He stands alone, anxiously awaiting his bride. Slowly she walks up behind him. The day . . . the moment . . . it is finally here!!! She wonders what he will think, what he will say. He turns around to see his bride standing before him, and his eyes and beaming smile say it all!!!! LOVE!!!
Ok, no one ever said I was a good writer - hahaha!!! This is why I take pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words, and it would take me 5,000 less than eloquent ones to even attempt to put into words how beautiful that first look is!!! It is my FAVORITE part of any wedding!!! I love seeing the groom's face when he sees his bride for the first time!!!
I realize this is a bit out of the ordinary, but since I get so many questions surrounding this, I've decided to put into words (or better yet, into pictures) what a First Look is at a wedding, and why having a second shooter (photographer) makes such a big difference!!!
What is a First Look?? A first look is simply setting aside a special, more intimate time before the ceremony for the Bride & Groom to see one another for the first time on their wedding day. I feel this is worth explaining because when I was planning my own wedding, I did not do this, and I feel like it was mostly due to a lack of understanding. I'm sentimental and wanted my husband seeing me for the first time in my wedding dress to be special. As I mentioned, my favorite part of a wedding is seeing the groom's face as he sees his bride for the first time. Somehow, I thought that doing pictures before the ceremony would ruin all that. And then I saw a "First Look" and instantly fell in love!!!
Why have a First Look?? I have brides do this for many reasons, so I'm sure I will miss some of them. First, it is more intimate and private. For some couples, the idea of hundreds of people staring at them as they see each other for the first time is nerve-racking!! Even couples who didn't originally plan to do a first look for this reason often tell me afterwards how thankful they are that they did because they relaxed and weren't so anxious about the ceremony. Second, I usually follow it with a photo session with the Bride & Groom and then the Wedding Party. Typically, I like to plan for about 60 minutes just with the Bride & Groom (this includes the first look), so you get MANY more pictures of the two of you on your Wedding Day than you would with a typical setup allowing for 40-60 minutes between the ceremony and reception to fit in pictures of the couple, the wedding party, and the family. And last, but certainly not least, you are more likely to get better shots of the Groom's face when he sees his Bride!!! That is my favorite part!!! Have I mentioned that enough yet!?
Please note that I still LOVE a groom seeing his bride for the first time at the ceremony too!!! I just like to point out that there are other options that are equally romantic.
Why have a Second Shooter?? A second shooter or photographer allows me to be in multiple places at once. While I like to think I am quick and nimble, I cannot be behind you and in front of you and beside you at the same time. It simply isn't possible. This is most important for things like the First Look and the Ceremony and allows you to end up with AMAZING pictures from various angles!!! This makes a HUGE difference in the First Look you're about to see . . .
So, since I'm sure I've talked too much already . . . let's take a look!!!
First, we pick a location. The bride and groom chose this gazebo because it was quiet, private, and beautiful!! Plus, this was one of the their top choices for a ceremony spot, and since they went with the garden for the ceremony, this was the perfect place for their first look!!!
This can go various ways, but for this First Look, the groom stood in the gazebo back to where the bride would be coming from . . . and waited. Don't worry, the second shooter is up there chatting with him and making sure he doesn't peek ;-)
* In the picture I was asking about of Jessica & her Sister walking . . . her sister's heel had just snapped off!!! It was like a movie!!! I had never seen that happen in real life, but luckily these ladies are super prepared and one of the bridesmaids had extra shoes!!!