One of my favorite moments to capture on any elopement or wedding day is a first look between the couple. Traditionally, couples wait to see each other till the ceremony when they walk down the aisle. First looks are a great way to break that traditional, cookie cutter mold of weddings. This quick guide helps walk you through what a first look is, why you should have one and some things to consider when planning your first look on your wedding day.
There are a variety of reasons to have a first look. There are so many emotions on a wedding day, and a first look captures them all. From the nervous excitement, to pure joy seeing your person in their wedding attire, on YOUR WEDDING DAY. The biggest reason couples choose to have a first look is because they want their first moment seeing each other to be a private and intimate moment just between them. They can’t wait to see each other and they want that experience to be captured forever so they can share that memory for years to come.
It is important to point out that there are 3 basic types of first look.
Typically, a couple doesn’t choose all three types of first looks. The most common type of first look we see at elopements is a first look between you and your partner.
First looks are great ways to include those most important to you in your wedding celebration. If you are choosing to surround yourself with your family on your elopement day, having a first look with your parent or grandparent could mean the world to them. Just because you chose a non-traditional wedding experience, they probably have always imagined walking you down the aisle one day. First looks with your parents is a great way to include them, and make them a part of your day.
Although having a wedding party isn’t very common at elopements, we sometimes do see brides doing a first look with their bridesmaids. Again, this is a great way to incorporate them into your day and let them know how much they mean to you. That’s the entire point of a wedding party isn’t it?
Finally, first look with your partner. As I mentioned earlier, there are sooo many emotions you will be going through on your wedding day. The typical couple doesn’t see each other until the ceremony when they are walking down the aisle. That means, all of those nervous fidgety feelings, you will have them up until the ceremony. When you have a first look with your partner, you get to release all of those nerves cause you are with your person. They will make you laugh and smile and – best of all, they are going through all of the same feelings you are so they can relate to you. When you have a first look all of that energy and emotion is captured in your photos for years to come.
When you are planning your first look, you need to consider how strict you want to be about seeing the person before hand. A lot of couples choose to see each other still that day, but just keep the first look for when they are in their wedding attire. There is no right or wrong way to do it, whatever feels right and natural to you two.
Another thing to consider when planning a first look, is where you’d like to have it and how to get there. I always recommend First Look locations that are easy to get too physically and logistically. Take a look around your airbnb, it might have a little garden or an open field. Maybe you’d like to have the building itself in the background. You don’t have to over think it. We can always drive to the big picturesque location for your portraits and ceremony, but the simpler you can make first looks, the more memorable that can be. When planning a first look mention your location ideas to your photographer. They will be able to help guide you to your perfect location.
Final tip to consider when planning your first look location — who do you want to watch? If it is between you and your partner, I always recommend it being just the two of you. Even having your parents looking through the airbnb window can sometimes be distracting and ruin the moment. So I always recommend a private first look for your privacy. Your parents and guests can relive your first look through your photos.
If you choose not to have a first look, that’s totally fine! Instead you two can get ready together and spend all day celebrating your love! Like I said before, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to first looks or elopements. Whatever feels most like you.
I hope this guide gave you some ideas on how to plan your first look! First looks are one of my favorite parts of a wedding day to capture.
© Tessa Klingensmith Photography 2021