What is a First Look? Should I have one?// Wedding photography tips and planning advice

April 28, 2020

Girl, what’s a first look?

When you start wedding planning, you’ll soon come across a lot of wedding lingo that’s unheard of, for example ‘A First Look’!

The first time I met up with one of my couples, the groom asked me, “a first look at what? At myself when I wake up, or what’s for breakfast?”.

My dear friend, ‘a first look’ refers to seeing EACH OTHER for the first time in a private moment before the ceremony. It is a moment reserved just for you two (and me unfortunately, if you want pics of you crying your eyes out. But I promise to hide in the bushes if you want). During this time, you can read your own vows privately to each other, hug it out and soak in the special moment before you put a ring on it.

Why have a first look?

I tell all my couples this, but your wedding day is ALL ABOUT YOU TWO. It’s NOT about your aunt Deborah, not what a fellow blogger advises, and certainly not what Google says. Screw traditions and allow yourselves to actually BE WITH EACH OTHER on the day that is about you two.

It can also be hard to feel fully present when 200 pairs of eyes are on you the moment you walk down the aisle. You’ll find that everything happens really quickly. There’ll only be a short 10 second space for you to compliment your beautiful bride, who woke up at 6am to get ready, before the officiant proceeds to tell everyone to take a seat.

Having a first look lets you breathe. Say a little prayer or exchange meaningful gifts. Apart from this short moment, you won’t really get another private time together on your wedding day.

First looks are practical.

For my couples who choose to do a first look, it means that I’m able to knock out their bridal portraits and group photos with family/the bridal party BEFORE the ceremony. This saves the hassle of trying to regroup everyone during cocktail hour when they could be hanging out with the rest of the guests.

PLUSS it means we can plan for two photoshoots of you both (and shoot in two locations) in a jam-packed day. For example, one mini photoshoot after your first look, and a second mini photoshoot during golden hour at your wedding reception. This also means that if your wedding day overruns (as they always do) we can cut short your golden hour photos as we already have some photos from earlier on in the day.

First look alternatives?

Your first look can be with anyone special in your life. If you have 5 hours to spare, boom! have a first look with every freakin person coming to your wedding. If not, you can consider having a first look with your mum or dad (guaranteed tears by the way), your grandparents, your bridesmaids, or even your pet dog.

If you have any questions planning your wedding with a first look, give me a nudge and I’ll share more with ya!

heather sham x

First Look on a Wedding Day | Wedding photography tips and planning advice for non-traditional brides | Modern Wedding Photographer in London | Natural wedding photography Surrey UK