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To First Look or Not…

By Amanda Baity

To first look or not to first look, THAT is the question.

“First look” is a term that has developed in the modern age of wedding photography to  their ceremony. Whether or not to have a first look is a decision that many couples struggle with.

In the past, the groom waited to see his bride on the wedding day until she walked down the aisle. This tradition originated with arranged marriages. When a couple was chosen for one another they were not allowed to see each other until the ceremony so that they wouldn’t have the chance to back out once they saw what each other looked like.

Eek! Not the most romantic origin! Even though couples marry for love today, some still like to uphold this tradition. But more and more couples are deciding to spend more time together on their wedding day … which means seeing each other before the ceremony.

Here are a few reasons a first look may be a great choice for you and your partner:
1. You get a chance to connect with one another before the craziness of the day takes over.
2. Your stress and anxiety are dissolved before the ceremony.
3. Portraits will be as quick and painless as possible.

If you see each other before your ceremony, you can get all of your formal portraits out of the way so that you are free to do what you and all your guests really want to do after the ceremony—celebrate and enjoy your cocktail hour/ reception! Consider these two options.

Portrait schedule if you see each other before your ceremony:

• 2.5 hours before ceremony: First look and Bride & Groom portraits alone together
• 1.5 hours before ceremony: Portraits with bridal party
• 1 hour before ceremony: Portraits with families
• 1/2 hour before ceremony: Completely done with portraits as your guests begin to arrive—giving you time to go inside and freshen up.

Portrait schedule if you don’t see each other before your ceremony:

• 1.5 hours before ceremony: Portraits of Bride with bridesmaids
• 1 hour before ceremony: Portraits of Groom with groomsmen
• 1/2 hour before ceremony: Temporarily done with portraits as your guests begin to arrive—giving you time to go inside and freshen up.
• Immediately after ceremony: Portraits of Bride & Groom alone
• 30 min. after ceremony: Portraits with families
• 1 hour after ceremony: Portraits of bridal party
• 1.5 hours after ceremony: Completely done with portraits

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