What it is:

The first look, or first reveal, is when the bride and groom-to-be see each other for the first time after they’ve gotten dressed in their wedding attire. The first reveal can help remove a lot of the stress from your day, and make it much more enjoyable for you and your guests. We recommend setting aside 2-3 hours before the ceremony for getting ready, seeing each other, and getting all of the formal photos with the wedding party and your family done. Of course that timeline could change depending on whether or not (for an example) you are getting ready at the same hotel, and if the ceremony and reception are taking place at the same location. We'll help you with planning the timeline of your day during your free consultation and when we go over the final details in the weeks before your wedding. Having worked at many wedding venues, we are often familiar with the grounds and potential locations to stage the first look. 

The first reveal isn't for everyone. The tradition has always been that the bride and groom don't see each other until she walks down the isle. However, in recent years many couples are foregoing tradition for the benefits that the first reveal offers. While it might not be for couples who consider themselves hardcore traditionalists, there are a number of benefits to consider.

Things to Consider:

The first consideration is time. If you’re getting married at the end of November, and your ceremony is at 4PM and it gets dark at 5PM, you might want to do a first look so that you can get all of the photos done while there is still daylight. You don't want to be rushing to get everything done before the sun goes down.

Another consideration is that right after getting ready, the bride is looking her best. Her hair and makeup were just finished, and everything is perfect. Between the time of getting ready, and the cocktail hour, you will be hugging family and friends, walking around, and getting in and out of limos. When the time to take formal pictures comes around, you may still look great, but you might not look quite as fabulous as you did when you left the house. Maybe your hair has since gotten frizzy, and most of your make-up has found it’s way on to your guests’ shoulders from hugging them. The first look allows us to capture the bride and groom when they look their absolute best.

Another huge benefit is that you are able to share a quiet moment with each other without rushing before the ceremony. The day will be gone before you know it, and it can be really nice to have that moment to be alone with each other and take it all in.  We can capture the anticipation, and the excitement, and all of the emotions as you two see each other for the first time. We’ll be able to utilize the grounds of the venue you have your wedding at without worrying about guests being in the background. Once the guests arrive they like to explore and it’s not uncommon for them to get in the way, or to want to take their own pictures. This can be stressful for both the bride and groom and the photographer. While there’s nothing wrong with your guests wanting to take a quick photo of you, it takes away from our time and our ability to do our job. This is especially true when taking family formals. Everyone wants to get a photo of the whole family together. There are a number of problems with this: (1) Everyone’s eyes will be looking in different directions because there are more than one camera to look at. (2) We have a short window for making sure we get all of the photos done and having crowds of people around, especially when they want to take their own pictures interferes with our ability to round up the necessary people and do our job in an organized, structured manor. (3) We deliver all of the digital files to you, and because you have partial ownership of the copyrights, you’re allowed to share them with friends and family. We promise that our photo taken with a $5,000 camera and lens will look better than your great aunt Martha’s iPad photo.

Perhaps the biggest benefit is that you get to enjoy more of the party. Normally, cocktail hour would be reserved for the guests to hang out and mingle while the bride and groom, the wedding party, and their family go take photos with the photographer. With the first look, all of those photos can be done beforehand so when it comes time to party, you’re not missing out on anything. Now you can sit back and enjoy a drink or two and mingle with your guests while we take candid photos of all the laughs and hugs you’ll share with them. Another added bonus is that you get to see the reception hall before your guests have a chance to make a mess of it all. We know a lot of time and money goes into planning how the room will look, so you’ll appreciate being able to see how it’s all paid off.