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Bride and groom see each other - first look

The First Look – The Benefits

March 1, 2021

Why Your Photographer Loves It!

Most brides like tradition and I’m all for it so why would I suggest a first look. Doesn’t it go against tradition? Well, my answer is yes it probably does but maybe it is time for a new tradition! Let me explain why. It adds to the experience but also reduces stress. I would never want any of my couples to feel pressured to go with this option. However, I do want to make sure I share the benefits of the first look. There are reasons couples do this and are glad they did!

The Groom’s Reaction

A Bride REALLY wants a REACTION when her groom sees her for the first time. Most brides assume if they do a first look the reaction will be lost. They also assume that it will not be as emotional or as intimate as it would be if they were coming down the aisle. But I beg to differ because I’ve seen the groom get all teary-eyed when he sees his bride during the first look.

Without a First Look

Here is a groom’s experience without the first look. Before the ceremony, the weight of what is about to happen starts to sink in. The calm groom who was hanging out with his groomsmen just a few short hours ago is starting to feel anxious. He hasn’t seen his bride all day. And now he is waiting in this room wishing he could just see her for a couple of minutes before this gets started. This waiting is taking FOREVER. Finally, he is hurried out and with nervous sweat, the groom enters the ceremony. And, he thinks “Oh my gosh, 80-300 are looking at me”! Everyone has expectations and anticipation about the groom’s reaction. You can’t get much further from a private and intimate moment.

The Alternative

But what if we had an alternative for all this waiting and nervousness! Imagine the groom being taken to a secluded spot where he will wait for his bride! He is excited but doesn’t have this nervous feeling because it is just him waiting for his bride. The photographers are there but no onlookers, spectators, or guests. The groom has his back turned, his bride walks up, taps him on the shoulder. He turns around to see his beautiful bride and he can embrace her, cry with her and kiss her. He can ENJOY that moment with her for as LONG as they want. She shows him her dress, twirls a few times, and then asks him what he thinks. He is relaxed and doesn’t have to worry about all those people looking at him.

And here is the next great thing! You have plenty of time for romantic portraits because we built this into the schedule. No one is announcing “15 minutes left”, and there is no pressure. It’s just the two of you and your photographer(s) capturing the excitement and the joy of their wedding day. This is your time to be TOGETHER and to be ALONE. When does that happen on a wedding day? Without a First Look, it doesn’t.

After your romantic portraits are done, your bridal party joins you and we get those bridal party portraits done. They’re FUN because there is time to make them FUN. There aren’t any guests waiting impatiently at the cocktail hour and there isn’t a DJ coming to find the photographer to get a time check. It’s wonderful!

After portraits are done, the girls and guys separate and prepare for the ceremony. Then it’s time for the processional music to begin and one by one, the bridesmaids make their way down to the front of the ceremony. The groom clasps his hands, not out of nervousness but excitement. The music builds, the mother of the bride stands, and all of the guests follow her lead. The groom looks up, and here you come, the BRIDE!!! You’re stunning, ABSOLUTELY stunning. The closer you get, the bigger he smiles.

I don’t require a first look but I do love the freedom it allows after the ceremony is over. Because at that point, you and your groom just want to get to your party. And, since all we have left are family formals and a few just married portraits, you won’t keep your guest waiting! Definitely a win in my book!

Let’s Recap the Reasons for A First Look

You’ve invested a lot into your wedding photography. With a first look, you’ll receive drastically MORE portraits of the two of you. With a first look, you make the most out of your investment and get the most for your money.

You have intimate time on your wedding day with your man. Your groom can’t tell you how amazing you look if you don’t do a first look. He has to wait 30 minutes. After 30 minutes the reaction isn’t the same as the initial first glance. A first look might be your only time to be alone the whole day! Normally portraits are rushed after the family formals, and it can be hard to really get into the right mood for romantic portraits. Your first look gets you primed to love on each other, and I am able to capture some sweet images during this time!

First Looks allow you to extend your wedding day by a couple of hours! We don’t have to rush through your portraits, you actually get to enjoy them and have fun hanging out with your BEST friends on your wedding day.

You get rid of your nerves! Grooms are usually not a fan of a first look. However, because they have never experienced their wedding day before, they didn’t know how nerve-racking it can be.

To me, the benefits of a first look are overwhelming! And as a bride, I would love the thought of extending my day and having so many gorgeous portraits to cherish afterwards!

First Look Approach by bride
Groom waiting for first look
Groom sees bride first look
Groom get teary-eyed during first look
Bride wipes tears off groom's face
first hug for bride and groom
Bride and Groom during first look
Bride and Groom laughing with each other
An emotional groom with his bride
bride interacting with groom
Bride and groom during first look
Hug between bride and groom
emotional bride hugging groom

To see more of my work, go here: https://kimforbesphotography.com/

To see more first look photos, go here: https://www.brides.com/gallery/first-look-wedding-photos-real-weddings

  1. Maria says:

    Yes!!! If you want to have a true moment do a first look!

  2. Sara says:

    I love these tips for why to have a first look. I wish first looks had been a thing when I got married 12 years ago

  3. Monica says:

    I love when brides opt for a first look. Great images!

  4. Chinling says:

    This is such a sweet first look! I totally agree with you and would recommend the same for my brides. Thanks so much for sharing these valuable advice!

  5. Erin says:

    I totally agree with you about doing a first look! My husband and I did one and we didn’t regret it at all!

  6. I love how you’ve laid out the emotional reasons for a First Look rather than just the logistical ones!

  7. Jennifer Cox says:

    I think everyone should do a first look. You get two completely different reactions from the first look and when the bride is walking down the aisle.

  8. Liz says:

    Ahhh, I got chills reading this! I love the idea of having no stress, no time limit, and having such precious moments documented so you can relive them over and over!!

  9. Dayle Wiens says:

    I love this… First looks are not popular here and I wanted to have something to send to my couples to read to consider doing a first look! Well done.. great read!

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