Insight from my Friends: The First Look

Hey friends!  I took a few days off after Easter but now I’m back in the office and ready to tackle the spring season!  And to kick it off, I’m starting a new series of guest blogs from some of my very favorite friendors talking about different wedding-related topics.

First up is my sweet friend Maria of Maria Grace Photography.  Ya’ll, she’s so talented and has the sweetest soul.  For all you business owners, she’s also a master of SEO!  Go give her a follow and check out her work.  You won’t regret it.  Anyways, I asked Maria to chat about the First Look and why she feels it’s such a great thing to incorporate it into your wedding day!  I couldn't agree more on this and hope you see the benefits too!  Enjoy!

Hi there, my name is Maria Grace! I am a Hampton Roads wedding photographer for elegant, joyful brides. My goal is for photography to be the least stressful, most exciting part of the entire wedding! When I'm not working I love eating local food, going on long runs, and curling up with a latte and a good book.

In the last few years, a new tradition has begun in the wedding world called the First Look.  For those who have not yet heard of it, this is when a bride and groom opt to see each other prior to the ceremony.  For parents, grandparents, and even some young people this is almost unimaginable.  They aren’t supposed to see each other before they are married!  However, after photographing many weddings with and without first looks, I am here to tell you why I believe they are the best option on your wedding day.

When a bride and groom have a first look, all of their portraits are taken before the ceremony.  In addition, having a first look allows us to capture all the bridal party portraits prior to the ceremony as well!  From a timeline standpoint, this is a dream scenario for everyone involved.  So you can see what that means practically, here are two scenarios.

No First Look: Getting Ready - Groomsmen Pictures - Bridesmaid Pictures - Ceremony - Family Portraits - Bridal Party Portraits - Bride and Groom Portraits - Reception - Sunset Portraits {if there is enough time}

First Look: Getting Ready - First Look/Bride and Groom Portraits - Bridal Party Portraits - Ceremony - Family Portraits - Reception - Sunset Portraits

The second scenario is not only easier, it also allows the day to flow more smoothly.  When you set the First Look and bride & groom portraits first {arguably the most important pictures you’ll have all day}, your hair and makeup will be fresh, you will take all your pictures at the beginning of the day, and you will be able to go almost immediately to your reception.

From a timeline point of view, it makes the most sense.  However, what’s most important to me is not the timeline or the order, but the gift a First Look gives a bride and groom.  On my wedding day, I barely got to spend time with my husband.  Even at the reception we were pulled our separate ways.  When we finally got into the car to leave, I realized we had not been alone, just the two of us, the entire day save for a few brief moments here and there.

A First Look is an absolute gift and treasure.  It is the only time a couple can guarantee they will spend a few quiet moments alone on their wedding day.  These are some of the most beautiful times I remember.  The groom can actually look at his bride in her wedding dress and take it all in.  The bride can be enjoyed and treasured, and see her future husband tear up at the sight of her.  Of course your photographer will be capturing these moments, but these are moments the couple can spend together, just the two of them, at their wedding.

So this gift of time spent alone is what it’s all about.  A First Look allows for a better timeline, easier logistics, and a less stressful day.  But more than that, having a First Look re-centers the wedding day on what it should be about: the marriage and lifelong relationship between two people finally becoming one.

And that is why I believe in First Looks.

Oh Maria!  You put into words exactly what was in my heart.  I’m a huge lover of first looks for so many logistical reasons {the planner in me just can’t help loving a solid timeline}, but the sentimental reasons are what it’s all about.  I try to encourage all my couples to take some alone time at some point throughout the day.  To take it all in, to reflect on what the day means, and to just be together.  Whether it’s a First Look before the ceremony or a few minutes alone with a glass of champagne after the ceremony...that alone time is so important.  Thanks so much for sharing Maria!!  <3 span="">