lgbtq+ first look elopement in petit jean state park

February 20, 2024

brooke lewis

Eight Reasons You Should Have a First Look

Long over are the superstitions about not seeing your partner before the wedding. First looks are emotional, priceless, and authentic.

1. Authenticity

Authentic moments are something you should always strive for. When you look back on your photos you want them to represent you and the love you share with one another. The photos should tell your story. The best way to cultivate authenticity for when you first see each other is to not have a large a crowd watching your every move. Couples might think if they are seen beforehand that they won’t get a reaction as they walk down the isle. If anything you get a double reaction!

2. Privacy

First looks allow you more time with your partner. After the ceremony, you are usually posing for photos, attending to guests, dancing, etc. While it is an amazing journey, it can leave you missing your partner and wishing for some alone time with them. A first-look allows you this opportunity. You are able to start the day with each other rather than spending majority of the day away from one another. Believe it or not a good portion of a traditional wedding day is spent apart from your partner. A first look is an amazing way to connect, express your excitement and calm the nerves.

3. Nerves

I cannot count the amount of weddings I have photographed where the couple can barely breathe they are so anxious about seeing one another and the ceremony. When your body is under stress and anxiety you are unable to soak in and remember the little moments and everything ends up feeling like a big blur. Every couple I have ever worked with were so thankful they were able to calm their nerves by doing a first look. You are able to take a breath and just enjoy the rest of the day.

4. Photo Worthy Moment

Having a first look allows for more photo opportunities. Your first look can be so much more than just turning around and seeing one another. You can tailor this moment to be and look like whatever you want. I have had couples toast with their favorite drinks, exchange small gifts, etc. At the end of the day, having a first look allows for you to have more photos and more variety in your photos. It allows for another element of your story to be told.

5. Time Management

One of the main things that determines how the time line of the day will go is if the couple is having a first look or not. If the couple chooses to do a first look then we are able to have more of a relaxed time line that isn’t cram packed after the ceremony. You can have your first look followed by bridal party photos and even immediate family photos. If you choose to not do a first look, all of these photos will need to be after your ceremony which is harder due to you being pulled a million different ways by guests wanting to speak with you, or just wanting to take some quiet time together right after the ceremony.

6. Guests

If you are having a traditional ceremony or an elopement/micro-wedding with guests, a first look leaves more time for them after the ceremony. I will often try to take some portraits after the first look to free up some time after the ceremony and allow the couple to enjoy time with either each other or their guests in their celebration. As much as you want photos of your day, you also want to be able to enjoy quality time with each other and your guests. Just another reason why it is a great idea to get as many photos done before the ceremony as possible.

7. Limit Photo Fatigue

Trying to fit all of the photos in after the ceremony can be exhausting and rushed, depending on lighting. Taking first look and portraits before the ceremony and splitting up the photos can really help with limiting photo fatigue and create a more authentic look, with true smiles that don’t involve your lips twitching or jaws hurting.

8. Private Vows (if you want)

A lot of my couples will decide to recite private vows after their first look for more privacy, emotional connection and authenticity. This is an amazing, intimate way to start you wedding day with your partner.

Check out our blog on “How to Elope”

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