5 Considerations When contemplating a “First Look”
Jun 16, 2020 | By: Andrea DeLong Photography
* What is a “first look”?
The first look is a highly popular addition to many weddings day timelines. The first look or sneak peek is the moment when the couple sees each other for the first time on their wedding day prior to the ceremony. It is a very intimate moment that the couple share that the photographer(s) capture with little to no interruptions. You can cry, laugh, hug, kiss and just simply be in the moment.
* What is a "first look" with Dad?
This is when you see your dad for the first time as a bride. These are private, sweet moments that are super fun to capture. These are usually done right as you are finishing getting ready. If your dad plays a key role in your life, having these will allow him and you to get his emotions out before you hit the aisle to your groom
* What is a traditional reveal?
The traditional reveal is when the couple sees each other for the first time walking down the aisle. There is something deeply magical when the doors swing open, the crowd stands and there you are, walking to your forever. It’s a tear jerker and for some couple sharing this moment with their family and friends is the moment they dreamed of when they thought of this day.
I think it is important to state there is no right or wrong answer. What feels right to you as a couple, is the correct way to go and finding vendors that are on board with your choice is so critical to the vibe of the day. Communication is key! There are always solutions, but it is important to know the pros and cons so you can make the most informed, thoughtful choice for your best day ever!!! So…if you’re on the fence consider these…
This can make all the difference if a first look is right for you or not. Many churches cathedrals, synagogues and venues only do weddings at certain times of the day or have multiple events in a day. If your ceremony venue only has early afternoon ceremonies and you have an evening reception then it is less of an issue to do a first look since you will have many hours in-between ceremony and reception for family, wedding party and couple pictures.
What to consider is… Do you get really emotional? Does he mind showing emotion publicly? Nerves?
On the other hand, if your wedding starts at 5pm and your reception is at 6pm with a 30 minute ceremony and family photos after, this will leave you very little time to get the photos that you will cherish and will hang on your walls for decades to come. A first look becomes way more beneficial in this scenario. If everything goes 100% on time best case scenario you would only have 10-15 minutes of pictures with just the two of you.
Things to consider….. Is that enough time for us to get the images and variety that we desire? Do we warm up to the camera quickly? Will there be space later in the reception to sneak out for more pictures? Family and wedding party size?
2. What does the groom want?
There is not a lot of things that often matter to many grooms. They want to have fun, see their buddies and they want to marry YOU. They are less concerned about the many details that go into planning a wedding and if your colors are muted, bright or monotone. If this is the one thing that they feel is important …. honor it!. It is his day too and there are solutions if time is tight that can help.
3. Time of year
This one can slip by without it ever crossing your mind and even more critical for all the couples that moved their date due to COVID-19 and had timelines already planned. A wedding in July and a wedding in December have a massive difference in daylight hours. A wedding at 3pm in the summer would have plenty of daylight for pictures with a 6pm reception. However, a 3pm ceremony in winter, after you do family photos, will leave you with less than an hour to do all the wedding party, groomsmen, bridesmaids and most importantly the two of you. On top of that, in the winter, a day that is mild can get wicked cold the second the sun goes down. Pictures can be done at night and with lighting. This is a different “look” than most brides want for the entirety of their photos but it is super unique and edgy. Be certain this look is for you and more importantly that your photographer(s) have the gear and extensive knowledge of their craft to execute this well. (This is not easy photography!!) Again, there are solutions, but this one is sneaky and knowing when sunset is plays a part in timing for the festivities and timeline.
4. What kind and how much variety do you want in your photos?
This may be the most important of all (at least for me as a photographer) If you choose your photographer based on a certain skill set, portfolio and creative style and you want images like what you hired them for, it is important to be mindful how long it may take to create those. Some require lighting, posing and location changes to get the results you want and may take longer than the click of a button. If you have a gorgeous sprawling venue, with orchards, boats, grand staircases and you envisioned yourself in all those places, 10 minutes simply will not be enough and you may be disappointed in the results if you did not give your vendors the time they need to get you posed, and get it shot correctly. Communication is key so your photographer knows what you want and can tell you how much time it will take to achieve that prior to the wedding.
5. Your Guest!
I know the day is about you, however people are coming to celebrate with you. They want to talk to you both, hug you, cheers you! They are spending money to travel, get dressed up, get a baby-sitter and to having them wait for you, for long periods of time (when not an early afternoon ceremony), will ruin the vibe of a party. If you do choose to wait to see each other, some things to consider are…. Having LOTS of appetizers! Making sure the bar is open, having a place to sit with heat/air-conditioning, and providing music while they wait. Having these things will buy you time since they are not hungry, bored and thirsty.
There are so many factors when making this choice but knowing the pros and cons will help you make the right one for you as a couple. There are many ways to help with time saving but knowing these crucial things so you are not left with photos in the dark, angry guest, or a groom that is upset you didn’t honor his only request. Work with your planner, vendors and your photographers and ask questions. They will tell you the truth and what it takes to get you what you dreamed of without sacrifices that are too much for you both as a couple.
Next week I will write about ways to save time on a tight timeline and how to get a lot done fast so you can get back to your party.