A first look is when a couple decides to see each other before the ceremony. Usually, one person will be facing a certain direction while their spouse-to-be walks up behind them and taps them on the shoulder, then they turn around and see each other for the first time. It’s always a super sweet moment.
Why do people do them?
A lot of couples will do a first look so they can take portraits before their ceremony which frees up time to attend cocktail hour and visit with guests. It also provides an opportunity to break up photo time into smaller chunks, rather than trying to squeeze them all in at once.
On any given wedding day, time is usually set aside time for couple portraits, wedding party pictures and family portraits. When couples do a first look, we'll flow naturally into couple portraits. Then we'll grab the bridal party and take those pictures as well. After that, everyone will usually tuck away and relax as guests arrive for the ceremony. Family portraits happen directly after the ceremony (those usually take 30 minutes) and any free time left can be spent however you like. Lots of couple like to spend that time mingling with their guests, especially if a lot of people are coming from out of town.
Logistics aside, some people feel that a first look will calm their nerves and they want to have a quiet moment with their significant other before the ceremony.
Where should you do your first look?
Good light is key. Whereas your ceremony may have been set for a certain time for the best light, the first look tends to fit in where you need it. This usually means we’ll look for some shade to keep you evenly lit (see above). Don’t worry, this is exactly why you've hired a photographer--I will pick the perfect spot.