One of the most anticipated moments on the wedding day is to see the groom’s first reaction to the bride. It’s always a must have request for pictures of the ceremony to “capture his reaction”. I couldn’t agree more! This is one of the best moments to see the groom’s face when his bride walks down the aisle. Would you believe me if I told you that including a first look on your wedding day only enhances this moment? Here are my Top 5 reasons you plan to include a first look on your wedding day.
1.The Big Reveal is Private
The first look gives the you the opportunity to experience one another’s first reactions privately and intimately. When your groom turns around and sees you in your beautiful wedding gown, you get to hear his initial response of how amazing you look and to see the emotion on his face up close.
2. More Time with Your Best Friend
The wedding day is a celebration of the marriage of you and your best friend. The wedding day can be so jam packed that you may not get to talk to each other until the first dance! However, after the first look you will have the chance to embrace and share excitement with one another before the busy festivities commence. Did you know, that this is the only time during the actual wedding that you’ll be alone?
3. Calms Your Nerves
It can be extremely nerve wrecking to anticipate your guests watching your every move once the ceremony begins. When you enjoy the first look together, those nerves can subside because you’re not worried about having the perfect reaction in front of all of your guests.
4. More Portrait Time
Once you have enjoyed the quiet moment together you can immediately step into bride and groom portraits. The first look is one of the top ways to extend your portrait time. When you take time for these pictures, you don’t have to rush and you’re already secluded from everyone else. They will be your favorite pictures from the entire wedding day! After the ceremony you will have time for more couple photos, family photos and have time to join your guests for the cocktail hour.
5. Enhances the Aisle Moment
Now that you’ve enjoyed the first look, it’s time for the wedding ceremony! When you walk down the aisle, you will still be flooded with emotions. You will still see all of your favorite people cheering you on as you walk toward your spouse. You get to enjoy all of these moments more because the nerves won’t get be in the way. The aisle moment is exciting because the reality of what is happening sets in. You get to marry your best friend!
My Wedding Experience
There are so many advantages of doing a first look! I just included 5 but I could go on. As a wedding photographer, I have enjoyed watching numerous first looks as the primary photographer and as a second shooter. After watching couples enjoy this sweet moment, I wish I would have had a first look with my husband. On my wedding day, I was SO nervous when I walked down the aisle. I felt myself getting red and holding back the nervous tears. I was really nervous thinking about what my guests would think of my reactions and I was trying to look at Jason and take in that moment at the same time. I would have enjoyed taking time before the ceremony to take a breather and let my first reaction be unbridled and genuine.
I don’t know about you, but one of my love languages is “words of affirmation”. I would have LOVED to hear Jason’s initial reaction in that moment. Instead of enjoying a private moment together, I was a nervous wreck in front of everyone.
Another reason a first look would’ve have helped make the day run smoother is for portrait time. I’m sure you’re shocked to hear I wanted a lot of pictures. We had some traditional photos at the church but I wanted to take those romantic and more naturally posed photos outside. Well, my cocktail hour didn’t go according to plan and our photo time creeped into dinner. Our guests were waiting around for us and I felt rushed. It wasn’t a good feeling!
I wish someone would have shared more with me about first looks. It would have been nice to consider the advantages for my own wedding day, rather than dismissing it simply for tradition’s sake. I hope this helps you to consider the benefits!
Summer wedding first look photos taken while second shooting with Heather Marie Photography.
These two enjoyed a few minutes to talk and then were ready for bride and groom portraits!
He had the biggest and best reaction out of any of my grooms! It was so cute to see him admiring her dress and full look.
There are two examples below of some of my favorite first look reactions. One is from a summer wedding and the other is a winter wedding. It goes to show you can do it rain, shine or cold! The first summer wedding example shows that their private moment was fun, I could see the nerves rolling off the bride as she held hands with her groom afterward as they took talked.
The first look for this winter weddings was so essential! Just minutes before these pictures it was actually raining and we were praying for it to subside. As you know the sun sets much earlier in the winter and we would have our lost the natural light if we waited for portraits after the ceremony.
Check out Zion and Gil’s full wedding day to see how they were able to fit in bridal party and couples portraits on a tight winter schedule.