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Why You Should Do a First Look | Wedding Tips from Your Favorite Photographer | Albuquerque Wedding Photographer | Fort Worth Wedding Photographer

Your fiancé wants to stick to the tradition of not seeing you until you come down the aisle. You are leaning towards doing a First Look. Some say it's bad luck to see your partner before the ceremony. Others say it's the best decision they could have made on their wedding day.


How do you decide what's best? As a professional with 13 years in the business, here's my two cents on the matter:


DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. DO IT.




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Here's why:


  1. You free up more time. Choosing to have a First Look before the ceremony usually means you can knock out a good chunk of portraits as well so you have more time to enjoy your guests at cocktail hour, you won't be feeling rushed to beat sunset, and a majority of the must have shots are already completed. How do you fit this into your timeline? Here's an example of how I run weddings days: -Place Partner 1 at the location. This will be private enough that guests won't see you and you'll have some precious alone time together. Make sure Partner 1 is facing away from where Partner 2 will be coming from. Usually my second shooter will be with Partner 1 while I run and grab Partner 2. They'll grab a few portraits and make sure everything is ready to go. -Partner 2 makes their entrance. Bonus points of having a second shooter: they'll be documenting this as it happens with different focal lengths than what I am using and different angles which means more variety for you. My favorite way to set this up is to tell Partner 2 to tap Partner 1's shoulder and have them turn around. From there it's all candid photos and genuine emotion. I like to keep my distance so you still maintain that semblance of privacy. Other options are: have your couple stand back to back, then count to three and have them turn to face each other. Have your wedding party form a wall with their bodies and then have them step out of the way for the big reveal. After your First Look, the Wedding Party will join in on the fun. If they're not involved in the First Look itself, I'll have them waiting in the wings so they're close by when it's their time to shine. Depending on the size of the wedding party, I like to request at least 30 minutes to capture all of the group photos. I'll start with several poses of the full party together, then break it down by Bride + Bridesmaids, Groom + Groomsmen, Individuals of the Bridemaids with the Bride, Individuals of the Groom + Groomsmen, the Couple with the Ushers/Flower Girls/Ring Bearer, etc. If we are able to knock those out with time to spare, I'll grab immediate family (parents and siblings) and photograph them as well. That way, all that's left after the ceremony would be extended family and romantic portraits.

  2. Melt away pre-ceremony jitters. I tell my couples that the anxiety/nervousness before the ceremony is the hardest part of the day. Seeing their partner beforehand is calming and they'll be able to focus on the day itself rather than just the nerves.

  3. Yes, you will still get genuine reactions when you come down the aisle. There's a different energy between seeing each other privately and seeing each other coming down the aisle surrounded by friends and family. That realization hits you when you lock eyes together. That's when shit gets real :) THIS is what you're here for. You're making the commitment of forever to each other and that doesn't come lightly.

  4. You're more likely to remember the ceremony. I touched on this a little earlier, but having those jitters melt away leaves room to focus on the vows.

  5. Your hair/makeup is fresh. You want photos when you're looking your best. You won't have to worry about running mascara/sweat/wind blown hair/etc. Let's be real: you're more likely to be sober then too ;)

  6. It's the perfect time for a gift exchange. It's so much fun to witness their reactions first hand.

  7. Private vow reading. Not good with speaking in front of a ton of people? Want to keep your vows just between you two? You guessed it! The First Look is the perfect time for that.

  8. The tradition of not seeing each other is antiquated. Did you know that tradition came around because of arranged marriages? You didn't know who you were even marrying until the ceremony. That's not really a thing in this decade.

  9. More time. Did I mention that you'll have so much more time? Not only with your people, but also with the photographer! If you're opting for a package with fewer hours, like 6 or less, I always recommend doing a First Look so we can knock out everything in one fell swoop.



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But wait! Why stop at one First Look when you can have two or three? A trend that I am absolutely obsessed with is multiple First Looks. This can be between a Bride and her parents, the Groom and his Groomsmen, or anyone that you want extra special moments with. SO MUCH EMOTION! Seriously, heart eyes for days.


First Look with Bridesmaids:

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First Look with Dad:

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Ultimately, I want to do what my couple wants. If you're still firm in wanting to wait until the ceremony, it's YOUR day. Do what makes you happy :) A good photographer--like myself--can roll with anything and everything.


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If you're still looking to book a photographer who knows how to run a wedding day with or without a planner, hit me up. I'll help you create a custom timeline so your day is seamless with or without a first look.


Talk to you soon, babes!





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