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Breaking Tradition:
The First Look

August 22nd, 2011 by Jeannine

Photo Courtesy Union Photographers

Like rules, are traditions made to be broken? Seems that way nowadays, since it’s become a popular choice for couples to see each other before walking down the aisle. *Gasp!* you say? Well it’s true! A lot of couples (my husband and I included) now opt to do what’s called a “First Look.” It’s when your photographer captures that special moment where you and your groom first get a glimpse of each other, before the big walk down the aisle. I think it’s a brilliant idea and here are a few reasons why:

  • It allows more time for photos – Shooting for 2 or 3 hours before the festivities begin sounds better than trying to cram a photoshoot in little time that separates the ceremony from the reception. This way, there is no need to rush, you can schedule in multiple locations and there will be a better chance of getting all the photos you want.
  • You’ll feel more relaxed – You get to have fun with your future hubby and the bridal party before the “I Do’s.” Walking down the aisle won’t be so nervewracking afterwards :)
  • You get to have some alone time with your groom - For me, the best part of the First Look was taking in the fact that I was about to get married to my soulmate. The whole day will definitely be a blur so this is a great chance for you to just hang out with your husband… with your very own paparazzi standing by :P

Here’s our first look… see, we did it too! ;)

Photographers like the First Look too, here’s what a couple local pros think:

Holly of Union Photographers
“We really recommend it. We did one last year with one of our couples and they really enjoyed it. They found it really special. It was actually a bit better than seeing each other for the first time going down the aisle, which is so emotional with everybody looking. If they could do it alone it’s more meaningful. The other benefit is that it lets the couple enjoy their party. They don’t have to leave their guests, and they can just relax and enjoy the party they took forever planning. :)

Carol-Ann of Carol-Ann Photography
“I always suggest it to my brides and grooms. Aside from the first look being a scheduling dream, it’s so amazing to have that romantic moment, just between the bride, groom, and the camera.  Nobody else is looking. You can talk, you can hug, you can kiss, you can take every sweet second in. And how can you beat having TWO special moments?! (having your own first look, and seeing each other walking down the aisle)”

My last little bit of advice is to make sure you allot enough time to do your photos. Think about all the factors that can add to the time like travel, traffic,  how many locations, etc. Always schedule in more time than you actually need, just in case! You want to look natural and relaxed in your photos, not stressed because you’re running out of time :) Enjoy the First Look, it’s a special moment you’ll want to cherish :)

Tell me… would you.. or did you go the traditional route and see your groom during the ceremony? Was it worth the wait?

Photos Courtesy Union Photographers, Generation Photography, and Carol-Ann Photography
Mouse over each photo to determine the photographer.

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  • August 22nd, 2011 at 9:42 am
    Bailey says:

    I did a first look and it was the best thing i could have done. It was great to be able to have a more intimate and alone moment with my husband…and it did not take away the emotion i felt when i walked down the aisle. It also allowed us to do all our photos before the wedding, that way after the ceremony we went straight the reception. Loved it. (and so did all the guests!)

  • August 23rd, 2011 at 10:20 am
    Carolyn Egerszegi says:

    I love that Bailey commented on this post because when I read the title of the post, my first thought was of shooting Bailey & Andrew’s first look! I love the first look for all the reasons mentioned above. Wedding days can be hurried and hectic, most especially for the bride & groom. The first look allows the day to be paced in a much more relaxing way and actually allows the bride and groom more time to celebrate with each other and with their friends and family. Photos are the most important record of your wedding day memories, but does it make sense to be off creating photos instead of creating memories?


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