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How To Have A First Look Without Losing The Magic

It’s always clearer in hindsight right? If I could change one thing about my own wedding it would be to have had a first look with Cj. It was wonderful being surrounded by my friends and family, but on a day that was meant to be all about us, I felt like I had hardly seen him. Our wedding seemed to fly by and not once did we get a moment alone together.
By having a first look you and your partner get that moment alone. A breath of fresh air outside of the whirlwind that comes with wedding day preparations. A moment to get out all of the nervous jitters before the day really gets started. A moment for whispered I love you’s and sweet laughter.
From a photographer’s perspective, when my couples choose a timeline that includes a first look I do my happy dance. That’s how much I love first looks!
When you choose a first look timeline your bridesmaids will thank you! Right after your first look, we go straight into bridal party photos. Bridesmaids love this because their hair and makeup are still fresh. Then once the bridal party is done – they get to go back into that sweeeeeeet air conditioning.
Next up is family portraits. Now keep in mind, this is still ~before the ceremony~ so think about all the time we’re saving during cocktail hour! By doing both family and bridal party portraits before the ceremony we get to do a couple of really great things we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. 1. Groomsmen can go straight to the bar. 2. Grandma can get back into to AC as soon as the ceremony is finished. 3. Your family gets to go straight to cocktail hour and doesn’t have to wait around for pictures. 4. This is the big one. I’ll steal you away for no more than 20 minutes to get your first ever husband and wife portraits. Right after the ceremony, we’ll get to use that B-E-A-UTIFUL sunset glow to create what will be some of your favorite photos from the day. Then as soon as we’re done you get to go enjoy cocktail hour with your loved ones. How cool is that?! Without a first look its almost impossible to get back in time to enjoy your cocktail hour.
Now that’s all sounds great, but Val, won’t that ruin her walk down the aisle? Not. A. Chance. In my personal experience, I have never had a groom feel that the magic was gone when his bride walked down the aisle to him. First look or no first look. Those feelings are all still there because in that moment, his bride is the only one he sees – and he is about to marry her. The love of his life. Nothing can change how special that moment is. Having a first look earlier in the day only enhances how he feels when she’s walking to him. In that moment he isn’t focused on the dress, or the hair, or the makeup. He’s focused only on his bride.
For more wedding planning tips check out my blog post on How To Plan Your Wedding Day Without The Headache.
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