Should You Have First Look Wedding Photos and Video?
This is a hot-topic that haunts many brides, often until the very last minute. Should you have first look wedding photos and video? Is it worth it? Shouldn’t you just let everyone see you when your dad walks you down the aisle? Here’s a few reasons that you want to do a first look, as well as some reasons you may want to avoid one.
Reasons You SHOULD Have First Look Wedding Photos and Video
Private Moments & Memories
The first time that your soon to be husband or even your dad sees you in your wedding gown is a historic memory that will be a part of their memories of you for the rest of their lives. Having these moments in a more private setting will allow them (and you) to be able to communicate freely as well as have a genuine reaction. The best part is that you don't have to worry about everyone watching you. Plus this can help you with the pre-wedding jitters. Any time I've had a bride and groom do a first-look during their wedding day, the bride is at ease instantly. Nerves = gone.
Dad and Groom Will Let Their Guard Down
As a married man, this one hits home. Let's be honest, a large portion of men will fight back the tears if a group of people are watching. Men honestly have a harder time allowing themselves to open up like this on their wedding day, or at all really. By cultivating a space that your dad or fiance' can have a genuine reaction and a private moment, you'll both gain a memory that's frozen in time and permanently etched into your mind.
A Controlled Environment
This one kind of goes with the other two but it can be elaborated on. There are alot of things that go into a wedding that photographers and videographer job on during the ceremony. One of which is scenery and lighting. If we're honest, the lighting at a vast majority of churches and other wedding venues isn't the greatest, at least in the ceremony area. By controlling the environment, we get to give you a better product. Not only for creative choice but for the sake of having less distracting elements/people in the shot.
Get to the Reception Quicker
This is the absolute biggest reason most brides do a first look. If you can get your family and anyone else who would be in a group shot that would typically happen following the ceremony early, do it. This will allow us as your photographers & videographers to get you to the reception as soon as the ceremony is over, or buy us time to get some more portraits of the two of you. This is especially good if the guests are waiting on your arrival to eat at the reception.
Reasons You SHOULDN'T Have First Look Wedding Photos and Video
A first look isn’t always for everyone, here are a few of the most common reasons that brides decide to NOT have a first look.
The Big Walk Down The Aisle is Less Dramatic
Everyone dreams of the big walk down the aisle when talking and planning for the wedding day. If this is important to you from the perspective of family, dad, and the groom... a first look may not be for you. That of course if perfectly ok though. This is your day and you should have it exactly as you want it. Should you not have first look wedding photos and video isn't the end of the world, so use your judgement on this.
You MIGHT Feel A Bit Rushed Before
The biggest reason that I would suggest against a first look photos or video session is that it may cause you to feel a little more rushed than the option of not having one. However, this can be worked out with your wedding photography & videography team. I always call my brides the week of the wedding to walk through a timeline of how everything will go on the big day. If you need to adjust for more time, talk to your photographer and videographer and see if they can make that happen for you.
Less Time For Prep During The Day
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point. If you're not one that deals with timelines very well, or sticking to them for that matter, you may want to avoid a first look. Having a bridesmaid or wedding planner that is great with time-management is a good remedy for this issue though. Sticking to the timeline is important. It isn't always the end of the world if adjustment has to happen though.
My Three Tips For First Look Wedding Photos and Video
Make Sure Your Videographers Get The Entire Moment:
This is my pet peeve. Please get a videographer that is willing to sacrifice some form of artistic creativity if it means getting the entire moment. Our team uses two videographers so that we can focus on creative and the entire moment. You'll likely enjoy watching that moment than the actual ceremony.
Does Everyone Have A Microphone?
Another big thing bothers me as a wedding videographer is when another videography team doesn't ensure that high quality audio is captured from the first look. Sometimes WE don't hear what your groom or your dad says to you, but the mic will always capture it. This is something that you'll cherish for life. There's nothing like a loved-ones voice. That's something that photography just can't re-create. First look aside, talk to your videographer and see if they have AT LEAST three microphones for this as well as the ceremony. Anyone doing this professionally should have these, if not, they're not the vendor for you.
Communication & Keeping The Privacy
The best thing that you and your photography & videography team can do is communicate. Communication will allow everyone to keep distance after direction is given, allowing you to not feel "swarmed" during the moment, causing more anxiety than happiness. Our typical rule is to give you distance for a few moments and then slowly work our way to a closer shot, eventually posing you for a few shots then moving to the next portion. Communication is always a good thing. Your first look wedding photos and video depend on it.
Only You Know "You" like YOU do.
Some of these may deal breakers. Some of these may not matter to you. Only you know you like you do and that's perfectly ok. Let's make sure your big day is as big as it can possibly be. If you have any questions about how a first look works with photo or video, I would be more than glad to help guide you along the way. Shooting a minimum of thirty weddings a year comes with experience that is valuable to brides. I'm more than willing to give you advice in this area.