Thinking of knocking tradition? Need some reasons to do a first look?
I’m all about turning old-timey wedding traditions upside down! With 10+ years experience in the wedding industry, trust me: you won’t get bad luck if you see each other before the ceremony.
Look no further.
1. Get the most amazing photos.
I’m listing this first because of all the reasons to do a first look, this is probably my favorite. Photos. Amazing, organic, emotional, story-filled photos.
If you see each other for the first time at the ceremony, of course you’re going to feel something…
…but with the officiant talking…a baby cooing in the audience…the best man letting out a cough…there’s really not going to be room for that feeling to breathe.
Your heart will be pumping, and I’ll be snapping away at those perfect smiles…
…but when you do a first look somewhere private, intimate—just you, me, and the love of your life—you capture something incredibly powerful and organic.
In that private space without all those leering eyes, you and your love are free to let your excitement and joy overflow in the most natural, organic way possible, making for some incredibly memorable photographs (and moments!)
2. Calm down, connect, and get relaxed.
The second of my top reasons to do a first look—
—seeing each other before the ceremony gives you both a chance to let go, connect, and relax before you exchange those lifelong vows.
Let’s face it. Getting married is an exciting, happy time, but it can also do a number on the nerves. And when you’re at your most nervous, why stay away from the one person who knows how to calm you down more than anyone else?
Rather than forgoing connection for the sake of tradition, use this time to lean on each other—being able to do that is what marriages are made of after all, right?
3. You’ll get a SECOND first look at the ceremony!
So many couples tell me they want their first look to be at the ceremony. That’s great! And I will never, ever try to convince a couple to go the other direction if this is something that’s really important to them. (All that matters to me is that you get absolutely everything you need to make your wedding day perfect.)
But if you’re looking for some convincing, know this:
The pre-ceremony first look is something else entirely.
After that, you go your separate ways. And then…
…then there’s that glorious moment then the doors swing open and you see him standing up there, waiting for you, with an entirely different look on his face—one that says: “Here it is! This is it! There you are!”
Seeing each other prior to the ceremony has never detracted from that. If anything, it makes it more intimate because you’ve had the opportunity to connect and talk about how you’re feeling. You’ll be walking towards someone who you know better, in that moment, than you did just minutes ago.
It’s a beautiful thing!
4. Get bridal party photos out of the way.
So, this is a great one.
Doing a first look is one of the top ways brides and grooms (and wedding coordinators!) are helping each other stay organized on the day of.
Not much explanation goes into this. All you have to do is get ready a little earlier in the day.
Then, set aside about 2 hours before the ceremony just to hang out and take pictures with friends, family, and your bridal party! Get them all out of the way, so you don’t have to think about anything else except getting married and having an amazing day!
5. Head straight to the reception after the ceremony.
If timeliness is important to you, then here’s likely to be one of your favorite reasons to do a first look:
Traditionally, when couples don’t do a first look, all the portraits are taken immediately following the ceremony.
That means that while your wedding guests head to the reception venue, you and your bridal party and your family are stuck behind for an hour, sometimes 2 hours, taking pictures while everyone else hangs out at another location eating cookies.
A lot of couples combat this by providing a cocktail hour after the ceremony…
…but do you really think one single hour is enough time to get all the photos you want?! (I mean, we can make that happen…but the rushing! The travel time!)
Doing a first look means you can get your portraits, the bridal party portraits, and the family portraits all out of the way so that after the ceremony you can do what you REALLY want to do and head straight to the reception for some cake (and maybe a drink or three!)
So, what are your thoughts on the first look? Stick to tradition or try something new? Let me know in the comments!
In search of award-winning Pittsburgh wedding photography? Contact Palermo Photography now!