Should I do a first look?

Should I do a first look? When I’m in the planning process with my couples, this one question comes up a lot. I’m going to dig into this today with all of the factors you should take into consideration when making this decision.

Some factors to consider:

  1. Are there religious reasons for seeing your significant other while walking down the aisle?

  2. Would you two prefer to have some time just the two of you?

  3. Do you want to be there at cocktail hour or does that not matter as much to you?

  4. How many family/bridal party group photos do you want to get? Is there a lot or not as much?

  5. Do you want more images of just the two of you?

 
Click over to see more from this spring, church wedding.

Click over to see more from this spring, church wedding.

First question:

Are there religious reasons for seeing your significant other while walking down the aisle?

This to me is a very important point that I want to honor. While I as a photographer do believe there are tons of reasons for doing a first look, I want to first make sure that I am honoring your religious traditions. If in your religion, it is important to honor not seeing each other until walking down the aisle, then we will work the photography timeline for the day around this.

 
Click over to see more from this summer, garden wedding in Wellesley.

Click over to see more from this summer, garden wedding in Wellesley.

Second question:

Would you two prefer to have some time just the two of you?

Your wedding day is usually scheduled down to the minute, you are usually doing something or will be talking to different guests. The time during a first look allows you and your significant other to have some time that is just for the two of you. While I will be there capturing images, this time is just yours. A brief moment in the day where you can soak it all in and be completely in the moment.

 
Click to see more from this beautiful, summer wedding in Cranston.

Click to see more from this beautiful, summer wedding in Cranston.

Third question:

Do you want to be there at cocktail hour of does that not matter as much to you?

If you do not do a first look, that means that most of the family and wedding party portraits will most likely have to take place during cocktail hour. If you are ok with missing cocktail hour then we can capture all of the portraits then. One thing is just to let your family and wedding party know where to meet for photos, otherwise we may lose them in the crowd going to cocktail hour (which then becomes more difficult to get them back at that point). If however, you do want to be at cocktail hour, I recommend doing a first look. If you do a first look, then all of these portraits are done prior to the ceremony. Then you will have that free time to enjoy the drinks and apps.

 
Click over to see more from this autumn coastal wedding.

Click over to see more from this autumn coastal wedding.

Fourth question:

How many family/wedding party group photos do you want to capture? Is there a lot on the list or not as much?

Weddings are definitely a good time to capture group photos of family and friends. I totally understand wanting to get as many photos as possible on these special occasions because they can be far between. If you have a big list of groups, I definitely recommend considering doing a first look. Otherwise we may run out of time to do these during cocktail hour, you would be surprised at how quickly that hour goes by.

 
Click over to see more from this winter Bedford Village Inn wedding.

Click over to see more from this winter Bedford Village Inn wedding.

Fifth question:

Do you want more photos of just the two of you?

As I said previously, the wedding day goes by so quickly and is usually filled with moments with other people. Doing a first look with your significant other will guarantee that there’s more time for portraits of just the two of you. Usually that’s an extra 20-30 minutes of time for portraits of just you two. When there’s so much time dedicated to capturing portraits of other people, this is a nice bit of time for portraits of just the two of you. Since the wedding day is about celebrating your relationship, I always think this is nice to have more portraits of just the two of you.

So the question has a lot of answers. It’s a deeply personal thing, and I recommend using this post as a tool to figure out whether a first look works for you and your significant other. Should I do a first look? It’s totally up to you!