Is The “First Look” Becoming The New Wedding Tradition?

If you don’t live and breathe wedding photography (like I do) or gotten married in the last 5 years, you might not be familiar with the term “First Look”. It is a trending topic that is hotly debated among future brides and wedding photographers. Essentially, it is an orchestrated meeting of the bride and groom before the ceremony. Gasp! Yes, I said BEFORE! This is a special time where the bride and groom spend time alone to take in the moment AND each other. All while being documented, which produces some intense emotional images by the photographer.

Now, I know what you are thinking…”Isn’t it bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony”? Or maybe, you think it will have less of an effect the first time he sees you coming down the aisle? These are all valid points…and there is no right or wrong, just preference. So, I have put together a few pros vs. cons to demonstrate the key points:

– More time for romantics! This is a big advantage because the more time I have with the bride and groom, the more creative we can get with the location, poses, etc.
– Family members get to enjoy cocktail hour since all family formals are taken beforehand
– The bride and groom get to enjoy cocktail hour a bit (with the traditional timeline, you are shooting the whole cocktail hour)
– We don’t have to try to squeeze family formals, all the bridal party together, and all the romantics into cocktail hour. With a traditional timeline, this usually causes a feeling of being rushed and usually results in less time for pictures of the bride and groom together. It may even result in missing the chance to shoot during the golden hour (the last hour before sunset and best light/most “romantic light”
– Once the ceremony is over, the bride and groom just have to worry about getting more shots of the two of them and then party time! There is definitely more “flow” in this sort of timeline.
– Make-up and hair look “fresher” in the images shot before the ceremony (this is especially true in the hot summer months)
-Disappointing parents?
-Wanting to share the first look with all of your guest and family
And here is the photographic evidence:
photo courtesy Jasmine Star

(clockwise from top left: sourcesourcesourcesourcesource)

photos courtesy Katie Day Photo