Why Should You Do a First Look?

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    While not the newest trend, first-look wedding photos are still very popular. It's only natural to have mixed feelings about first-look wedding photos as the big day approaches.

    You can't have been living under a rock the last few years and not have noticed the growing popularity of the "first look" moment. The groom's emotional reaction to his stunning bride is revealed as she nervously approaches from behind and taps him on the shoulder. It's unbelievable, and it seems like everybody's doing it these days.

    If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

    While more and more engaged couples are opting for the first look, some still prefer to wait until the altar for the emotional exchange.

    To what end, then, do it? So, why not try it out? The pros and cons will be laid out for you, and you can make the final call.

    FAQs About Photography

    What Is a First Look?

    The bride and groom may choose to see each other for the first time on their wedding day at a special moment known as the "First Look." Unlike in traditional weddings, where the couple plans to see each other during the ceremony, this one allows them to share the moment in a more private setting. In the "first look," the bride and groom take their first glimpse at each other before the ceremony begins. This is the kind of touching moment that photographers love to capture on film.

    In most cases, the bride and groom will not meet until the wedding. But for various reasons, couples are increasingly opting to have a final pre-ceremony meeting.

    The Pros of First-Look Wedding Photos

    Why Should You Do a First Look?

    When planning their wedding, couples shouldn't just think about the logistics of their first look. It's a great idea for the bride and groom to have some alone time before the ceremony.

    A First Look Will Allow More Time for Photos and Therefore, More Photos Overall

    To avoid interrupting the flow of guests from the ceremony to the reception, a first look is not necessary for the photo session during the cocktail hour. Since you already have a tight schedule and guests waiting, this only makes things worse. However, if you and your spouse-to-be share a first look before the ceremony, you'll have plenty of time to take all the pictures you've been dreaming of.

    You'll Have More Time to Enjoy Your Wedding.

    If you and your spouse-to-be do a first look and take all of your wedding photos before the big day, you can spend cocktail hour mingling with your guests.

    It Will Settles Your and Your Fiancé's Nerves Before the Ceremony 

    There is a lot of pressure leading up to the ceremony because you know you will have to make an important speech in front of a large audience, that you will be on camera, and that you will be the centre of attention. It's natural to feel nervous, then. If you can, it's probably best to see your fiancé before the big event so you can both relax and know you're in this together.

    A First Look Will Be More Private and Intimate Than the Ceremony

    Your first look probably won't be entirely private, what with the presence of the photographer and perhaps other members of the wedding party. You and your fiancé will still have your special moment, but it will be witnessed by a much smaller audience than at a traditional wedding.

    Doesn't "ruin" Anything. 

    The ceremony can still go on without a first look. Do not postpone seeing your partner out of fear of feeling emotional exhaustion; you will feel this way regardless.

    If You're Worried About Crying, a First Look Might Get That Out of the Way

    Plus, you'll have time to touch up your makeup if you end up crying. When a bride and groom share their first look before the ceremony, they are capturing a special and emotional moment. Of course, the walk down the aisle is emotional as well, but you're not actually with your partner in those pictures.

    The Cons of First-Look Wedding Photos

    You aren't sure you want a first look, right? You have some time before making a choice, which is good news. You can always decide on the day of the wedding that you need to see your partner and go with a first look. Capturing that perfect moment requires flexibility, and a professional photographer has it in spades.

    You'll Have to Get Ready Earlier.

    If your ceremony is early in the day, and you want to do a first look, you'll need to start getting ready even earlier than you had originally thought. For photographs to be taken before the ceremony, you will need to begin the day very early. This means that there will be less time for you to complete your hair and makeup routine, for the wedding party to get ready, etc.

    Your Wedding Party and Family Might Get Bored During Pre-Wedding Photos

    Your wedding party and family will be stuck standing around for a good portion of the time if you decide to take photos for several hours beforehand. The rest of the group will be left behind while you and your fiancé are whisked away to take "sweetheart" photos, since they will not be included in every single one.

    Lighting May Not Be Ideal

    [First glances] are typically conducted during the day, when the sun casts a harsh light. After the ceremony is over, you will most likely want to take additional photographs.

    It Takes Away That "special Moment" at the Altar

    Why Should You Do a First Look?

    It doesn't matter how many times you and your future spouse have seen each other, the first time on your wedding day will be special. The aisle or altar is the perfect place for such a moment, but a first look will ruin it.

