Today's post was inspired by a review I received from from my 2012 wedding client Candy Isom. It also is inspired by a conversation with a new client who is trying to decide whether or not to do a first look. I can make your wedding photos work either way, but I do love a first look and I'm going to explain why in this article.
First off, here is the message that Candy posted on the Region Weddings Facebook Page...
Breaking with wedding traditions are a difficult thing to do. We have moms who did it a different way. There are friends who have warned about superstitions they have heard about or seen on wedding websites, etc. I have shot countless numbers of weddings where the bride and groom have not seen each other before the ceremony and we have found time to make beautiful images for them. However, that sometimes requires a lot of discipline from family, wedding party and the bride and groom themselves on wedding day. This is especially an issue if you are having a ceremony that is close in time to the start of your reception.
One of the reasons I think Candy and Chris are so thrilled with their wedding photos is that we had a good amount of time to take them. We started out with a first look at Hobart Lakefront where we positioned Chris with his back against a tree and I gave him the play by play of Candy slowly approaching as I clicked away and we built up great excitement. Family watched from afar at this tender moment.
Afterwards we simply went on a photo shoot in the Hobart area and slowly made our way toward the ceremony and reception site of Avalon Manor. The bride and groom were super relaxed and not pressed for time. I think it really shows in their faces and in the looseness of their actions. It was a great experience for all of us as we took fun wedding photos along with wall portrait art pieces.
We drank lots of water and Candy even took a short nap along our travels... :)
Here are my top three reasons why I think a first look is a great idea:
- The pressure is off for photographs. We usually take wedding party and couples shots right after the first look. After the ceremony we take family photos and then it's party time.
- First looks or reveals are sweet moments. Truly - nothing but happy tears, laughter and joy ensues. I'd love to show you more of these at our initial consultation.
- The bride and groom look more relaxed and family doesn't feel like they were rushed and often this approach results in more photographs of the day.
If you want to see each other for the first time when she comes walking down the aisle, here is what I suggest.
- Get into your dress a little bit sooner and have your side of the family visit where you are getting ready. We will then take your side of the family's photos at this time.
- Have the groom's side of the family meet me or my second photographer at the ceremony site about one hour before everything begins. We will take groomsmen pictures and groom's family at this time.
- After the ceremony we simply take photos of both sides together - families, wedding party and then take couple's shots before heading off to the reception.
I always like to give my client's real world advice about their wedding day. I don't want you to look back and think "wow, the photos are great, but what a chore they were". I don't want to convince you to go against your principles either. No matter how you choose to plan your day, let's work together to make it a great experience and get you those great images - candid moments, important family photos and also art to hang on the wall of your new home.
Much love.... Steve (photographer / owner of Region Weddings)