Everything You Wanted To Know About Having A First Look

The first look is not a concept we see too often in Ireland just yet, but it’s growing in popularity! I’ve done a few at recent weddings and, I have to say, they’re a great idea. There’s a bit of a worry about losing that sense of tradition by having a first look, though. So, I wanted to share with you today why I think first looks are great and how you can go about planning one for your wedding day. Read on for everything you wanted to know about having a first look!

What is a ‘First Look’?

The traditional first look occurs at that important moment, just as you’re about to walk down the aisle. Your groom, standing at the other end, turns to look at you. If you’ve done things the traditional way, you haven’t seen each other since the day before. So it’s a beautiful moment to experience and for me to capture.

Recently, people have started planning that first look moment to happen more privately, before the ceremony and away from all your guests. It means you can control how things look for your photos and also have a private and meaningful moment together before the main event.

Why Have A First Look?

Getting married can be a stressful and nerve-wracking experience for some people. Maybe you’re not good with crowds (even people you know) or you’re not keen on being the centre of attention. That moment heading down the aisle is a lovely one. But it can send some people into a bit of a panic as everyone turns to face them. Taking the pressure of the first look away means you’ll be able to enjoy that moment rather than just thinking about all those people staring at you.

Also, having a few minutes alone with the person you know, trust and love the most can help to calm any nervousness you might be feeling. They can give you a pep talk ready to tackle that challenge of facing all those people. Not to mention it’ll be reassuring to him to see that you’ve arrived and you’re not going to leave him waiting at the altar!

To get those beautiful couple shots you want

Us wedding photographers like to take you away after all the family formal photographs are done before it’s time to sit down to dinner. Now, we all know weddings rarely run on time. One of the worries is that we’ll run out of time to get those couple shots because other areas of the day overran. If you prioritise the first look, then I can guarantee you will get those couple shots you wanted!

Having total privacy for that first look and beautiful couple shots means you can relax and be yourselves. That always makes for some amazing moments to capture on camera. 

And, if you’re having a winter wedding, it means we’ll be able to get those photos while it’s still light. You know it gets dark pretty early around these parts at that time of the year!

To have more time

If you’ve already had your first look and couple shots before the ceremony, you’ll have lots more time at your drinks reception to spend with friends and family. I can’t think of a more important reason to consider doing a first look! After all, spending time with everyone who has come to celebrate your day with you is what it’s all about, isn’t it? Other than getting married, of course!

You’ll have more time for those formal group photos too, which is good if you’ve got a big family and a long list of groups to get through. And there’ll still be plenty of time for me to get lots of those candid, natural photographs that everyone loves too.

How To Plan A First Look

So, how do you plan a first look then? What do you need to consider?

Think about timings

Allow about 30 minutes for a first look to take place. That’ll be plenty of time for you to meet, have a good look at each other and get some great photos before it’s time to get married.

To factor in the time, make sure you’re both ready earlier rather than making the ceremony later. That means you’ll have to start getting ready earlier too. But it’s your wedding day. You’ll be up super early anyway!

Where to do it

Choose a location that’s not too far from where you’re getting ready and where your ceremony is taking place (if they’re not in the same location). Or scope out a nice private spot at your venue if you’re doing it all in the same place.

Choose somewhere pretty but private. Somewhere your guests can’t see what’s happening so you can be totally relaxed and so they don’t get to see you in your dress until the ceremony is about to begin! 

Ask your photographer

If in doubt, ask me! I have lots of experience planning first looks so I can give you advice and help at the planning stages. If I already know your venue, or am visiting it with you, I can suggest some great spots to do your first look too.

Having a first look should feel right for both of you so do discuss it and plan it together. Couples who do opt for a first look pretty much all say the same thing, that they’re glad they did it and they have no regrets. Feel free to get in touch and ask questions if there’s something you want to know!

And if you’re ready to book me so I can capture your first look (and wedding!), then get in touch. I can’t wait to hear from you.

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