The First Look Photo: Is It Right for You?

first look photo wedding couple

The look in the groom’s eyes as he watches the love of his life walk into the room can be magical. It’s as if the world stops for just a second. There is no question that capturing this look is favorite to most photographers. The biggest question is actually when to capture this look.

These days many couples are choosing to do a first look photo. This moment is set up before the wedding apart from friends and family so that it can be truly a special moment captured between only the couple and the photographer. Many times the bride sneaks up on the groom and taps him on the shoulder; a photo is snapped as he turns around to see his princess. (Cue the sappy, romantic movie music when the girl of the guy’s dreams walks through the door.)

Is the first look photo right for you? You can weigh the pros and cons and decide if you and your loved one want the first look at each other to be in private or in the company of friends and family.

It Saves Time

Many people choose to do a first look photo to save time. Think about most weddings; you sit around sipping cocktails and stuffing your face with appetizers just waiting for the newlyweds to arrive. It can take an hour (or even longer) for the photographer to snap pictures of everyone involved in the wedding. Meanwhile, guests are waiting to dance the night away—and congratulate you, of course, but mainly, they’re just ready to dance and eat.

A lot happens in your one special day. The main point of the day is a couple being united forever in marriage. That couple will not only exchange vows, but also will greet many guests, rush to eat, dance with just about everyone, toast, get cake pushed in their face, be thrown here and there to do different things at different times and take pictures in the mix of it all. It’s a crazy, special day. You might want to take time out before the ceremony to take some pictures to take the pressure off just a little bit.

A first look photography session will buy you some time out of the craziness by slowly taking photos instead of crunching them in during cocktail hour. Some brides thrive on pressure and love the pace of the entire day, while others just want to slow it down as much as possible.

It’s More Intimate

Traditionally the doors open and the bride glides through them in her glistening gown while the groom wipes away a tear. Many brides and grooms don’t want to lose this moment of seeing their loves for the first time. Some people believe it’s bad luck to lose this moment. It’s a day when the bride gets to live out her childhood fantasy of actually being a princess. Her prince is going to be waiting at the altar in his shiny tuxedo, and she just wants to live her fairy tale for one day. Part of her fairy tale might be gliding through the door and locking eyes with her groom for the first time dressed as a princess.

Sweeping through the doorway is dramatic and dreamy, but some brides and grooms are more private with their moments. Some people know they are going to break down as soon as they see their partners, and they would rather have this moment in private away from the swarm of loved ones.

Some couples are cool as cucumbers while others have tears at the edge of their eyes the entire day. It’s one of the biggest days of your life ,so you’re entitled to whatever you feel that day! Taking a first look photo can help ease nerves before the ceremony. Just seeing one another might make you feel more at ease and peaceful with basically being the stars of the day in front of a crowd. Some people just don’t want to be stars of the day. That moment in private can be both sweet and romantic shared between the two getting married.

Of course, there are also those brides and grooms that know they are going to cry throughout the ceremony anyway.

But, It’s Not Candid

It doesn’t matter whether you are a traditional or non-traditional couple, a photoshoot is never totally candid. Yes, when the groom turns around to see his partner for the first time, that look is genuine. But, it is not totally candid because he is waiting in anticipation for that turn. He might be getting more nervous by the second just knowing the photographer has his finger on the button.

If the groom is waiting at the front of the venue for his bride or groom during the ceremony, he probably isn’t thinking much about the photographer. In fact, he’s so nervous just waiting and being watched by all the guests and the pressure of the moment, he’s probably lost in his own excitement and nervousness. The photographer is the last thing on his mind, making this moment maybe even more candid.

So, What Will You Do?

A wedding is a sacred event. The day will be singed into your hearts for the rest of your lives. The photographer will capture all the special moments and you’ll compile them in a book to graze through with friends, family, and future generations.

It’s truly up to the bride and groom if seeing one another before the ceremony or when those doors open is best for you. No matter which you choose, a first look photo or traditional photography during the wedding, the moment will be frozen in time. Your fairy tale will live on through photographs. The magic of your fantasy will forever come to life when you open your wedding book.

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