The number of hours in a wedding day is limited, and as any newlywed will tell you: they fly by. There is so much that you want and need to get done in such a short period of time. One way to increase your flexibility and give you an opportunity to check important tasks off your list early in the day is to plan a “first look.”
Many photographers encourage couples to meet before the ceremony so they can shoot formal and family portraits before guests arrive – when flowers are still fresh and makeup and hair are still impeccable. Not wanting to sacrifice that emotion-filled instant when eyes first meet between the altar and the aisle, couples might feel hesitant to break the “don’t see each other before the wedding” rule. A first look is a great solution that allows photographic flexibility without sacrificing that magical moment.
How can you make sure your first look is special enough to replace the traditional version? Work with your photographer to determine the best timing and the most scenic location available. You will need a few extra hands to help transport both of you to the site without seeing each other, and to put you in the perfect spot, at the perfect angle, at just the right time.
Some couples will stage their first look on tree-lined paths and walk to each other through the woods. Others will hold hands around the corner of a wall so the photographer can capture emotions from both sides at once. Imagine your closest friends surrounding you in their royal blue bridesmaid dresses and shielding you from view with their bouquets while he emerges from amongst his groomsmen. The sea of attendants parts and you see each other for the first time – and the photography team not only captures your reaction, but the wedding party as they observe the event.
Or forget the royal blue bridesmaid dresses and the tux clad gentlemen, and meet secretly in a garden or behind a rustic barn. No matter how you stage a first look, you are celebrating the first time on your wedding day that you get to see the one you love.
Starting your photography earlier in the day means you will need to schedule hair and makeup services as well as personal flower delivery earlier as well. Adjust your timeline and advise anyone you expect to participate with all of the details and locations in advance.
If your photographer’s contract limits shooting hours, be certain that beginning early doesn’t mean you’ll lose shots of something important at the end of the day.
Discuss your bouquet with your florist. Depending on the weather and the varieties of flowers that you’ve selected, it may be more or less delicate than you expect. Your florist may recommend strongly against using your flowers for early photography, assuming you want a fresh and vibrant bouquet when you walk down the aisle. You may need to consider taking pre-wedding photos without personal flowers or purchasing a second photography bouquet.
If you hire a videographer, put your photographer in touch and ask them to coordinate so both can be present for the first look.
Stay flexible. Weather can change plans and rain delays may throw timing off a bit. Don’t panic, just go with the flow and concentrate on why you are there. Enjoy all of the firsts on your very special wedding day.
Wendy Dessler, Super-Connector at OutreachMama
Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Towering SEO who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.