    Although you may miss the emotional connection you had with your guests at the ceremony, they will not notice any change. Your guests need not know that you staged photos in advance. Even if they don't realise it, they'll feel the magic at that moment because it could be the first time you've ever seen each other.

    Our exclusive range of Melbourne wedding photography will help you not miss a thing on your wedding day.

    Or, it Could Be Awkward.

    You may feel awkward and unnatural in a photo- or video-worthy moment because of the presence of the photographers and videographers. Instead of worrying about how you'll react or what you'll say when you see your fiancé for the first time, you can simply enjoy the moment together at the ceremony.

    Your Dress or Your Bouquet Could Take a Beating

    There is a risk that your flowers for the ceremony will look dry and wilted if you take a lot of pictures in the sun. As a matter of fact, dirt and dust might find their way onto the bottom of your wedding dress... Then, of course, it must be front and centre as you make your grand entrance.

    A Few Tips to Make the Most of Your First Look

    Breaking the old tradition that the groom is not to see the bride before she walks down the aisle, some couples opt to have a private moment to greet one another pre-nuptials. Planning your dream wedding and don’t want to miss out on the special moments on your big day? Worry no more, Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

    Limit Your Audience

    It's possible that both sets of mothers would like to see the first glimpse. We're not saying you can't do it, but we do recommend keeping the crowd size down. It's fine to have your parents and bridal party there (though perhaps only after you've had some time to yourself to cherish the occasion). The grandparents, the great-grandparents, the aunts, and the uncles might be a bit much for the first look. When there are too many people present, the intimacy of the moment is diminished.

    Give Yourself Time

    Although the first glance itself may only take a few seconds, it's important to take your time and enjoy each other afterwards. A professional wedding planner will take this into account, allowing you and your partner, as well as the photographer, plenty of time to capture all of the memorable moments of your wedding.

    Use This Time for Formal Photos

    Since the bride and groom will not see each other until the moment they exchange vows, it is customary to take formal photographs (including those of the bride and groom with their respective families, bridal parties, parents, and other close relatives) immediately following the ceremony. Take advantage of the time before the ceremony to take formal photographs if you have chosen to do a first look. Save yourself 15-20 minutes after the ceremony to finish taking any additional pictures you may want to (i.e. one with your officiant or the fussy ring bearer who needed a nap before the I Dos). If you want to spend your Cocktail Hour mingling with your guests, limit the number of pictures taken immediately after the ceremony.

    Allow Time for Touch Ups

    You can expect a lot of love and emotion when you see your groom for the first time, including tears. If you get your first glimpse of the outdoors in the middle of summer, you might even break a sweat! Plan ahead for this and use the time to touch up your makeup, reapply lipstick, and, for the groom, change into a fresh undershirt (believe us, having an extra t-shirt under your suit shirt is clutch to feeling fresh) before the ceremony.

    At Wild Romantic, we have the best wedding photographer in Mornington Peninsula to capture every single moment on your wedding day. 

    Reasons WHY You Should Do A First Look On Your Wedding Day

    It Calms the Nerves

    If you're the type who gets anxious in social situations, prefers not to be the centre of attention, or has a short tolerance for stress, this is a great choice for you. Customers who insist they aren't nervous before the ceremony often end up feeling a little anxious right before the big moment. Let's face it, the day you get married is likely to be one of the most important days of your life.

    Seeing each other for the first time can be an exciting or nerve-wracking experience, depending on your level of investment in the process and your individual temperament. Don't let me scare you, though; you'll make it. However, if you and your partner decide to do a First Look, you can rest assured that your loved one will be there to support you and ease your anxiety.

    It's a common occurrence for the bride's anxiety to evaporate upon first sight of her future husband. It's like a huge burden has been lifted off their shoulders, making the rest of the wedding day a breeze in comparison.

    Way Less Risky

    Would you take the chance if you knew the outcome? Think about your wedding day more rationally and less emotionally.

    The truth is that your wedding day is unlike any other. Schedule a time and place, and everything is ready to go. Everything that happens will happen. Not everything can go according to plan on your wedding day. Quite a few variables exist that are beyond your command. Such as inclement weather, late arrivals, traffic, lost rings, the sun setting, etc. All sorts of terrible things could happen, and that list could go on forever. Plan for as little uncertainty as possible instead of taking chances against the odds. Make a contingency plan in case the day turns out to be better than expected. All the photos can be taken before the ceremony if you opt for a first look.

