Why A First Look? – Kristyn Hogan Photography

May 9, 2011

Let me just start this out with saying, I was a bride too. I understand the push and pull of everyone telling you what they think you should do on your wedding day. How they did it. Why what they did was awesome. Or not so awesome. In the end, it comes down to you, the bride, and the man you can’t wait to marry. It’s your wedding day. Not anyone else’s.

So while I’m on my soapbox of telling you that your day should be the day you choose, I know that so many decisions are thrown in your face and sometimes they are so overwhelming that you’re not really sure what you even want. So when it comes to the decision of whether you see your groom before the ceremony or wait until you walk down the aisle, I think it should be an informed decision. Which leads me to this frequently asked question:

What is a first look & what are the advantages of having one on my wedding day?

The basic answer is that I’ve photographed hundreds of weddings and some couples chose to do a first look, some chose to wait until the ceremony and either way, we make it work with the proper planning. That being said, there are some awesome advantages to doing a first look that you might not think of, so that’s why I’m here!

A first look goes something like this; we find a beautiful, private spot, away from all the flurry of preparation and set your groom up with his back turned to you. Then we get you all set up; dress, hair and make-up looking fabulous, and then we back away. This is a moment that is just between you and your (almost!) husband. We are shooting from afar with long lenses to allow you both to take the moment in, to see each other for the first time on your wedding day, to feel the emotion and joy of what you are about to do- together. Being able to have this moment, just between each other, instead of in front of everyone during the ceremony allows for a different kind of intimacy; an intimacy that truly sinks in and allows you to enjoy what is just yours as a couple. And from that moment on, the day is spent together!

After getting photos of just the bride and groom, we have plenty of time for fun photos with the bridal party and timeless family portraits. Time for you to enjoy the people who have come from far and wide to celebrate this day.

Then it’s time for the ceremony! That moment when you walk down the aisle, just as special as ever. And after that, it’s immediately time to party! Time to celebrate with family and friends! No stress in making sure everyone is in the right place for photos after the ceremony, no worrying about your guests waiting for you at the reception. Just time to celebrate!

A first look can be a great thing and we’ve had so many brides tell us it was one of the best decisions they made for their wedding day, but no matter what you decide, the important thing is that you choose what is right for you and your groom as a couple.

Post & Images by Kristyn Hogan Photography


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  • Reply Bill Vincent May 9, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Great article, Kristyn! I would also add that if a couple chooses to do a first look, they will also give a wedding filmmaker/videographer a chance to film some really great stuff that makes for great highlight clip material. Having the pressure off by not being in the heat of the ceremony means that a filmmaker can really plan the shot where the groom sees the bride for the first time. It also eliminates problems due to the ceremony venue not allowing certain camera positions – the filmmaker can get both the shot of the bride AND the groom’s reaction at the same time, which is sometimes not possible due to venue restrictions. Thanks for posting!

  • Reply Guest Post – Wedding Timeline Tips, Simply Stunning Events | Nashville Weddings, Wedding Blog - WedCandy September 23, 2011 at 7:05 am

    […] Consider having a “first look”. Nothing makes a wedding day run more smoothly than a bride and groom seeing each other before the […]

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