Ok, so yesterday we talked about a few myths about why seeing each other before the ceremony is bad. Today we are looking at some super cool benefits that only come from having a First Look.
1. Time Alone
I think this is my favorite thing about First Looks. It give the two of you time to hang out ALONE at your wedding. Even though you may have been to tons of weddings, there really is not anyway to understand what one is like ’til it’s yours. There are plenty of people who want to see you, timelines to stay on, and sometimes things get behind schedule. By seeing each other before hand, you ensure that you have time with the most important person in your life, on the most important day of your life. I have NEVER seen a couple who waited to see each other have time alone on their wedding day. Go back and read that last sentence. (I’ll wait.) Seriously, it’s crazy to think about, but someone is always with them, either their parent, a bridesmaid, the planner, or even the dreaded photographer. :) My favorite part of First Looks are when I leave you guys alone for a bit. You talk, relax, and remember that all the crazy wedding shenanigans are trivial compared to the person standing in front of you. There is something so intimate and powerful about seeing a bride and groom talking and laughing alone moments away from their wedding vows. I love it!
2. Better / More Photos
So, FINALLY, I get to talk about my part in this whole thing. The photos. A few quick thoughts:
First off, most couple get married in the afternoon/evening. This means that by the time the ceremony is done and everyone has hugged a bit, there is only about 10-30 minutes of “good light” left in a day. If we just wanted a few shots of the two of you this would not be a problem, but we still have to get you guys with your side of the family, his side of the family, grandparents, that crazy aunt who insists on having a picture of the 3 girls together. (You get the idea.) Needless to say people start getting shuffled around like cattle and, rather than everyone enjoying the process, it feels like we are all in trouble and the clock is ticking away ’til the building explodes. Oh, and no matter how many times you’ve told them, there is always that one family member who heads to the reception and has already changed clothes and then we have to wait for them to come back.
Second, and this is HUGE:
You actually get MORE photos of the two of you when you choose to see each other before hand. This is not intentional, it’s just the reality of the day. Less time together means less photos together. Even though brides plan for some time alone with their groom, it always seems to get cut short. Things run behind schedule, the guests are hungry, it gets darker sooner than people realized, or that crazy aunt keeps coming outside to tell you you need to hurry up and get to the reception. I went and counted up my past 10 First Look vs. Non-First Look Weddings. Couples who saw each other before had an average of 74 photos of just the two of them. Couples who waited too see each other end up with 21. (74>21)
I checked with some other photographers as well and they have similar sometimes even lower numbers. One photographer told me about how behind schedule the family formals were and how stressful the whole process was for the bride and groom that they only ended up with 3 photos of them. Three! They just were too tired and didn’t want to deal with it any longer.
3. More time to party like a rock star on YOUR wedding day!
One of the bonus benefits of having a First Look is it allow us to get all of those family formals we all love done before the ceremony. Again, everyone is relaxed and enjoying the process rather than feeling rushed as we try and shuffle Grandparents around so we can hurry up and go cut a cake. Typically we’ll have the formals done 30 minutes before your ceremony allowing you a bit of down time to do some make up touch up or just relax before things really get rolling. What this means is after the ceremony, you can head right to the reception and hang out with your guests longer. You can actually talk to people rather then half hug them as you try your best to move to the next table to make the rounds before everyone starts heading home. You’ll have more time on the dance floor, more time to enjoy your dinner, basically, it’s about a hour of fun that most couples lose when they do all their photos after the ceremony.
Come back tomorrow when you’ll hear what grooms have to say about this whole First Look business.
(The wedding day is like… 2.5% their day too, so I thought it would be nice to ask them what they thought of it.)