On a wedding most people expect the First Look to happen when your future partner sees you at the start of your ceremony. They cry, mom cries, you smile, the world stops for just a moment, and your adventure begins. It’s true that this is the case for most of the weddings I get to attend, but not for all.
When you schedule an intimate First Look it’s usually for one of a few different reasons. One; you are having your portraits done before the ceremony due to time constraints but you don’t want to miss that reaction of them seeing you for the first time. Two; you want to take away some of the nerves or butterflies before the ceremony – but you should know that most people still cry anyway. Three; you prefer not to have portraits done after the ceremony because you’d rather take as much time as possible to mingle with your guests. All good reasons! And honestly, these are some of my most favourite moments. When you can really let your emotions take over and react without having to dive into vows – it’s beautiful. It’s bigger. It leaves time to let it all sink in. And it’s giving me goosebumps just writing about it.
HOW TO ROCK A FIRST LOOK
There aren’t any real rules to a First Look, but there is some very sound advice to get the most out of these moments. One; don’t pose for the camera. Focus on your sweetheart and take as long as you want. Two; did I say don’t stop and pose? Three; be open to your feelings and don’t hold back! Do whatever your heart tells you. There is no wrong choice here. Four; be prepared. If you think one of you is going to cry, have tissue ready. If there’s something about your outfit that is really bothering you – lose it. Let nothing stand in the way of you loving this moment. And finally, Five; seriously don’t pose for the camera.
FIRST LOOKS WITH DAD
Yup – your First Look doesn’t have to be with your partner. It can be with a parent, and it’s usually something brides do for their dads but you can share with any parents you like! Seriously I can’t get over these dads. They cry almost every time and it hits me so hard. Something about a father breaking down in happiness over his baby girl’s wedding day. Magical.
FIRST LOOKS WITH THE GIRLS
You can have a reveal with anyone! Once your dress is on and you’re totally ready to go, why not step out and see how your ladies react? Add some moms in there, maybe a dad or two, anyone really. But the ladies are usually so pumped all day having spent time with their bride getting ready that they react bigger than you expect. There’s something about your squad literally cheering for you that really changes the tone of the day.
The entire point of a First Look with anyone is to give them time to react in a more private way than during a ceremony. I guarantee you from lots of experience that this does not stop tears. But it can let your parents or girls know that you wanted to give them a little something extra by creating a special moment just between you and them. And it can be a beautiful and private moment between you and your love that you’ll cherish forever.
Gotta tell you though: no matter how you do it, weddings are wonderfully magical days. So do what works for you. I’ll be the one behind the camera trying not to sob like a baby.