When planning your big day, sometimes this question will come up between you and me: "Should we do our photos before the wedding?"
Great question, and one that I briefly answered in my last blog post about wedding FAQ, but I have so much more to say that I wrote a longer answer here!
I personally experienced what I call a ‘First Look’ at my own wedding and I HIGHLY recommend it. It isn't for everyone, but it’s very effective in the right scenario. Whenever I photograph a bride and groom before a ceremony, I always ask them later what they thought. Everyone has been so happy that they did it.
How I Help Wedding Couples Decide
To help the wedding couple decide if First Looks are right for them, together we go through a general timeline for the day to see what will be the best scenario. I factor in the time of year. What time does the sun go down, and will we have enough time to capture those moments after the ceremony? Winter weddings have limited daylight. Are you okay with your guests waiting between ceremony and reception? Is there one venue for the day or two? What is your personality?
There is a lot that goes into the decision. I have so many beautiful stories to tell that involve the “first look.” Generally I meet the groom and his men at the agreed location. We have a chance to chat, joke, and discuss the day ahead—oh, and take some pictures.
The bride and her girls arrive a little bit after that. We have already figured out the most magical way to have the first look. Once they see each other, they have a chance to cry, to whisper sweet nothings in each other’s ears, and to kiss. The moment is theirs and theirs alone. If the wedding party is with them, we take pictures.
The Results Have Always Been Beautiful!
I always ask my clients after the wedding what it was like to walk down the aisle considering that they had already seen each other. They all basically say the same thing. The ceremony was not diminished by having seen each other beforehand. They were slightly more relaxed and had a chance to soak in what was being said during the ceremony. It was still a sweet, sweet experience for them.
We usually do a few family pictures afterwards and then head straight into a fabulous reception. The guests are happy, the bride and groom are happy, and as a photographer I couldn't be happier. It is an amazing day!
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