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First Looks

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Emily & Charley's Wedding BF PORTFOLIO-23.jpg

First Looks are when the couple chooses to take time to see each other before the ceremony instead of walking down the aisle. They can also be done with family and wedding parties. Even if you think you know which way you feel about it, keep never know!


Shocker -- we love First Looks. We do not just prefer them; we love them. We are never going to tell you that you have to do a First Look. We will, however, tell you why we love them so much:


More emotional

Believe it or not, it will most likely be more emotional for you than seeing each other at the end of the aisle. Knowing that it's just the two of you (plus us) will allow you to be more in the moment and take it all in, focusing more on our partner and the magic of the day instead of which friend will make fun of you for being emotional. BONUS! You'll actually be able to hug and kiss when you see each other! Waiting to see each other until you're walking down the aisle delays the moment you'll be able to embrace and prepare together for what you're about to do.


Better timeline flow

Getting all the portraits done before the ceremony allows for more freedom -- both artistically and quantity of pictures. We'll be able to spend time getting lots of pictures of you both together, along with your wedding party and family. Especially if you have a larger wedding party and/or large family! We will schedule it all out in advance and build in breaks, so once your ceremony is over, you can enjoy and relax.


It's the only time you'll be alone together all-day

Yes yes, I know you'll be alone together if you save your couple's portraits for after the ceremony. However, there are usually many more time constraints, which means your portraits will be more about getting things done.


Calms the nerves

So many of our couples are just a bundle of nerves and excitement the morning of their wedding. The overwhelming amount of questions and decisions you've been making (and will continue to make all day) can start to wear one you. What helps? Being with "your person". Seeing each other and taking a few minutes to decompress together can do wonders for any building anxiety about things going "just right". This way, you'll be more relaxed during your ceremony and able to focus and actually remember it.


Allows everyone to enjoy cocktail hour

Unless you are having an early ceremony and a later reception, the odds of seeing your cocktail hour if you don't do a first look are very slim. You've paid good money for that food -- you should enjoy it! It's also a little selfish of us, but it's most likely the first time we'll get to use the bathroom/eat/sit down all day.


Your walk down the aisle will still be special!

Every one of our clients who have chosen to do a First Look (plus Rebecca herself!) has said that even after doing the First Look and all their portraits before the ceremony, they still had a special "bridal/wedding" moment when actually walking down the aisle. It's finally time, and you see your person waiting for you. It's still a special moment.

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Keeping It Traditional

If you're still dead set against doing a First Look -- we promise not to hold it against you. But there are some things we just want to make sure you know about scheduling the day.

If your ceremony and reception are at the same location:


These always stress us out; we're not going to lie. It's safe to say that for these weddings, you will not see cocktail hour at all unless you have an extended cocktail hour, only have 4 attendants, and take 4 family portraits.


When your ceremony and reception are at the same location, cocktail hour usually starts right after the ceremony. The wedding party and family members generally disappear for food and drinks, and we end up with less than an hour to cram in all the portraits, along with all the detailed pictures of your ballroom, before your guests are let in. Because of that, we frequently end up with 2-3 large group wedding party pictures, immediate family in groups only, and a truncated couples portrait time. It can be done. But you may lose out on some "fun" photos. In this case, it becomes incredibly important that we schedule time before the ceremony for individual pictures with your individual wedding party attendants, as well as any special family pictures that you want without your significant other.


Traditionally we reserve 45-60 minutes for the couple's portraits (the most important part of the day), 15-30 minutes for the wedding party (unless there is only 4 total), and 20-60 minutes for family portraits (each family portrait takes about 2-5 minutes).


Extended family pictures with you both would then get pushed to during the reception, but it can then be hard to catch everyone, and you could spend time during your reception looking for people.

If your ceremony and reception are at different locations:


Depending on the distance from the ceremony site to the reception and the time between the two, this could be an easier version of keeping it traditional. There's a better chance that you might see part of the cocktail hour -- especially if you have an extended cocktail hour.


You could have a little more freedom than if you were keeping it traditional and all at one location, but you may still be pressed for time. Don't forget; you'll be waiting for family members who may not be on provided transportation and will have to get to their cars, not get lost, park the car, and find everyone.


Keep in mind that it takes a few extra minutes to make your way to the vehicles that are taking you to the reception, and you could potentially end up with rush hour traffic (here's looking at you weekday weddings).

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With Other VIP's

There are other types of First Looks to do aside from ones with your soon-to-be-spouse.


Individually with parents

You may choose to do a First Look with our (or both) of your parents. For obvious reasons, it make sense that the parent(s) not be part of the actual getting ready process. For example, a bride may have her mom help her get ready, but save a First Look for just her father so they can have a special moment together. A groom getting ready with just his wedding party attendants might choose to have a First Look with both parents. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure we're all on the same page for timing purposes and logistics. Also don't forget to make sure your parents are aware of the plan so they're where they need to be at the correct time.


Individually with other family members

Similar to the above situations, you may have a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or other special friend/family member you wish to do a First Look with. Sounds great! Just like the others, just make sure we know so we can schedule accordingly.


Planning them in the timeline

They all take time -- we don't want to rush ANY First Look, whether a couple's First Look or a parent First Look. It's an exciting and emotional time for most people and the more we rush through it the more it takes away from the moment. Make sure you decide on what kind (if any) of First Looks you'd like to do before your Timeline consultation so we can plan it all in. Keep in mind, each First Look you add in will add up to 15 minutes of time.


Individually with wedding party attendants

This is great if you have a decently large wedding party (more than 3 on each side). By doing a First Look with your attendants, it reduces the number of people in the room while you're getting dressed and putting all your finishing details on. This not only makes it easier for us to take pictures, but it allows for a calmer more "in the moment" vibe for you to take it in that it's your wedding day (without random shouts questioning where the boob tape is). Keep your second-at-hand(s) with you (maid(s)/matron(s) of honor/man of honor) and have everyone else finish getting ready in another room. Your second-at-hand(s) will then join the rest of the group for the photos and put on their best fake surprise face so they can be included in the photo as well.


Together with parents

We've had a few of our couples one time do a First Look with both set of parents together after their First Look and couples portraits. It was the first time both sets of parents were seeing them together as a unit on the wedding day, ready to walk down the aisle. It's a beautiful and emotional moment to capture! The key here is to make sure everyone knows this is the game plan and the parents remain in one location (not looking out windows or wandering around -- dad's are especially bad with this) during the couple's portraits.

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Testimonials coming soon!

Happy Couples

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