The First Look

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Pro Tip: Reasons to Consider Doing a First Look at Your Own Wedding

More and more couples are beginning to think about bucking traditions and adding a first look to their wedding day events. Hang on, what is that anyway? Typically, couples wait until the walk down the aisle to see each other on their wedding day. A first look is time you carve out of your schedule so you see each other and have some time alone with each other before the ceremony.

Jon and Ivy had the most ecstatic reactions to their first look! Photograph by Austin wedding photographer Mercedes Morgan Photography taken at Ivy and Jon's Addison Grove wedding.

You haven’t heard of it? It’s a thing! Here are our favorite reasons why you might consider including a first look to your wedding day:

1.) Your own quiet time. Think of it: this is your first best day ever. It will go by very fast and so much will happen—it can be so difficult to pause to take it all in. Building in time together to  pause, talk about what you’re looking forward to can be incredibly helpful and calming.

2.) If your formal photographs with each other, family and wedding party are done before the ceremony, that means you have time to enjoy your guests during cocktail hour. You may have lots of events packed into your wedding and might not want to get off the dance floor to visit, so having that extra time might be very meaningful for you.

3.) If you have a late fall or winter wedding when sunshiny hours are limited, a first look will ensure that your portraits will take place during daylight. Night time photos are lovely, but having extra time means you have the option to have both day and night time photos if you build it into your timeline. 

Robert was nervous until he laid eyes on Abby at their Wildflower Barn wedding. Taken by Mercedes Morgan Photography, Austin wedding photojournalists.

4.) Got nerves? A first look can really, really help calm those jitters. We know this one from personal experience. When we got married, no one really heard of doing this but our photographer suggested it. It was a very huge help to take all the nerves out of the way. Yes, there were still tears during the ceremony!

5.) Speaking of tears, if you know you may get emotional when seeing each other, doing a first look can help not just calm some butterflies, but if you do shed tears, you have a chance to freshen up before the ceremony. Just ask your make up artist to hang around for a little bit. Also, you both will have clothes and makeup newly put on and still fresh—great for photos.

6.) A chance for more photos! Some of the couples we’ve worked for have had very few professional photos taken. They see the wedding day as a chance to make up for some of that. A first look gives a chance at one set of portraits and they give us a few more opportunities throughout their wedding day for additional looks. A few minutes after ceremony, at just before sunset and even blue hour can give very different looks.

Amy and Dodd's reactions during their first look at their Ivory Oak Wimberley Texas wedding.

7.) This last point is a very special one, speaking as an introvert: if you’re very private with your emotions, having a first look is an opportunity for you to share your own vows with each other. It’s a very powerful thing to share your strongest, deepest thoughts with each other and you might appreciate keeping it between you two. We let you decide how and when you’d like it captured on camera, giving you as much privacy as possible of course. 

There are so many reasons to consider a fist look and these are just some of ours. Do any of them resonate with you? Have you given thought to doing a first look at your own wedding? Why or why not? We’d love to know!

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