What is A First Look On a Wedding Day

5 Reasons Why First Looks Aren't Only For The Couple

So, what is a First Look? I'm sure that's the first thought that came to mind if you've never been married before or never heard of a first look until now. A first look is a pre-arranged precious moment set up by your photographer or videographer for your wedding day. It is planned in advance, with input from you (like who wants to see who first, etc.), while still valuing the moment which is normally chosen for couples. Again, one of the best benefits of doing a First-Look for the couple is more photographs and more footage for their wedding film. Intimate moments on a wedding day are precious. But, what if you want to do a first-look with your father or mother? Can you still do a first look? Well, the answer to that question is—yes.

A first look can absolutely be a precious moment between Father and daughter on a wedding day. Arranging this in advance by communicating this to your photographer or videographer makes it possible.

1. Father - Daughter Reveal (First Look): On a wedding day it's typical for the Father of the daughter to see her in her dress for the first time. Typically this happens before her fiance' see's her (if a first look is not being done) walking down the aisle.

A first look can be done on a wedding day for this moment by keeping the Bride in her bridal suite alone while letting her Dad know when he can enter the room. Typically this type of first-look is done by picking an area of the room where the Bride can stand in her dress with the wedding party temporarily for this private moment.

2. Mother - Daughter Reveal (First Look):

A first look with a Mom is really significant because she is the woman that raised you to be the woman you are today. And guess what, she doesn't have to be your biological mother either. Some people are adopted or raised by a grandmother. Whomever that mother-figure is in your life, she's the one that will be a part of this special moment on your wedding day. Sometimes the Mom is chosen to walk the daughter down the aisle so she would be informed of how this process works and given enough time to be prepared for it. Typically this happens before the Bride walks down the aisle as well. This type of first-look is done by picking an area of the room where the Bride can stand alone (in her dress) while the wedding party temporarily leaves that room for this private moment. Be prepared to cry though. It's also significant because every mother wants to give their daughter that final look before she walks into the next phase of her life.


3. Family Reveal (First Look): This year was the first time in my career that one of my couples shared how important it was to have majority of their family present during their first-look. This took a lot of pre-planning, but the hired photographer and myself (official videographer) made it happen for the couple. This type of First-Look requires everyone to be ready for the moment to happen while avoiding lateness as much as possible. Any slip in time can make this impossible. Out of all of the types of first-looks, this type if less common and less practiced because there are a lot of moving parts to it.

Any moment in time that allows the couple to spend more time together on their wedding day is worth having a thousand times over. ​ 4. The Couple's (First Look): This is the traditional first look. This moment is a pre-arranged precious moment set up by your photographer or videographer for your wedding day. It is planned in advance, with input from the couple while still making the moment as natural as possible. Typically the Groom is taken to the designated area first with either the photographer, videographer or both. The plan is to keep the Groom from seeing the Bride (entirely) while still setting up visually to capture the moment as it transpires in real time. First Looks between the couple can be done outdoors or indoors and are typically attended by no one else but the couple. This allows for more wedding day portraits which allows for more time later on in the day at the Reception to spend with family and friends. 5. Reduces Nervousness Walking Down The Aisle: It's normal to have some form of jitters on your wedding day. My couples that have chosen to do a first look have been way more relaxed walking down the aisle. I think it's because they broke all of their nerves seeing each other for the first look.For Brides or those who are worried that there won't be an emotional reaction when as the Bride walks down the aisle to her new beau will be sacrificed, don't worry. It still happens as if it's the first time they're seeing you.

Doing a First Look seems to be an ongoing debate, but definitely worth discussing. As a seasoned photographer and videographer there are many benefits to having a First Look. One of the main benefits is more photos mixed with more intimate time together for the couple. What do I mean by that? Well, weddings are filled with your family and friends that come from near and far to celebrate with you. It's rare to have any downtime, so a first look is perfect for some downtime that valuable to couple. When a couple decides to see each other before the ceremony and break "tradition", it really tells me a lot about the couple. It let's me know as their photographer or videographer that the day and their relationship is still significant to the point that they value any precious moment they can have with just the two of them. Weddings are often for the family and friends to be a part of the celebration of a union, but sometimes couples don't really get to enjoy each other on their special day; this is where a First Look can give a better chance for this opportunity to happen; even if only for 5-10 minutes. Here are some tips to a successful First Look: 1. Create a Wedding Timeline that includes the First Look and doesn't rush on the time needed to do so. 2. Allow your Photographer(s) or Videographer(s) to select the best location for the First Look. They have the expertise to make the First Look a success. 3. Willing member(s) of the Groom and Bridal Party: At least one person from each to assist the couple to meet, but separated of course.Bring the Groom down at least 10 minutes before the Bride is escorted to the location. 4. The willing member(s) of the Groom and Bridal Party that escorted the Bride/Groom to the First Look location need to let the couple embrace and enjoy the moment after they've brought the couple to the location. 5. Don't be afraid to cry. This is a private and meaningful moment. Here's why one of my #UICOUPLES chose to do a First Look, “We expected the day of the wedding to be crazy and by doing our first look we were able to have a moment to ourselves. It also helped reduce the nerves. We felt a first look would give us a more intimate moment and also give us more time during the cocktail hour to take pictures with family and the wedding party.”

Again, one of the best benefits of doing a First-Look for the couple is more photographs and more footage for their wedding film. Intimate moments on a wedding day are precious. Capturing them during a first-look is really one of the best ways to get candid moments of love between two people. So my question to you is, do you want to reconsider doing a first-look on your wedding day? Maybe you want to still keep tradition (and not see your fiancé), but do your First Look with parents or your family. Either way, it's a moment worth having and it's a moment worth thinking about for your wedding day so go ahead and give it a try!

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Anesha Collins is well recognized photographer and cinematographer currently based in Orlando Florida.
 She’s also available for international travel and 

destination weddings as well.

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