The First Look: Two approaches to a special moment.

OK, you've planned the wedding for months! No detail is overlooked and then the day comes. All of the planning comes down to the six hours that comprise your wedding day! Often times the brides and/or groom are a barrel of nerves from the anticipation of the lifetime vow (I am a true optimist: its a lifetime vow) they are about to take. Many of our couples are traditionalists, they don't want to see each other before the walk down the aisle. And then there are the BRAVE few that say to 'heck with the tradition' or superstition!

From Joie de Vie Weddings & Events Blog: Orlando, FL. Event Design, Planning & Coordination

Eusther and Inol opted for the first look. It was a 'hush-hush' secret because their families were dead set against it. It was the vendors and couples little secret for the day as they planned the one moment where they were able to see each other before the wedding. This photo was after they saw one another for the first time. It gave them a very private moment to just breathe and reflect on what lied ahead. Our photographers and videographers were positioned so that it was truly their own private moment (that is what great lens are for...they zoom in).

Lori Barbely was able to capture this first look and you can see the bride and groom's reaction as they were to take a moment and just talk to one another.

If this is something you would like to do, plan it out with your coordinator, videographer and photographer. Your event team of professionals can make it a memorable moment by properly staging the 'first look'. There are many advantages to seeing one another before walking down the aisle:
1. It eases your nerves, making it a bit less stressful.

2. It gives the two of you a private moment ALONE without anyone distractions, people or tasks. Not to mention it provides for some great shots together prior to the ceremony.

3. Photographers/Videographers and Bridal Consultants love this reason: YOU CAN GET ALL OF YOUR BRIDAL PARTY FORMALS done prior to the wedding ceremony. The ladies have fresh hair and make-up, more time to get the photos done without rushing. You could even include immediate family at that time.

4. This is a perfect scenario if you would like to get sunset shots after the ceremony (remember its fall and pretty soon the sun will be setting prior to 7:00 PM). It is perfect because all of the formals were done before the ceremony and that gives your photographer and videographer the opportunity to focus on the two of you. Carrie Wildes Photography did this for the couple in the first picture. Corrine and Rico were able to go out for beautiful sunset shots on the beach.

5. If you are the couple that would want to go to your cocktail hour, 'first look' photos allow for pre-ceremony shots. That time spent before provides you with fun time at the cocktail hour after!

I will say this...every couple that has done this, in my experience, did not regret the decision to have the first look.

If you don't want to see each other before going down the aisle, here is a unique take on a first look. I call it a Faux-First Look. One of my daily reads is the Ashleigh Jayne blog in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She recently shot a wedding and where the bride put a modern twist to a tried and true piece of tradition. The bride and groom did not see one another, instead they did this:

Ashleigh's bride and groom were separated by a door and she was able to capture this fabulous shot of them holding hands. I absolutely love this. It's different and very chic.

Think outside of the box and capture beautiful moments like this for your wedding memories.

Until next time,

© 2005 - 2009 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved. All photos used with permission.


CarrieWildes said…
great information!!! as a photographer I totally agree, you can get some of the most amazing moments with a "first look":-)
Shelly said…
Kerline, I definitely loooove what you call the "Faux-First Look" shot; it's ordinary, yet extraordinary (the motto I live by of course). That's a keeper for me. Great insight on the "first look"
I love these pics. What happens if there is a wedding officiator there? Does that require more planning on the bride and grooms part with the photographer?

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