    After the bride and groom have had a chance to see each other before the ceremony, they can finish taking portraits with their bridal party and with their families. So after the wedding, all you have to think about is attending your cocktail hour and mingling with guests who are eager to congratulate you. As a bonus, you'll have a second window of time to complete the portraits if you run into any delays during the day. We have the best wedding photographer in Yarra Valley to capture your beautiful moments on your wedding day.

    The Feelings Don't Go Away.

    As far back as you can remember, you've always imagined yourself married. Right? You have been giving some serious thought to how priceless the first few seconds of meeting each other will be. Right? But what if it turns out to be less than everyone promised? Maybe it was unique, but not THAT unique. we don't mean to sound cynical, but we do want to temper your expectations so that you aren't disappointed if the reality falls short of your wildest dreams. Believe me, we witnessed some incredible scenes where the bride and groom decided against a First Look. The good times were so great that we considered abandoning my efforts to get everyone to participate in a First Look.

    And yet, we witnessed some truly magical moments during the ceremony itself, right after the couple has shared their First Look. Emotions will surface no matter how hard you try to suppress them. Seeing each other in "Let's Do This" mode with all your best friends and closest family members watching is very different from seeing each other privately before the ceremony. Here we see the groom's first look with his bride just before the ceremony. Believe me; we have more evidence than you could ever need.

    Do not participate in a First Look if you are the type who does not care to learn about such an event. However, a First Look may be for you if you are the curious type with an open mind.

    More Opportunities for Pictures

    This is our favourite because, let's be honest, we want you to take more amazing photos. The only thing we have left to remember by now is the pictures. According to articles posted on the Huffington Post and Shutterfly, more brides (21 percent) wish they had spent more on photography than any other single item on the list after their wedding.

    Make better use of your TIME no matter how you spend your MONEY. This is not to say that you must hire a photographer for the next 12 hours. A wedding day timeline can be structured in any way that serves the couple's needs. Spending too much money is not necessary to have plenty of spare time for photography and unwinding. Having your picture taken on your wedding day shouldn't take all day. Depending on the size of the bridal party and immediate family, we can complete all portraits in under two hours. It is highly recommended that you review this photography timeline for a wedding ceremony and reception to get a better idea of how much time you will need to plan for each. Insight into the potential order of events on your wedding day is provided.

    But in the meantime, consider this: You logged countless hours at the office last year pinning perfectly lit wedding photos from Pinterest. Although the ceremony is scheduled for 5, the sun sets at precisely 6:30 p.m., leaving only about 15 minutes of usable daylight before it becomes too dark for outdoor photographs. It seems like a sufficient amount of time, but what if the ceremony doesn't start until 5:30? (which is pretty standard). A wedding ceremony takes 30 minutes, and another 30 minutes are allotted for portraits of the bridal party, the bride, and the groom.

    Now, obviously, this isn't always true. To give yourself a little more breathing room to focus on family portraits and bride/groom portraits after the ceremony, you could schedule an earlier ceremony time, do your bridal party portraits separately (bridesmaids with bride & groomsmen with groom), and do all of this before the ceremony. However, you should be fine with the prospect of missing cocktail hour and getting only one shot of the happy couple together. During that magic hour, you'll want the sun to shine and the clouds to part. Most weddings go smoothly with this method, but if you're the cautious type, do yourself a favour and have a first look.

    Be Present at Your Wedding

    It is not an exaggeration to say this. Taking it all in on your wedding day isn't always possible, which is all the more reason to hire a photographer to record the little details you might otherwise miss. If you want to try something new when organising your wedding, consider these ideas. Some additional effort on my part or on the part of my wedding day is required for each and every custom, venue, or event that will be a part of my special day. Therefore, other things must be moved around suitably if the custom of seeing each other at the ceremony is important to you. There simply isn't enough hours in the day. So long as you don't have an infinite budget, let's plan your day creatively so that you can enjoy the best of both worlds.


    Is your fiancé still being difficult, or do you still need to figure out what to do? If you want to avoid ruining the element of surprise at the altar, a "first touch" is a great way to get that special moment of alone time together before the ceremony begins. For privacy, you and your companion may wish to hold hands around a corner or wear blindfolds.

    First looks with others besides your partner are an option. Plan a big reveal in front of the bridal party! You could also have the photographer capture the moment your parents meet you for the very first time. These "first looks" between partners are often as honest and heartfelt as they appear. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.

    There's no right or wrong answer. As we said, that moment that you and your fiancé see each other for the first time on your big day together will be unique and memorable, regardless!