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  • Lizzie Lumley

First Looks

There are two different options when you are getting married for when you take photos:

Option 1: Traditional Way - this is where the bride and groom are separated on the wedding day and do not see each other until the ceremony begins. All bridal party photos with the boys and girls separately can be taken before hand - but all family photos, bridal portraits, and together bridal party shots will be taken after the wedding ceremony is over.

Option 2: First Look - this is where the bride and groom are fully dressed and ready for the wedding. We designate a location and my assistant brings the groom the designated location and has the grooms back turned to the entry area. At this point, I bring the bride to the location. She then proceeds to tap him on the shoulder or hugs from behind or however she wants to do it to let him know she is there. Then he turns around and sees his bride for the first time. All photos can be taken prior to the wedding ceremony - usually family photos are done after the ceremony though.

Photo by Controluce Wedding Photography

I can honestly tell you that before I had my own wedding, I was fully against First Looks. I liked the idea of having that moment when he sees me when I just walk down the aisle. However, after getting married & planning lot of weddings myself, I am all for First Looks and here is why.

1. Timeline

- Having a first look is a God send to your timeline. Pictures with the Bride and Groom solo can take anywhere from 30 - 60 minutes, then bridal party photos are another 30-45 minutes, then family photos are 15-30 minutes pending how many people you have. Getting those photos done before the ceremony means that you will have more time to enjoy your guests' company at cocktail hour! After all you are paying for those yummy appetizers - might as well get to enjoy them! Before I got married, I already knew First Looks helped the timeline, but I still wanted to be traditional for my wedding - the second reason is why I wish I hadn't.

Photo by Controluce Wedding Photography

2. Intimacy

- What I didn't realize about having that big momentous occasion of walking down the aisle to him, I also had everyone else there and we didn't even get to say anything to each other as I reached him at the end of the aisle. He was so nervous and over come with emotion, he didn't get a good chance to even look at me. He says now he just blacked out and doesn't remember a thing. If we would have had the chance to have the intimate moment of just him and I, it would have been so much more memorable. He would have gotten to see the custom beading on my train and all the little touches.

3. Looking the Best for your photos

- Let's be honest - photography is expensive - but for good reason, because it is a lot of work to edit over 1,000 images. When photos are taken after the ceremony, you may have smudged your make up from crying or if the ceremony is outdoors, you might have a few fly away hairs. If you do your photos right after getting all made up, you can guarantee the best looking shots of yourself. Then after photos are over and before the ceremony, you have time to do the touch ups if needed.

I could go on and on, but I will spare you that. I think you get a good enough idea. Truly, for me, it wasn't the timeline or missing cocktail hour. I didn't realize how fast the day goes and how much you truly do "black out" because of nerves, excitement, and stress of the day. I wish I would have had that private moment with my now husband. It is something that I truly regret and I want to make sure none of my clients have regrets like that one. So I always make sure to talk them through it.

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