August 11, 2015

Tips & Tricks Part 2: First Looks

What exactly is a first look you ask? A first look is when the bride & groom see each other before the ceremony. I absolutely love first looks because of the flexibility that it gives me as a photographer in terms of day of timeline and getting more photo time with my couples. By incorporating a first look into your wedding day, you’re not cramming ALL of your photos into that cocktail hour. Not only does it make for a more relaxing day (not rushing around trying to get all the photos in) some of the first look reaction photos are my all time favorites! There is no beating that reaction when he sees you for the first time.

Read below to get some tips on why I think first looks are absolutely worth it.

Jessica Q Photography

If we’re being honest, the most important photographs of your wedding are the ones of you as a couple. Sure family and friends portraits are important too but these are the ones that you will look back at fondly. And while money isn’t everything, you are investing a lot into your wedding photography. I usually spend about an hour with my couples during their first look and another 15-30 minutes for sunset photos. If you don’t have a first look, we are confined to that cocktail hour and the time we spend getting to your bride and groom portraits is cut significantly! Your portraits are the images you will decorate your first home with and share with your kids when they get older! With a first look, you make the most out of this investment and get the most for your money.

You actually get intimate time on your wedding day! Most brides don’t realize that on your wedding day you don’t really get to spend any time alone with just the two of you! Wedding days are so fast paced and chaotic that you won’t have time to just BE. During our first looks, I stand back and give my couples a few minutes to just chat with each other, give some hugs and kisses and just to be alone together for a moment.

First looks allow you to extend your wedding day. Normally the wedding day would start when you come down the aisle, then the ceremony would end and you would rush through portraits so that you’re not late for the introductions and then it’s reception time. With a first look, your wedding day is extended by almost 2 hours! Instead of being rushed for your bridal party portraits, you actually get to enjoy them and have fun hanging out with your best friends! The whole first half of my client’s wedding albums are filled with just images from this time together before the ceremony.

Jessica Q Photography

You get rid of the nerves! I’d say that most of my couples who have done a first look, the grooms were not fans of it at first. However, because they have never experienced their wedding day before, they didn’t know how nerve racking it could be. ALL of my couples who have done a first look never regret it! And I mean just look at the pictures it can yield! Originally the traditions of not seeing each other before the ceremony (and wearing a veil) was due to arranged marriages. Grooms would usually never have met his bride until the ceremony for fear of them running off. Sure it’s tradition to first see each other as you walk down the aisle, but ask yourself is it YOUR tradition? How important is it to the two of you? Because in the end that’s all that matters.

My clients are not required to do a first look by any means! I just want you to be fully informed and be able to make the decisions that are the best for you.

ladies, if you have never seen your man cry or get emotional, you can’t expect him to be overly emotional on your wedding day. Some guys just embrace their brides and never cry and that OKAY! Some guys show very little emotion when the bride is coming down the aisle and that’s okay too. Just enjoy this amazing day and try not to put any expectations on him.

Jessica Q Photography

If you like this post, you might also like:

Tips & Tricks Part 5: How to find your wedding venue 

Tips & Tricks Part 4: Timing Tips

Tips & Tricks Part 3: Choosing the right dress by Bella Lily Bridal Salon 

Tips & Tricks Part 1: Preparing for your engagement session



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