Growing up in New England I am no stranger to tradition. Other than the south we north easterners are very set in our ways… But there is one tradition that might be becoming the VHS of weddings…. Not seeing each other before the ceremony…
When I lived in Seattle a friend of mine got married in September and after her ceremony I saw her eating with the rest of us… I asked her why they weren’t off taking their pictures… She told me “we did them before”… The New England roots were shook… That was unheard of.. Every wedding I had been to, which was on the east coast never did this… Fast forward to becoming a wedding photographer 3 years ago. First looks are becoming more and more normal over here and I am starting to see why. I love them and recommend them to all of my couples.
And here’s why….
Fresh Face is the Best Face
Ladies we spend a lot of money, especially on wedding days on our hair and makeup. Unless you plan on having your beauty team stay the whole day… Fresh makeup is the best makeup…..
2. A Moment Like This (sung in Kelly Clarkson voice)
The biggest reason people hesitate doing the first look is they feel they will loose that “moment” but as someone who has done her share of first looks… That is far from the truth…The moment a groom sees his bride for the first time is special no matter when it takes place.
3. Just the two of us (Will Smith version is fine)
The wedding day is about two people pledging their lives to each other. I love first looks because it allows couples to have a private moment (with a photographer lol) to themselves before all of the hoopla takes place.
4. Epic Pictures Take Time
When you do your a first look you allow time for great pictures. First Looks are usually done 2 hours before the ceremony. This allows you more time to get really good shots… A lot of epic pictures take even the most seasoned photographer time to set up…
4. Family and Friends First
Family first is a cornerstone in the mission of GEM Photography.. Heck the company is named after my family… First looks allow you to spend time with the people close to you before the ceremony.
5. Party Time Excellent
I will never forget coming back from pictures after my sister’s wedding to hear from various people how great the appetizers were… We missed it because we were busy… Even when pictures are done on the venue site I still people miss cocktail hour goodness due to using the whole hour to take pictures.
6. Keep You Where The Light Is
October has become the new June here in New England … The foliage is at peak but the sun not so much. Sunset in October starts at 5:30 before Daylight Savings… All three of the weddings above took place at night… Once their ceremonies were over the sun was setting… Leaving 20 minutes of good light….This is why I highly suggest to late fall couples to do a first look.
7. Eat, Drink, and Be Married
Not only do you get to be with your guests during cocktail hour… You get to eat during dinner course… The time you use chatting and greeting your guests at cocktail hour saves you time to eat instead of walking around to each table during courses…
Still not convinced …. Well that’s fine …. It’s your day do what what it the day… If you dont have a first look here are some suggestions for smoother photo taking
Hire a day of coordinator
Have a big break between the ceremony and the reception… If you dont mind having guests wait around for two hours this is a very good options
Do as much you can before the ceremony… For example do bride and groom family and most bridal party pictures before the ceremony… Which leaves large groups and extended family for after the ceremony.. And a little more time for couples photos… But make sure you allow plenty of time before the ceremony to do so…
Have a makeup refresh kit… Most brides dont have a glam squad for the whole day so a little kit maybe helpful… A lot of MUA give them out check at your trial to see if your’s does.
Before you go a couple more first look pictures