When I look back on my wedding, I look at it & remember every single perfect detail. I remember all my friends & family who came to celebrate. I remember the way I felt in my dress & how excited I was to become a Mrs! When I look back on my wedding day, there is only one thing that I think I would change. I wish more than anything that Sam & I would have opted to see each other before our wedding so we could have a First Look.
For those of you who’ve never heard of a First Look, it’s what all the cool kids are doing. Seeing each other before the wedding ceremony takes place & having your photographer snap some incredible memories for you while it happens. Some couples have chosen to take their Bride & Groom photographs the day before the wedding & some couples have chosen to take their Bride & Groom photographs before the wedding ceremony. Either way, I am always soooooooo excited when couples choose to see each other before the ceremony in their wedding day attire. It’s such a good idea that I could go on & on & on about it. Obviously as a photographer, I prefer for my clients to opt for a First Look, but how do my clients feel about seeing each other before their they walk down the aisle?
Some of my clients have decided to push tradition aside & to go ahead with the First Look. And I’m happy to say that each one of them has been totally happy with the experience. I’ve asked them to share their experience…
From Brandon & Rachel:
“The one aspect of our wedding that we wanted to put extra effort into were the pictures. It was our photographer who would be preserving the most important memories of our lives. When Marielle gave us the idea to take formal pictures as ‘bride and groom’ before our wedding, we knew it was what we needed. They say it is bad luck for the groom to see his bride in her dress before the wedding day. Well we’ve found it to be the exact opposite. Taking formal ‘bridals’ beforehand eased such a stressful burden off our backs on the actual day. It is always hard to plan for every contingency come your wedding. Our ceremony ran late and we knew we had a reception to get to and guests to greet. But we weren’t worried about sacrificing great picture taking time because we had so many excellent shots already. All in all, it was a great decision for us. And there’s been no bad luck to speak of! We look back on all the many pictures Marielle took of us, and couldn’t be happier. And to us, those pictures represent so much more than just one day in our lives, but our entire relationship and the happiness we’ve experienced from it. We spend hours at a time looking over all the wonderful memories Marielle captured for us, and we couldn’t be happier. We would never have had so many pictures of us looking so great had we not chosen to do formal bridals together as bride and groom. We definitely recommend to all our friends that they do the same thing.”
From Connie & Mark:
For sentimental reasons, we knew that seeing each other on the day of our wedding was going to be overwhelmingly emotional. Whether Mark saw me before the ceremony or right before I walked down the aisle, it would be a special and memorable moment either way. I knew it’d be special for us to be alone for the first time we got to see each other so we could really take in the moment with each other. It was super intimate to get almost a whole hour of just him and me – the ONLY time in the entire day where we got to be alone together on our wedding day.
Logistically, it was efficient. We knew after the ceremony our family and friends would be lingering to take photos, so we didn’t want to keep them waiting if we went to take our portraits first. On the second hand, we didn’t want to take all the family photos first then be pressed for time to rush our photos and make it to the reception on time.
The rest of the day you’re hosting 100+ guests, and you don’t get to be alone on your wedding day until the very end when you’re exhausted, but happy, obviously. Taking photos before the wedding unfolds is a great experience to be alone when we are both freshly made up, energy and jitters are high, and you get better photos when you’re that energetic and excited! With extra time, you get to use the photographer’s creativity for longer – you get a lot of fun and artistic photos you may not have time for later.
Finally, both moments were so different – seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day and seeing each other on opposite sides of the aisle. In a sense we created an extra special moment on the wedding day. Mark thought it might ruin how he would react to seeing me for the first time standing with my father, but he said it was a completely different reaction seeing me for the first time alone. It’s like he got a very special privilege seeing me before all the guests – that’s a pretty cool gift to your groom!
From Sarah & Mike:
We decided to take the majority of our photos the day before our wedding. It turned out to be one of the best decisions we made in planning for the big day. We met Marielle for a three hour photo shoot and we were able to take all the pictures we wanted and more. Without the busy schedule of the actual wedding day, we had time to shoot in a variety of locations in the Bay Area. It was wonderful to spend time with each other the day before our wedding—we were excited, relaxed and enjoyed being together. On our wedding day, we took a few additional pictures with family, friends, and the wedding party, but for the most part we had all the photos we wanted from the day before. Instead of being pulled away to take photos, we were able to talk with guests who had traveled to Oakland and really soak in the joy our wedding day. In the end we ended up with so many beautiful photos because we had the advantage of a two-day photo shoot.
Whether you decided to see each other right before the ceremony or a few days before the wedding, it’s a fabulous idea. Ultimately you will have more time for photographs & more time to create incredible memories! So, heads up to all you future brides- the way to get the most bang for your buck is to opt for a First Look!!!