I feel as though it is indescribable, but for the sake of my brides, I will do my best.
These days many couples live together before they get married and many wedding traditions, such as “the groom can’t see the bride before the ceremony” have gone the way of the DoDo. Not to say that wedding traditions aren’t important – they are, to a certain degree – but times are a’changin’ and weddings are being reshaped and remolded, one couple at a time, into something far more incredible (in my humble opinion) than what they used to be.
When I got married, I didn’t see my guy before the wedding and, when I did see him, there were a ton of other people standing there, sharing in a moment that would have been so much more profoundly powerful had it just been the two of us. I honestly don’t even remember most of the ceremony, let alone the look in his eyes when he first saw me in my dress and veil. He doesn’t remember it either. How sad!
Throwing the usual tradition to the wind, many couples are opting to see each other before the ceremony. It’s called a First Look and it’s all the rage right now. Why? Well, for a lot of good reasons actually.
Envision for a second what it would feel like if you could do it all over again and, this time, the only people present are you, your future spouse and a photographer (at a discreet distance away to give you privacy but still capture the moment). You will have time. Time to savor that first look. Time to have a moment of peaceful togetherness (probably the only moment of the entire day) where no one will be demanding your attention or requiring something of you. A moment to just be with each other, to shed tears of joy, to get rid of your nervous energy, and to revel in the love that you share before all of the hoopla begins and the day becomes a whirlwind of activity. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
Most couples these days surf through many photographers’ websites before they find The One. Someone whose photos speak to them in a way they can’t explain, but they know that this is the person they want to photograph their big day. What many couples don’t realize is that the amazing photos they see on those websites are amazing because of time. It takes time for a photographer to scope out a venue and choose the best places to take pics. It takes time for a photographer to unleash the creative beast and to set the scene for those mind-blowing photos you see on websites. Without enough time, photos become rushed and generic and, well, boring. A First Look affords the couple and the photographer enough time to walk around the venue, snapping photos in different places, exploring and finding those “must have” backgrounds that often make or break a picture. Not only that, but a First Look allows time for the entire wedding party to be photographed before the wedding, which, in turn, gives more than enough time for family photographs after the wedding and, as a result, gives the Bride & Groom time to mingle with their guests before the reception. The First Look eliminates the “rush” that old school traditional wedding photographers have always had to contend with and it makes for much better photographs.
I absolutely LOVE it when my couples opt for the First Look, as do many of my fellow photographers and I always encourage it. There are just so many up sides to the First Look.
Here are some First Look photos.
I hope that, after reading this, you will seriously consider incorporating a First Look into your day. I promise you won’t regret it!
Of course, if you’re a stickler for tradition (which is not a bad thing at all) and you forgo a First Look for the old school way, just be aware that your pictures may not turn out the way you expect. A rushed photographer is just that- rushed – and fantastic, amazing, breath-taking photos seldom come out of rushed situations.
Goodnight my friends. I wish you enough.