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One photo series you won’t want to miss an option to capture would be the first look.
A long-held superstition holds that it’s “bad luck” to see one another before meeting at the altar, but it’s just that — a superstition, and an outdated one at that.
It’s believed that this dates all the way back to when arranged marriages were common, and a couple may have never laid eyes upon one another before the wedding ceremony.
If the couple has a first look before meeting at the altar, the belief was that one may decide to run away if they’re unhappy with their match.
These days it’s more common to marry your favorite person, so there’s no harm in a first look or a traditional aisle reveal because, of course, you’re going to be elated with what you see!
First Look vs. First Reveal
A first look is a private session, one where it’s just the couple sharing an intimate moment seeing each other for the first time before the wedding ceremony as their photographer unobtrusively puts these treasured memories to film.
A first reveal is a bit more traditional. In a first reveal, the photographer will be capturing the moment the couple sees one another from the aisle, surrounded by those attending the ceremony and about to be married.
A First Look…
Calms the Nerves
There’s already so much suspense that surrounds the beginning of your wedding day.
You might be jittery, anxious or nervous and that’s normal.
A first look can help to get one of those big moments out of the way early so you feel less anxious and more like you’re about to meet your best friend to have the best day of your lives.
Captured in photos, this is a moment where you can see all of that stress melt away into what can only be described as pure joy.
It also helps to see that your partner is feeling the same way you do.
When you see each other with matching jitters and bubbling with excitement, it’s calming to know that you’re both in this together.
Keeps Your Emotional Moment Intimate
A first look wedding photo moment will include you, your spouse-to-be and your photographer — no one else.
This moment can be an emotional one, and feeling those emotions in front of all of your family and friends isn’t a comfortable thing for everyone.
There’s a lot of beautiful vulnerability wrapped up in the moment.
First look photos capture the emotion in a comfortable, relaxed and intimate setting with (almost) just the two of you.
You’re less likely to hold back when you’re in an intimate setting with just your partner and a professional photographer.
With an aisle reveal in front of your guests, you or your partner may feel compelled to hold back a bit, losing that genuine moment and all the authenticity that goes along with it.
In a private reveal, the emotions can run freely, giving your photographer a way to capture the true power of your feelings in a beautiful way.
Gives You Time to Yourselves
Before you know it you’ll be headed down the aisle, saying your vows, trading wedding rings, getting all the congratulations and then partying it up at a fun wedding reception.
Wedding days are busy, and they really do go by quickly.
Taking the time to have a first look photo session gives you a few moments to savor this time for yourselves.
It’s where you can spend some quiet taking everything in before all of the hustle and bustle really begins.
Because the wedding day goes by so fast, there are few opportunities to really cement these memories in your own minds.
These few quiet moments are perfect for taking in all of the emotion and the atmosphere so you can turn them into some of your most treasured private memories.
Offers the Opportunity to Take Your Portraits
The more you can get done before the wedding the more time you have to kick back and relax later.
After your first look wedding photos, you and your photographer can move on to portraits and other photos that can be taken care of before the wedding even begins.
The big benefit is more time to spend with your guests having dinner or mingling with your favorite people.
Allows You to Share and Appreciate the Details in Your Attire
Maybe you incorporated your partner’s favorite color in your dress or suit, or you’re wearing a tiny version of your engagement photo in a locket around your neck.
These little details often get overlooked in the busyness of the wedding, even if much thought goes into putting them there in the first place.
The first look moment is the perfect time to point out those thoughtful little somethings and any impeccable details you can’t wait to show off.
While sharing them with your spouse-to-be, it’s also a great time to capture these little details for your wedding album!
The first look is just one of the important photo sets to include in your wedding album.
Check out our must-have wedding photos checklist to make sure you’re capturing all of those special moments.
McKenzi Taylor is America’s go-to elopement and micro wedding expert, often featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times. With over 15 years of wedding photography experience, it was after planning her own Las Vegas elopement in 2016 that McKenzi felt her purpose shift into elopement coordination. She started Cactus Collective Weddings soon after in 2017. Since then, she’s become a WIPA board member, and has helped well over 1000 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills.