First look wedding photos might not be a brand new trend. However, it continues to be a hot topic! I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of photos across Facebook and Instagram of this highly anticipated moment! Nonetheless, the traditional practice of not seeing the bride until she walks down the aisle still continues to be a popular approach. With it being such a hotly debated topic, we figured it would be the perfect blog post. We’ll be breaking down why the first look approach makes sense and why some might opt for more of a traditional scene for their big day.
Pro’s of a Wedding First Look
1. More Photos!
In every wedding, photos are a huge part of the entire day. You want to capture every single moment of the big day! With traditional approaches, wedding photos are taken during the cocktail hour, which takes place between the ceremony and reception. While this is typically plenty of time to get everything you need, there is still a bit of a time presser. You have a set amount of time to get the pictures completed, so you don’t leave your guests waiting too long!
As you can probably guess, a first look allows for as much time as you want! You can schedule in how much time you need to get all of those perfect shots that will last a lifetime! Going hand-in-hand with this, it’s entirely possible to capture more raw emotion in this setting. More often than not, these are done in a quiet and private setting where there’s not a ton of people watching.
2. Worried About Crying?
Typically, a bride doesn’t want to start sobbing during the ceremony with mascara on her face! If you feel this may be something that you’d do, then a first look can possibly get some of those tears out of the way early. That way, if there is some crying during the first look, you’ll have plenty of time to touch-up your makeup before the ceremony begins!
3. Calm Pre-Wedding Nerves!
As you’ll see later in this article, wedding day nerves are a tricky subject. Nonetheless, with some couples, a first-look photo shoot can be the perfect method for calming any pre-wedding nerves. No matter how well planned your wedding is, there is always going to be some stress starting that morning. Seeing each other before can help ease these nerves and help relax for the celebration that will be coming!
4. Control the Setting!
I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that you want your first look moments to truly be special and a perfect shot! Well, with a first look wedding photo shoot, you can choose when and where to have it. It’s the rare opportunity to control the setting, lighting and any other variables!
Con’s of a Wedding First Look
1. Losing that Special Moment!
Now before I label this as a con, I can guarantee you that the first time you and your fiancé see each other will be special regardless. When I say “special moment,” I’m talking about the traditional scene where the bride and groom first see each other at the altar or aisle. As a side note, keep in mind that you’re not actually going to lose that “special moment” in terms of your guests at the ceremony. It’s perfectly fine if they don’t know that you’ve already taken all the pictures! Trust us, they’ll still feel the magic!
2. Awkward Situation!
While in most cases, the first look approach is designed to diminish nerves before the ceremony, there are times where it increases nervousness. You might feel awkward trying to put on a shocked face with the photographer, videographer and wedding party close by. If you’re worried about something like this happening for your first look, then I would recommend coordinating with your photographer to have more of a private set-up. Maybe have the photos/videos taken from far away and let your wedding party know that you’re planning on doing a private first look.
I’m sure you’ve heard of superstitions when it comes to the wedding day. Some claim that it’s bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other before that special moment walking down the aisle. With this point, I can’t say yes or no. Rather, I always tell couples to go with their hearts. If you feel that a first look will put a damper on the actual ceremony itself, then don’t risk it. After all, you don’t need to bring on any added stress on your wedding day! Keep in mind that a good photographer will be able to capture plenty of special pictures, even in a smaller picture-taking window. Don’t be afraid that there won’t be enough time in between the ceremony and reception to capture the special moments!
4. Dress Could Get a Little Dirty!
A potential unfortunate consequence of a first look photo shoot is the possibility that your dress might be a little bit dirty in the process. Obviously, the number one goal of a photographer during this is to keep it as clean as possible, but that is not always so easy. Particularly if you go anywhere outdoors, it might not even be possible to keep your dress in 100% perfect condition. There’s going to a decent chance that it may get some dirt or dust on it. If you’re worried about running the risk of this happening, then I suggest avoiding a first look. Any worry about the dress getting dirty will just have a negative impact on the special first look moment!
Traditional vs. Non-Traditional
We could run through pro’s and con’s all day, but the fact of the matter is that the debate comes down to whether you want a traditional photo shoot or a non-traditional one. Both are extremely popular in today’s world and I don’t foresee one or the other becoming an overwhelming favorite anytime soon. Having seen both in-person countless times, my advice doesn’t change: see what your hearts say and roll with it! At the same time, there’s always going to be the possibility that your family and friends will want to add their two cents on the matter. If you are both in agreement on a set-up, then go with that. After all, it is your wedding day! Don’t let additional opinions pile on more stress!
Your venue should make life easier!
As you can probably tell, the major difference between first look and traditional photo shoots comes down to personal preference. With this said, one underlying factor that can float into the head of anyone getting married is stress. Every single vendor you choose shouldn’t add to the stress, but rather should diminish it as they take care of their jobs. As a wedding venue here in Conroe, TX, our goal at Madera Estates has always been to make the entire day as simple as possible for you. We don’t want you to worry about getting your guests from the ceremony to the reception, making sure the food is ready to go and so on! If you ever want to learn more about our process, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (936) 441-9337! We’re located just north of The Woodlands and Houston!