To first look or to not first look…that seems to be the question brides are asking these days! At Artistrie Co., we LOVE first looks! While I definitely appreciate the traditional approach of the groom waiting to see his bride down the aisle, there are some very practical reasons to see each other before the ceremony. Not only can it relieve the stresses of a hectic wedding day schedule, it can be a great opportunity to have a private, emotional moment with your soon-to-be husband.
If you’re on the fence about doing a first look, here are a few things to consider:
Take a look at the layout of your wedding day timeline. If your wedding celebration is taking place all at one location, your ceremony will most likely flow right into cocktail hour and then to the reception with no break in between. Crunching in all of the photos with your family members, wedding party, and of the two of you in less than an hour can be hectic. I always believe that your wedding portraits shouldn’t be something to rush through; it should be an enjoyable part of your day to showcase all of your love and joy.
As a general rule of thumb, I recommend budgeting 20-30 minutes for family portraits, and then anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour for photos with your wedding party and the two of you. If you’ll be doing portraits at a separate location, you’ll also want to budget some extra time for travel.
In order to capture your reception room, center pieces, and other decor, it’s important to plan to be done with portraits before your guests are seated for dinner. The optimal time to get these photos is usually during cocktail hour. Capturing these details is generally a priority for my clients. Having these photographs is a great way to remember all of the unique elements that set the tone for your celebration.
If outdoor portraits are a must, take the sunset time into consideration. I love fall and winter weddings, but because the sun sets so early this time of year, it usually means less day light for your wedding portraits. If lighting might be an issue, be sure to check well in advance what time the sun goes down on your wedding day. If the sunlight will already be gone by the end of your ceremony, taking your portraits beforehand is definitely something to consider. I love the look of a naturally lit photograph, and so do my couples. If you think you’ll miss having sunny, outdoor portraits with you and your hubby, there’s no reason to sacrifice these photos. Have your cake and eat it, too! And I mean, seriously, eat your wedding cake. That’s a priority!
If you think about it, there aren’t many opportunities for alone time on your wedding day. Even while dancing for your first time as husband and wife, there’s still a whole room of people standing around watching you. Doing a first look gives you a moment to just simply be with each other and remember what the day is truly about. And that’s a beautiful thing.