It’s no secret that we love First Looks!! Michael and I did one at our wedding and it was one of my favorite parts of the entire day! I’ll never forget that moment when we saw each other for the first time. It was so powerful, special, intimate, and wonderful!
For those that may not know, a First Look is when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony. Since this is a new concept to some of you and maybe you’re a bride on the fence, I thought I’d list out all the advantages to doing a First Look! Because honestly, there are no disadvantages to doing a First Look. Some people may think that by doing a First Look, it ruins the “aisle moment” but as someone speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that it does not! Michael and I saw each other before the ceremony and I still cried like a baby walking down the aisle! There’s nothing that compares to that moment. It’s a powerful moment that’s the culmination of everything you’ve been waiting for and dreaming of your entire life. So whether or not you see each other before the ceremony, your aisle moment will still be powerful and incredible! The thing is…he’s going to be in awe of you no matter what when you’re coming down the aisle.
A lot of people choose not to do first looks because of tradition. We totally get that! We live in the south where tradition runs thicker than our BBQ sauce. Did you know that this tradition actually came about during the time of arranged marriages so the groom wouldn’t see the bride and change his mind before the wedding? Yikes!! So really, this tradition isn’t even a good tradition! I’m pretty sure your groom won’t jilt you at the altar just by seeing you before the ceremony so if you ask me, you can throw this tradition out the window! First looks are actually becoming the new tradition and I love it!!
If you were to ask someone what their favorite part of a wedding day is, they’re most likely going to say, “watching the grooms face when the bride walks down the aisle!” If you ask me, that’s a lot of pressure to put on the groom. He’s already nervous enough just to be getting married! While he’s watching his beautiful bride walking down the aisle, the guests are watching him and his reaction! In my six years of being a wedding photographer, I have seen groom after groom restrain himself at the altar and trying to keep himself together to avoid losing it in front of hundreds of people. And if you’re a bride wanting that genuine, emotional reaction, chances are, you’re not going to get it because he’s trying to keep himself composed.
When you do a first look, you’re alone. It’s just the two of you. When your groom turns around sees you for the first time, he’s able to really be himself…to react more freely, without restraint and without the pressure of all your guests watching him. Without a first look, after you walk down the aisle and stun him with all your gorgeous-ness… he can’t even tell you how amazing you look! He can’t touch you, embrace you, kiss you or even speak to you! He has to wait thirty minutes till after the ceremony is over to tell you, and by that time, the initial reaction has worn off and it’s just not the same. Our grooms that have done first looks have had the most genuine and emotional reactions- that reaction the bride is looking for! Michael and I always try to find a location that is private for your first look so that you both are secluded and able to be yourselves together. This creates a safe space for your groom to truly react to seeing you for the first time!
“We are so glad we did a first look. Getting those first moments together without everyone staring (although I know my girls were trying so hard to see!) was exactly how we wanted to start off our happily ever after! My mom tried to convince me not to do it because it’s not traditional, but she saw after how much happier it made both of us! And I think this is my favorite picture from our first look! It’s not everyday I get to see Jacob speechless!” – Lyssa
By doing a first look, it’s your only alone time…all day long. After your groom sees you for the first time, he can hug you, he can kiss you, and he can be his genuine self with you. You can pray together, cry together, talk about your day so far, twirl around and really show off your dress…all the things you want to do at the altar but can’t. Our couples that have done first looks have loved and cherished this sweet time together. It also really helps calm your nerves!
Michael and I did a first look at our wedding and I can tell you from personal experience that it was exactly what I needed before getting married! Before I saw Michael at our first look, I was so nervous I was shaking! But after I saw him at our first look, my crazy nerves went away and turned into excitement! We spent our wedding day together with our friends and family instead of hiding from each other. I just loved that!
“It’s something we regret not doing! ???? We wanted that tradition of having him meet me at the altar, but when it was all said and done we wished we had done it differently. Only because we would have enjoyed having that private time together where we could have prayed and stuff like that. So from someone who didn’t do one, I would recommend for future brides to have a first look.” – Emilee
After your wedding day, all you’re left with is your memories and your photos (and your spouse!). Our couples that do first looks end up with twice as many portraits as couples who don’t. They have a time slot of bride and groom portraits before and after the ceremony! So if portraits of the two of you are a priority, first looks are definitely a way to go! Your wedding gallery will be packed with portraits for you to print and hang in your house.
Right after your first look, we roll right into bride and groom portraits! These are always some of my favorite portraits from the whole day! You’ve just seen each other for the first time so you’re ready to love on each other! This always makes for the sweetest portraits! Normally, portraits are a little rushed after family formals because dinner is ready to be served at your reception and it can be hard to get back in that “lovey-dovey” mode…especially with your family around! And bonus- your hair and makeup will be perfect and fresh for these portraits since the first look happens right after you put your dress on!
Your guest don’t have to wait an hour for you to come to the reception! When a bride and groom wait to do ALL of their portraits after the ceremony, (family pictures, bridal party, bride and groom portraits, then get bustled, touch up hair and makeup and travel to the reception) that can sometimes take up to an hour and a half. Because this process is more time consuming, it often results in rushed portraits which causes stress and ultimately, the bride and groom don’t enjoy their portrait time together because they’re worried about their guests having to wait so long for them.
By doing a first look, you get the majority of your photos done before the ceremony! Right after your first look, we go straight into bride and groom portraits followed by bridal party portraits. Some of our couples have even opted to do family portraits before the ceremony! Then, after the ceremony is over, you only have to take family photos (unless you did them earlier) and a few “just married” portraits! Your guests aren’t waiting around forever for you to finish taking photos and for most of our couples, they get to join their guests at cocktail hour! So if you want your guests to have a great wedding day experience with you, this is a great way to go!
“I am SO GLAD we did a first look! It was probably my favorite part of our wedding day. I loved having that semi-private time with my husband so that we could *attempt* to calm our nerves. ???? Plus, I love that we got an authentic reaction from him caught on camera. Had we waited until the ceremony to see each other, I think he would have been trying to keep a brave face on! I also love that doing a first look allowed us to get most of our pictures out of the way before the ceremony, that way we didn’t have to spend so much time away from our guests during cocktail hour. I loved getting to mingle with them before the reception, since we got so busy with dances, toasts, cake, etc. I highly recommend doing a first look on your wedding day!” – Emily
Hi there! I'm Joanna Krueger and my husband Michael and I are a wedding photography team in Houston, TX. We hope you enjoy viewing our latest work and getting a peek into our lives!
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I'm Joanna and my husband Michael and I are a wedding photography team in Houston, TX. We serve kind and caring couples who want a stress-free wedding day full of joy while giving them a fun and comfortable experience in front of the camera.
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