If you’re currently in the thick of the wedding planning process, you’ve probably been debating whether or not to do a first look. While tradition says it’s bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony, modern times have debunked that common wedding myth. Whether you’re seeking a private moment together before the ceremony or extra room in your timeline to spend with your guests, here are 5 reasons why you should consider a first look from a photographer’s perspective.

1. A first look helps to calm the nerves before the ceremony

If you’re like most people, your significant other is your safe space and source of comfort. You spend every day with this person and have built a life you love. If you’re someone that’s prone to anxious thoughts/feelings, not being able to see or interact with your partner on the biggest day of your life can be intimidating. A first look gives you the opportunity to shake off the nerves, and soak in the reality of what this day means with the love of your life. Some couples even choose to get ready together, which I think is absolutely adorable!

2. It gives you and your partner a private/peaceful moment together

It’s no secret that weddings are busy. Nearly every minute is planned and scheduled from the time you get up to the grand exit. Without a first look, half of your day is spent apart on different sides of the venue or in some cases, completely different locations! By foregoing tradition, you’re gaining precious time with your partner where you can choose to read your personal vows in private, exchange gifts or have a drink together, etc. However you choose to spend this time is completely up to you!

3. A first look allows you to take photos before the ceremony

One of the biggest perks to a first look is the ability to knock out your bridal party and bride and groom portraits BEFORE the ceremony. This is especially great for fall/winter weddings when the sun goes down earlier in the evening. You can also build in time for an additional location for more variety and freedom in your photos! Check out this blog on how to choose the best ceremony start time.

4. It gives you the opportunity to spend more time with your guests

For many couples, your wedding is the one time in your life when everyone you care about is all in one place. Friends and family travel miles to celebrate the two of you! By opting for a first look and taking photos beforehand, you’re able to attend your own cocktail hour and spend that valuable time mingling and catching up with your guests.

5. Your hair and makeup will be fresh and untouched

The photos we take on your wedding day will be posted, printed, and displayed for years to come. It’s important that you look and feel your best! A first look allows us to take photos before all of the festivities begin when your hair and makeup are at their peak freshness. While you obviously can retouch your hair/makeup throughout the day, it’ll never look quite dewy and snatched as when you first left the bridal suite.

Still unsure about a first look? Try a “first touch,” instead!

If you’re still unsure about whether a first look is right for you and/or you’ve always dreamed of seeing each other for the first time at the altar, another option is a “first touch.” Essentially, you will be close enough to hold hands with your partner without actually seeing them. Similar to a first look, you can read vows/private letters, hear each other’s voices and calm those pre-ceremony jitters without compromising tradition.

Whether you decide to do a first look, a first touch, or wait until the ceremony there is no right or wrong way. This is YOUR DAY! A first look provides a few more benefits in regard to photography and timeline flexibility, but ultimately you should do what feels right.

Ready to plan your perfect day?

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