What’s a “first look”?

A first look is a private reveal of the bride & groom to each other. It happens before the ceremony and can be personalized in so many ways. TIME is the BIGGEST reason I suggest first looks. We start all portraits (bride & girls, groom & guys, bride & groom, full bridal party, etc.) before the ceremony so that the only pictures that need to happen after the ceremony are family portraits and a few more romantic shots when you’re actually married.

Some ways to personalize:

1. Blind fold the groom, bride removes blind fold

2. Have your father (or who you have walking you down the aisle) escort you in your private viewing

3. Pray together

4. Hold hands around a corner of a building before being revealed to each other

Reason to do a first look:

1. TIME. Like I mentioned before, it eliminates so much pressure of time and cramming in the most important images of your day into 15 minutes between family portraits and the reception. With a first look, we EASE into the day!

1. Your makeup is fresh: you haven’t balled her eyes out yet (or if you have there’s time to fix it ;) ), and in most summer months it is HOT outside.

2. It’s a privately shared moment between you both- no one else is watching, you can freely express yourself because there is no pressure.

3. Nervousness – my husband and I chose to do a first look, because I couldn’t stand the thought of having to be separated during this time of stress from the one person who can truly calm and comfort me. The thought of waiting until our ceremony felt like punishment haha!

4. The guests aren’t waiting for hours for pictures to finish and the bride & groom can actually attend their own cocktail hour! Gasp – what a concept! Isn’t that why you invited them all in the first place?

I know that seeing the bride before the ceremony is against tradition – but so is having a wedding that doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out! The tradition comes from not letting the groom see the bride until the ceremony to keep him from deciding she wasn’t worth the price he was paying and backing out- I think things have changed a little ;)

Here are some thoughts from my past couple Johanna & Paris who did a first look:

“Paris was strongly against the idea of a first look. He is pretty laid back so I was surprised when he absolutely refused to change his mind. We fought about it for a few months – I was desperate. I was finally able to convince him!

Doing a first look was amazing. It was so special and intimate. I have been to weddings where the bride and groom take an hour and half after the ceremony for picture s and keep guest waiting. Its inconsiderate to guests and makes them especially grumpy if they’re hungry. At the same time, as a bride I would hate to rush through pictures. This was the perfect way to get some before and after. Also, I got sweaty after the ceremony so I like my first look picture s more (although I liked them all). I loved seeing Paris before the ceremony because we got to talk and be ourselves before the day got busy. I’m also not a huge fan of PDA so it was the perfect opportunity to have a few sweet moments alone. For a while there I was afraid Paris wouldn’t change his mind but I’m so so glad he did.

From Paris: ‘I liked that it helped us stay within our timeline before people started coming in and have a nice moment together. ‘ “

Below are some of my favorite images from their first look:

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