I have been MIA for a while now but things are starting to calm down so you will see me on here more often. Chad and I were married on June 2nd so I am now officially Mrs. Chad Elkins. :)
This blog post has been in the making for a very long time. I never really knew how to approach it and I certainly didn’t want to overwhelm my clients. I wanted to be able to explain things clearly because it deals with such an important moment on a wedding day! The moment I am talking about is when your groom sees you for the first time. Such a priceless moment! May I introduce a nontraditional approach…a First Look. Before I got engaged and before I became a photographer I had no idea what a first look was. Let me explain…
A First Look…
a chance for the bride and groom to see each other after getting ready but BEFORE the ceremony
I must admit when I first heard the idea of a first look I thought it was neat but I never thought I would do it at my own wedding. I come from a pretty traditional family. I wanted that moment to be saved for when I walked down the aisle. Simply because I wanted a reaction from him. I wanted him to be surprised. What girl doesn’t want that? Don’t we all dream of that on our wedding day?
Chad and I finally decided to do a first look. Why? As the wedding got closer we realized what it would be like without one. We realized it was going to be a very stressful day for the both of us and the last thing we wanted was to be anxiously waiting to go to the ceremony and to find 75 people looking straight at us. We wanted a more private, intimate moment. Our first look was absolutely amazing! It allowed us to calm our nerves before standing in front of everyone and to share a special moment together. Walking down the aisle towards him was also very special! It didn’t take anything away from it at all! There’s just something about walking down the aisle to the man you are going to marry that you will never forget…no matter what. Thanks to the first look we were able to ENJOY our day.
There are many benefits to having a first look:
1. You are investing a lot into your wedding photography. A first look allows you to have more portraits of the two of you.
2. You get intimate, alone time on your wedding day. You get a special moment to speak to one another, he can tell you how amazing you look, hug you, and kiss you. Without a first look, you would have to wait until the ceremony is over to do those things. Our first look was the ONLY time we had together alone on our day. It put us in the perfect mood for the rest of our photos.
3. You will be able to extend the wedding day. Instead of being rushed around for your bridal party photos you can enjoy them and have fun hanging out with your best friends. I was able to get some beautiful bridal photos and photos of my family and bestfriends before the ceremony! I am so glad we had the extra time!
4. You can get rid of those nerves! Let me tell you, wedding days can be so stressful! You don’t realize exactly how stressful until that day comes. It really allowed me to relax! I’m so thankful for this time we had together! If we had decided not to do it..I would have been hanging by a thread.
5. Your guests will not have to wait FOREVER for you to arrive to your reception! This was really important to us! We didn’t want to miss our reception! Afterall, we paid for it to be special and for people to enjoy it. We wanted to enjoy it too! When a bride and groom wait to do all of their photos after the ceremony (that includes family portraits, bridal party, bride and groom portraits, plus traveling to the reception if it’s at a different location) that usually takes up quite some time. On average an hour and sometimes even longer than that. It often leads to portraits that are rushed which can cause even more stress, not to mention make you even later for the reception. So we never had to have our guests wait for a long period of time and we never felt rushed. Plus, we got to boogy down, enjoy our reception and even got to go to each table to speak to everyone who came!
6. A First Look makes the wedding day timeline go so much smoother! It provides enough time for portraits and allows the bride and groom to celebrate!
7. If you are planning a late fall, winter, or early spring wedding you run the risk of running out of light for portraits after your ceremony if you have decided to have an evening ceremony. A First Look solves this problem!
Just so you would have an idea of what a timeline might look like with a First Look: (This timeline is also customizable!! Being that we can also do the family formals beforehand allowing even more time for not only bride and groom portraits but also showing up to your reception earlier!)
Timeline with a FIRST LOOK
11:30- Photographer arrives
12:00-Photographer begins with the details and bride getting ready
1:00- All dressed up! Time for some fun bridal photos!
1:45-First Look and then B&G portraits
2:45-Bridal party portraits
3:30-Early guests are ushered in and bride is tucked away from early arriving guests! Time to touch up makeup if needed!
5:15-A few more portraits of the bride and groom!
5:30-6:00- Time to relax and celebrate! The Bride and groom are introduced and they make their grand entrance!
Timeline without the First Look:
2:00-Photographer begins with details and getting ready photos
3:00-All dressed up!
3:15-Bride with her bridesmaids for a few quick portraits
3:30-Groomsmen usher in the early arriving guests and the bride is tucked away from early arriving guests
5:15-Bridal Party Portraits
5:45-Portraits of the bride and groom..as many as we can
6:15-Getting ready for grand entrance/introductions
Straight from MY Groom(AKA the best husband ever) :
“We wanted to enjoy our wedding and didn’t want there to be the stress of having to see each other the first time in front of 75 people. We wanted to share the moment together and it was awesome! It allows for the moment when you first see each other to be more intimate because it’s just you and her and there’s no rush. I was glad to be able to enjoy how beautiful she was in her dress while not standing up in front of everyone shaking :) One of the greatest things is it doesn’t take away from the ceremony! When I first saw her I wasn’t overwhelmed with nerves, instead I was overwhelmed with joy.”-Chad Elkins
Our First Look Photos (THANKS to our WONDERFUL photographers Renee and Jonathan from Capturing Cloud Nine Photography):
I seriously could talk forever about how amazing a First Look is! I am so thankful we decided to do it! It really is PRICELESS! I was so much more calm and I loved being able to be “in the moment.” To the brides who are just unsure. Trust me! I understand that you want that moment where he is in awe of you when you walk down the aisle. He is going to be in awe of you no matter what! Nothing is lost when you see each other before the ceremony! True it isn’t the traditional way…but you can create your own tradition this way! First looks are FABULOUS!
As a photographer, the best part of a couple seeing each other before is that it lends to a much smoother plan for family photos and beautiful sunset photos. I prefer the bride and groom to see each other before but honestly I would be happy either way. I want my clients to have a perfect, happy day! So rule number ONE: be happy! :) That’s all I want for my clients and I want you to chose the perfect thing for YOU and YOUR future husband. It’s YOUR wedding day and it will be special either way. I would never make someone do something or pressure my couples. I just really wanted to share all of the wonderful reasons why we loved it!
Here are just a FEW of our bride and groom portraits from our wedding day :) Enjoy!
Have an amazing day!! :)