We at Rachel Red Photography would love for you to consider a first look, but it may not be for the reason you think. It’s all about the photos…or is it? Before we get going here, I want to make sure you understand. I do not require first looks for my couples. It’s your wedding day and you should do what you want! As a wedding professional who has been involved in hundreds of weddings and have seen it all, I simply want to make sure you are educated and don’t have regrets in the end. Here are a few reasons we love a wedding day with a first look:
- Stress Relief – If you are prone to stressing out during big events, odds are you’ve already thought of ways to cut down on that on your wedding day. Champagne? Yes, of course. But there is nothing better than a hug from the person you want to spend your life with to calm your nerves. I heard it over and over again from grooms especially that they didn’t know how much they’d love the first look idea until after it was over because as soon as they saw their love, they felt calm and collected.
- Emotional Moment – The biggest reason I hear that people decide against first looks is because they really want that emotional moment of seeing each other during the aisle walk at the ceremony. I’m going to play devil’s advocate here, so I hope you’ll hear me out. If you don’t do the traditional “tap on the shoulder” and instead opt for a long walk toward each other instead, it’s the same moment…except private and you can say whatever you’d like. I’ve overheard many times after a ceremony is over “do you even like my dress?” which breaks my heart! The pressure of being around your guests and the officiant talking away can really discourage a couple from saying what they want to each other during a ceremony. Things like “you look beautiful”, “I’m so happy you chose me”, and “I’m the luckiest man alive”. All things I’ve overheard during a first look. This is a common misconception, and I wish more publications would talk about it!
- Cocktail Hour – One of the biggest requests we receive during our final phone call with clients is that they’d really like to enjoy cocktail hour with their guests. It’s a laid back time without a schedule where people can connect, enjoy a signature cocktail, and get excited for the reception together. The only problem is that joining the cocktail hour is an impossible scenario without a first look because all portraits (family, wedding party, and couple) must take place during that time.
- Flexibility – A wedding day is one day. It cannot be re-done. It must function like a well oiled machine. If anything happens (and things happen), the schedule will be thrown and if you don’t have an excellent planner there is a good chance things will be affected by the changes. A first look in the schedule can be a buffer just in case hair and makeup runs late, someone’s suit is missing a button, a family member gets lost on the way to the venue, etc.
- Schedule – Most couples spend less than 10 minutes with each other on their wedding day. If you do a first look, your buffer times in the schedule can be spent with your significant other, adding to that time significantly. For example, there’s usually a 30 minute window where you are hidden from guests before the ceremony begins.
- Photos – OK, OK you got me. Photos aren’t everything but they are important! After your wedding day you have a dirty dress and photos. That’s it! A first look can make it so much easier to capture everything we need to for a full portfolio. Couples who do a first look are almost always happier with their images. If you skip on the first look, we will only have enough time for 6 family portraits if you want to stick to the normal cocktail “hour”. Most often, it ends up as 90 minutes plus travel, meaning your guests will be waiting for you. If you have a summer wedding, your hair, makeup and flowers will be suffering by that time. If you have a winter wedding, you’ll need to plan your ceremony as early as 2:30pm to ensure everything gets done before the sun goes down. If you do not finish all of your images, you will most likely miss your wedding dinner to finish. I hate it when this happens and do everything in my power to make sure it does not…which is why I’m writing this blog post! It’s not for me and my crew. It truly is for you in an effort to give you the most amazing wedding day!
Still not convinced? Read what Martha Stewart Weddings has to say.