When we meet with couples for wedding consultations we always discuss whether they want to have a first look or go the more traditional route of seeing each other for the first time when the bride is walking down the aisle. Some of our couples have never heard of a first look before so I thought I'd introduce the idea to those who haven't and explain it a little more in-depth for those who are still on the fence about it.
Traditional wedding procedure is to not see each other all day until the bride is walking down the aisle and the groom sees his lovely bride. When we shoot weddings we make sure that one of us is focused on the bride as she enters and one of us on the groom to catch his reaction. It's a special moment and we want to make sure that in the midst of all that's going on with lots of people around and emotions running high, the couple can still look back and remember how they felt.
A first look takes place prior to the ceremony. Typically the bride will choose a location on the ceremony grounds to have the groom waiting for her. One of us will be with the bride and one with the groom as he waits. When the bride is ready we will have the groom turn his back to her entrance and when she calls for him, he turns around to see his beautiful bride. Keith and I step away from the couple so that they can have an intimate moment together as we snap from both perspectives and from a distance. It's a calm and peaceful moment for both of them to enjoy the fact that they are about to be man and wife.
One of the main advantages of a first look is that after the bride and groom have some time to themselves, we can step in and shoot the main bride and groom photos before the wedding takes place. This is helpful because it decreases the time between the ceremony and the bride and groom arriving at the reception. Another advantage is that the couple gets to have their photos done when they are fresh and energetic and don't have to worry about their reception guests getting antsy. We will typically take them out for a few minutes of sunset photos during the reception but the majority of their photos will be done beforehand.
Regardless of which option our brides and grooms choose, we are happy to work with what makes them happy. The main thing is that it is their day and we want them to love with how their special day went, never regretful.