making each other better!
One of the strangest things about getting married, is that it is really hard to spend time together at your own wedding. I remember at the end of our wedding day, we got to our hotel room, plopped down on the couch exhausted, and said “tell me about your day.” We had not really spent quality time together, and despite our greatest efforts, we didn’t see much of each other at the reception either. We had an awesome day, but we didn’t get to spend much of it together. You can put that in the category of “Things that people forget to tell you about getting married.” You might not get many moments alone, but if you have a First Look this can be 30 minutes of uninterrupted time together. You can laugh, cry, hug, and kiss. You can tell your bride how beautiful she is. You can tell your groom how handsome he looks. These are all the things you wouldn’t be able to do without that First Look. After all, getting married is a celebration of you as a couple, it’s a good idea to be intentional about time together.
When I meet with a bride and groom to talk through their wedding, I always ask them, “If we don’t get any other photos of your wedding day, what are the absolute most important images that you want captured?” EVERY single couple has the same answer. The most important photos are the ones of just the Bride and Groom. This is great because as a wedding photographer, these are the moments that I love the most too! The problem with not seeing each other until the ceremony is that you are inevitably going to be rushed for time to get all of your photos in after the ceremony but before the reception.
Most couples want family photos, wedding party photos, and finally some photos of just the two of them….but they only allow 30 minutes for all of these photos because they don’t want to make their guests wait too long! This might sound okay on paper, but this never leaves enough time for the images that you said were the most important. It is really hard to capture natural, relaxed, and intimate photos of a Bride and Groom when they are rushed for time and worried about getting back to their guests. Have a First Look gives you more time on your wedding day. You can get almost all of your photos out of the way before the ceremony. In the end, you will have better photos, and more time to celebrate with your family and friends!
I know, I know…I’m a photographer, so of course, I want more time for photos! While that may be true, you don’t have to take my word for it. (Although I think the reasons above are enough to convince you that having First Look is an awesome way to plan your day). Check out what Britta and Brandon had to say about their decision to spend a special moment together before their ceremony.
As a Louisville Wedding Photographer, I’ve seen a lot of weddings. I’ve seen it done a dozen different ways, but after all the weddings I’ve experienced I am still a huge advocate for the First Look. It doesn’t just make my job easier, it makes your day better, and the end result is lovely images that tell the story of a natural, relaxed, and beautiful couple IN LOVE.