Should we have a first look?
The First Look
This very special moment that is unique only to your wedding day. However, when done wrong, the First Look can feel contrived. It also has a certain stigma attached to it as a result of the infamous “bride taps groom on the shoulder” stance.
Of course, there are many other ways to get the First Look shot right in an effortless, organic way creating a memory you will cherish for years to come.
So, should you do a First Look? Let’s explore.
In some cultures, the First Look is a foregone conclusion. At Jewish weddings, the Ketubah is signed by both bride and groom before the guests arrive. We take this time to get family portraits out of the way too, so a documented First Look is an obvious moment to capture as you are already there and in picture-taking mode.
In other religions, the First Look is completely optional. When marrying in a picturesque Christian church, the First Look will be dramatized as the bride makes her way down the aisle to her groom-to-be.
Religious constraints aside, as far as photography goes, what makes the most sense?
Because weddings follow a tight timeline, setting aside time for a First Look allows couples to do portraits and all the necessary family pictures beforehand. This is particularly advantageous if the wedding is during the fall and winter months, when cocktail hour is scheduled after the sun has set. Natural light is one of the biggest assets a photographer could have, so we try to take advantage of sunlight as much as possible.
If your wedding is during the summer, it makes more sense to do the couple’s portraits after the ceremony to maximize optimal evening light, otherwise known as the golden hour. This means I will have to whisk you away from your guests during cocktail hour. We will also have to make sure your family and wedding party knows that they will be needed during this time, too. For planning purposes in this instance, I urge you to extend cocktail hour by 15-30 minutes, so you can get back to your guests before dinner.
The decision is yours and we will work with your planning and event teams to ensure everything runs smoothly while getting the best possible shots for your wedding album.
Next up: How to do the First Look right.