December 28, 2018

Why you should do a First Look: Ariel and Addison Bonsall, CA

Posted in: Wedding Planning

Are you thinking of having a first look on your special day? Maybe you’re already married and had to answer this question a while ago, maybe your engaged and you and your fiance have been thinking about this question recently, maybe you’re not yet engaged and will have to consider this question someday. To some it seems ridiculous and to some it’s the perfect special moment before the ceremony – the quiet before the chaos if you will. To be honest, I wasn’t super fond of the First Look when I had heard about it. When Brent and I got married I passed on the whole idea of one. I wanted to see his face light up in front of all our friends and family the first time he saw me, and it did, but I was also half tripping over my dress, knocked over a lantern while walking down the aisle (thank God it wasn’t lit), and was so far away that everyone else got to see his initial reaction before I did. I had a wonderful photographer, so I have pictures of the moment that I can look back at, but it wasn’t my moment. It was the moment I was looking forward to most during the whole planning process and I missed it, just like that. So why am I now all for the magic of a First Look? Let me tell you.

What it is: A First Look is a part of the “getting ready” process and pre-ceremony events. The Bride will approach the Groom without guests or bridal party around. Usually the Groom will be facing away from her and she will tap him on the shoulder or hug him and as he turns around to lay his eyes on his Bride for the first time the photographer will capture both of their reactions. The Bride and Groom get to embrace and kiss and share a special few minutes before the ceremony begins. They can share letters, vows, or special gifts and words during this time and the photographer will photograph all the love and emotion of the moment.

The First Look: Southern states that “The concept of it being bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony actually started from arranged marriages, where it was believed that if a bride and groom saw each other before the big day, they’d have enough time to call off the wedding. After all, no one wants to be left at the altar, right?” (Southern Living). But on that day you are marrying the love of your life. Nobody’s running, and it is the wedding day, although it may not be at the ceremony. The first look is such a special moment for you and your love, as well as for photos: your makeup and hair is fresh and perfect and you feel stunning! With nobody around to distract you, you get a more intimate moment with the most special person in your life on the most special day of your life.

Another great reason to do a First Look is to get formal couple sessions done BEFORE the ceremony because believe me, you will be SO distracted after the ceremony and will want to go see your friends and family as soon as possible. I was so excited to leave the formal couple session after my ceremony and go see my guests it was ALL I thought about – and I’m a photographer! It’s really hard to focus on just you and your new hubby right after the ceremony ends!

I mean, think about it, you haven’t seen them in how long? Maybe the night before during the  rehearsal dinner. In my case, I hadn’t seen my Groom all weekend; we each went away with our bridal parties and I MISSED him. I couldn’t wait for the ceremony to start, I was so antsy, which is to be expected. The First Look allows you to have 5-15 minutes to react, to talk about the getting ready process or anything on your mind, to surprise each other with a gift or with personal vows while calming down just a tad. It takes away the pressure of the day and allows you to focus on what the day is truly about, the love between you two. Without the First Look you’re at risk of missing his reaction, you don’t get to kiss each other until after the ceremony, no hug, no embrace, no “you look amazing” or “you’re so handsome” and then it’s picture time with the family, rushing to the reception venue, scarfing down some food, saying hi to guests, cutting the cake and before you know you’re leaving the dance floor getting in a car and the first private moment you have with them is “wow…its over, that was fast.”  First Looks make the day about you. It starts with you and ends with you. It also makes for AMAZING photos.

Ariel and Addison were not going to have a First Look. Their Wedding Planner told me a week before the wedding that they had changed their mind and we rearranged the wedding day schedule to fit the First Look in. We still did photos after the ceremony of just them, family formals, and the bridal party, and although they’re all beautiful, my favorite photos are STILL during the 20 minutes we had before the ceremony at the First Look. They were so genuine, so excited, and every photo makes me smile.

Needless to say, the First Look is a must and will make your photographer very happy! Sarah and Brent Photography

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Sarah and Brent are a husband and wife team based out of southern California who specialize in playful, intimate, free spirited portraits for the wild at heart. They have shot all throughout southern California and plan to tackle the globe one love story at a time. When they're not behind the lens you can find them at local coffee shops, Disneyland, or home hanging out with their cats.