Photographer mama of 3, sushi lover, ADVENTUROUS-HOMEBODY, and believer in unconditional love.



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5 Benefits of Having a First Look


There are A LOT of decisions to make for your wedding day and it seems like the benefits of a First Look have become more known, yet some people are still on the fence if they should do one. So for those who do not know, a First Look is when the Bride and Groom decide to create a special moment ALONE together, where they see one another for the first time, BEFORE the ceremony. I know when I first heard of it, I thought it was a new “trend” or something, and wanted to stick with the more “traditional” approach, and wait for my husband to see me when I was walking down the aisle. After becoming a wedding photographer, I have undoubtedly appreciate and understand the benefits of a First Look. Every couple who decided to have one has never regretted it. So here are the main benefits of choosing a First Look!


First Looks’ allow you to actually be TOGETHER on your wedding day. It is  the only time to be ALONE the whole day! You are surrounded by your loved ones who want to share this day with you (which is beautiful and great), but the whole day can easily be focused on everyone else. This time allows you both to really connect and be in the mood for those beautiful, romantic photos you will want to hang all over your home. When you have just shared your first look, you’re READY to love on each other, and I always capture some super sweet images, with raw emotion during those moments! Right after a First Look, I then would do the Bride and Groom’s portraits to ensure we have PLENTY pictures of just two them. When it is your wedding day, you want to make sure you have the MOST photos of just the two of you! When couples do not have a First Look, their portraits are usually what are taken last, after the bridal party and family portraits, so they end up with the least amount of time and photos of just them.


You actually get to have INTIMATE time on your wedding day with your man. Most brides don’t realize that when you come down the aisle and totally SHOCK him with how amazing you look… he can’t even tell you.  He can’t touch you, embrace you or even speak to you. You have to wait until 30 minutes later when the ceremony is over for him to react and tell you how amazing you look.  And after 30 minutes of the ceremony, the reaction isn’t the same as the initial first glance. I’ve noticed that a lot of men hold back more of their tears and emotions because everyone is looking at him to see his reaction. When it is just the two of you, I’ve noticed that grooms feel more free to let their honest emotions show. And I mean, what girl doesn’t want that?! I can also say that I have seen multiple grooms cry at the First Look, as well as when she walks down the aisle, even though he has already seen his Bride. There is just something different in the moment when seeing her walk down the aisle with all of their loved ones surrounding them!


You get rid of your nerves!  I’d say, literally 1/2 of my couples who have decided to do a first look, the grooms were not fans of it at first or really understood it. However, because they have never experienced their wedding day before, they didn’t know how nerve racking it can be. There were many grooms who initially weren’t a fan of the first look… but afterwards admitted to being SO much more relaxed and ready for the ceremony! Both the Bride and Groom were so happy and relieved after their First Look. They rave at how grateful they were to have had that time together and how calm they were afterwards, before the ceremony.

“The time during the first look made me feel content and at ease. I was very nervous, and seeing my husband, Alex, made all the nerves go away. Taking pictures with my family and friends also made me feel more confident and ready to enjoy the rest of the night. You get in your head a lot as a bride. Wanting everything to be perfect and make everyone happy but seeing my husband grounded me and reminded me what it is really about. It is about showing the people I love and care about the commitment and love my husband share and want for the rest of our lives.”-Missy, BRIDE

  1. You gain 40% MORE PORTRAITS

You’re investing a lot into your wedding photography. With a first look, you’ll receive 40% MORE portraits of the two of you… and those are the images you will decorate your first home with! Yourself, your groom, bridal party, and family are also all FRESH! Everyone’s makeup, hair, etc. was just done, they are wrinkle and stain free, ready to shine!  I opted out of a first look for my wedding day and even though I had many photos with my bridesmaids before the ceremony, I ended up with very few portraits of just the two of us from after the ceremony  because by the time the family formals and bridal party pictures were done, we needed to get inside of the reception to start. In hind site, I also noticed dark shadows under my eyes in the photos because it became so late in the day, the lighting wasn’t at its best.  With a first look, you make the most out of this large investment and get the most for your money!


First Looks allow you to extend your wedding day.  Normally the wedding day would start with you getting ready and then straight to when you come down the aisle, then the ceremony would end, you would rush through portraits so that you’re not late for the introductions and then it’s reception time.  With a first look, your wedding day is extended by almost 3 hours! Instead of being rushed for your bridal party portraits… you actually get to enjoy them and have fun hanging out with your BEST friends on your wedding day.  The WHOLE first half of my client’s wedding galleries are filled with images just from this time together before the ceremony and where some of my favorite, best images of the couple comes from. And because the photos are earlier in the day, you are not fighting against time for when the sun goes down, depending on the time of year. Especially in months where the sun goes down earlier, there would not be a lot of time with the natural light to create those beautiful, light and airy photographs my style provides.

Well I hope that helps give you deeper insight and understanding in the value and benefits of having a First Look! If your wedding photographs are a big priority for you, as well as having a relaxed wedding day, I would HIGHLY recommend doing one if you are on the fence. There is so much time, energy, thought, and planning into your big day, you don’t want it to go rushing by. Doing a First Look immediate slows down the pace of your special day and allots that much more time for everyone to be together! But if you aren’t convinced, I will be sharing a blog post soon of some alternative ideas to creating special moments before the ceremony, without seeing one another. 🙂

Much joy,

Charity HOPE


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