first-look-headerThat moment when you walk down the aisle with everyone’s eyes on you while you’re watching him is what you have dreamed of for years. You’re holding back the tears as you pray Daddy doesn’t step on your dress. Your whole audience of family and friends are pinging their heads back and forth to look at you, your fiancé, and the front row of seats. At the end of the aisle you embrace and get to hold hands.

Now all of this sounds traditional and magical, something that I personally have dreamt about for years! However after shooting over 30 weddings in last couple of years I have totally changed my mind about considering a first look!



What’s a first look?

About two hours prior to the ceremony both the bride and groom take a sneak peek before guests arrive. They enjoy a moment with just the two of them, say a prayer, talk about the mishaps that morning and laugh about the fact that the main event is already rolling and they will be off to their honeymoon soon! During this time the complete bridal party, parents and family portraits are taken so right after the ceremony only a handful of group photos need to be shot so the couple can actually enjoy their cocktail hour!

5 Reasons Why You Should Consider A First Look

  1. The history behind waiting to see each other until the ceremony roots back to arranged marriages. Seriously though, couples would be forced to hide from each other the morning of their wedding day. Just in case they got a peak of one another and would want to run before it was too late! If your man asked for your hand in marriage and put a ring on it, I can guarantee he already feels married. For girls it takes the ceremony and those two little words for it to sink in. I promise your love isn’t going to run if he catches a sneak peek before!
  2. During the stressful planning over the last year many friends and family joke that all this effort is going into one day. Recently, during lunch with my friend Anna she mentioned the same thing and laughed at the fact that it’s not even one day… it’s like 6 hours! After you’re all glammed up and wedding ready the ceremony begins and before you know it’s your first dance and all you have to look forward to is the cake cutting and dancing before your night is over. With a first look your wedding day starts hours before and you truly feel like you have an extension to your wedding day! A picture perfect, fresh faced pregame photo shoot before your guests even arrive!
  3. Speaking of picture perfect… The First Look is a great opportunity to capture a beautiful embrace of just the two of you. When you walk down the aisle all your man can do is drop his jaw and hold your hand. He has to wait the 20-30 minutes throughout your ceremony before he can embrace you. The First Look allows a memorable time with just the two of you. Your wedding day goes by so fast and you never really get a moment to just breathe, soak it in and enjoy each other. Plus with this extra time you’re guaranteed to yield about 35% MORE wedding portraits. The images during the first look are almost always the ones to canvas or to share as thank you notes!
  4. The moments after your ceremony are a blur. Everyone wants a piece of you for a congratulatory hug and people disperse all over! Finding groomsmen and great aunts can be like herding cats! With a first look 85% of these photos are checked off! DONE! At this time all we need to worry about are some grandparent photos and possibly the extended family portraits. After about 15 minutes of those photos you and your entire bridal party can mingle and actually enjoy your cocktail hour!
  5. I promise he’ll still deliver that choked up tear and get the nervous jitters even if he’s seen you before the ceremony! It happens every time as brides walk down the asile. I mean, it’s your wedding ceremony! The reason why you all gathered today. That moment of you walking down the aisle is still going to be impactful and memorable. Just by this time you will have TWO first looks! One happy joyous and googly eyed and the second, “Oh my God here she comes… she chose ME!” written all over his face. That second one is what your family and friends get to witness, it happens every time!

So I get it… You have been dreaming of this moment since the third grade and I’m sure you’re still weighing your options. As a natural light photographer I am always looking for ways to enhance your experience and deliver those bright, airy and vibrant images. Making time for the first look will absolutely yield more of those! This of course is a biased suggestion and personal preference of mine. Either way you decide will be captured beautifully. Please comment below with any questions or share your experiences if you had a first look on your wedding day!

With love, Quianna Marie

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