November 23, 2021





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5 Reasons You Should Do a First Look Photos

first look photos post by GEM Photography
Taken at the Hopyard Golf Club

If you polled all the wedding photographers you know most of them would tell you that they love doing first look photos. To take it a step further, if you asked couples who have done first look photos if they regret it none of them would say they did. I am a traditional person and I get the expectation that comes with seeing your partner come down the aisle, but I have also seen couples be cool for their first look and absolutely lose it at the ceremony.

Just to be clear this is not I don’t judge anyone for what decision they make. This is basically a post to show the benefits of doing first look photos. Whatever decision the two of you make for the two of you it is going to be great. At the end of this post, I will give you tips that will help get the most out of your wedding photography if you don’t do one. Also, if you don’t want to do one with your partner you can

Taken at the Wadsworth Mansion

The Five Benefits of the First Look Photos

  1. More Couples Portraits- For all of my math lovers this one’s for you. 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! (Believe me, past couples homes are PACKED full of portraits!) With a first look, you make the most out of this large investment and get the most for your money.
  2. Enjoy The Moment Freely– You actually get to have intimate time on your wedding day with your partner. Most brides and grroms don’t realize that when you come down the aisle and totally SHOCK him with your gorgeousness… He or she can’t fully tell you how amazing you look. They can’t embrace you or even say what they are actually feeling. You have to wait until 30 minutes later when the ceremony is over. And after 30 minutes of the ceremony, the reaction isn’t the same as the initial first glance.
    If you have a videographer you can have it recorded and I as the photogrpaher can capture the expresion but I kind of feel bad that I hear initial words before the person they are directed towards. I see the wow come out of the one waiting and hear the quiver…
  3. Extend Your Day by 3 Hours- First look photos allow you to extend your wedding day. Normally the wedding day would start 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.
  4. Alone Time (Kind of)– First look photos allow you to be together and alone (well the photographer, planner, and videographer are there but still) on your wedding day. Normally portraits are a little rushed after the family formals, and it can be hard to really get back into that “lovey dovey” mode especially with family around! When you have just shared your first look, you’re ready to love on each other, and I always capture some super sweet images during those moments.
  5. Weakens Nerves- 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. However, because they have never experienced their wedding day before, they didn’t know how nerve racking it can be. I have testimonials from so many grooms who initially weren’t a fan of the first look… but afterwards they admitted to being SO much more relaxed and ready for the ceremony!
First Look Photo Taken in Downtown Hartford

Couples First Look Photos

For those of you concerned that the moment of the ceremony is diminished because of a first look the photo above is proof that is not the case.. In fact when you do a first look grooms are more comforable to embrace the moment because the nerves are not as strong.

First look photo with a dog

Non-Partner First Look Photos

Now If one of you (usually brides) really wants to do first look photos with someone while the other doesnt want to there are always ways to have the experience on your big day. These are two of the most popular times I have seen alternative first looks.

  1. First Look Photos with Dad– It is normally done with dad because mom often helps witht the getting ready portion so she she sees the bride first naturally. But I have seen them with others but it usually with dad.
  2. First Look Photos with Bridal Party– No one one will hype you up like your squad…

First Look Photos with Dad

First Look Photos With Bridal Party

Taken While Second Shooting For Rowanberry And Lavender

Things To Do If You Dont Do First Look Photos

If you arent doing first look photos there are ways to get the most out of one of the biggest investments of your day.

  1. Front Load Family and Bridal Party Photos– When you schedule more time before the ceremony for group shots that can be taken seperatly you allow more time for romantic portraits after the ceremony and often allows time for you to join the second half of cocktail hour.
  2. Sunset photos– Everyone loves a good golden hour shoot. I think the biggest benifits of sunset photos is it is often during dinner… And since everyone is so hungry they barely notice you arent there and they arent trying to talk to you. Since a lot of the formalities are done couples relax and some of their best photos come from that time. You should do sunset photos even if you do a first look, but it gives you more photos if you spend a majority of cocktail hour taking family and bridal party photos.

Whether or not you do the first look is up to you as a couple. Yes, this post is about why you should do one but remember the day is about the two of you if you do one or not. But obviously, I think you should 😉

More From GEM Photos

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Til Next Time



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