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I Don't: First Look Photos

I Don't: First Look Photos

It’s time for Part Deux of this week’s I do/ I don’t debate. Below, we share why a First Look wedding photography session is a DON’T!

Besides your venue and catering, wedding photography makes up one of the largest percentages of your overall wedding budget – and for good reason. After the DJ plays the last song, the bubbly has been imbibed, and you’ve ridden off into the sunset with your new husband, all that remains are your photos. Wedding photographers today are artists, and they use a bevy of tools to perfectly capture your big day – including a new addition to the arsenal: the First Look Photos. The photos, snapped just before you and your groom say “I Do”, are intimate, touching and controversial. They break the age old rule that it’s bad luck to see each other before the wedding! But silly superstitions aside, there are good reasons why the First Look is an I Don’t.

Family or Religious Sensitivity

Some very traditional families are offended by the idea of parting with this long-held (if outdated) tradition. Granny waited to see Gramps, Mom might be horrified at the thought that you’re inevitably jinxing your marriage, and in the world of wedding planning picking your battles is key. Should you choose to offend family members over this one detail? Or are you saving your I’m the Bride It’s My Day Card for the moment when you tell them you don’t want a cake?

We don’t personally buy into the idea that it’s bad luck for the two of you to catch a quick glimpse, for the record, but now may not be the ideal time to insist to older family members that their convictions are bunk.

A Little Alone Time

One of the greatest arguments for the First Look is its intimate setting and bride & groom only time – a little bit of joint solitude before the wedding. It also frees you both up right after the ceremony to get mingling, greet your loved ones and start the party pronto! But consider the reverse. How much more meaningful is that precious alone time immediately following your union? Right after the ceremony, your groom and you can bask in truly newlywed bliss – just the two of you – and your photographer can capture that intangible joy on film forever.

You’ll have the rest of the evening to mix and mingle with your guests (And they will insist that you mingle – make sure you drink water and sneak away to actually eat!) Use the time before the ceremony for special time with your bridal party – your best friends – and linger in your last few moments. If you still want quiet time for reflection, take some quiet time to think about your vows and commitment to your partner – have your photographer shoot stunning bridal portaits, or capture you reading a love letter from your groom.

The “Moment”

You’ve spent months of subterfuge hoarding inspiration pictures in secret folders, binders, or Pinterest aliases. You banned your beloved from the coat closet where your Top Secret Gown hung in its bag. You’ve been known to clandestinely whisper to your maid-of-honor while having hushed secret bathtub phone calls about the finer points of Chantilly vs. Alcenon (no? just us?) All this for the sake of that one, fleeting moment when your guy will first see you in The Dress.

More than you imagined trying on The One (dress) you imagined the look on The One’s (groom’s) face when he first saw you. The doors open, you start strolling down the aisle, and all 200 guests disappear while you lock eyes with him from across the aisle, knowing that in a few yards, you’ll begin forever together. That moment – you don’t get that with a First Look.

The Loophole!

If you’re short on time, and you’re try9ing to make the most of your photography package, employ the First Look with a twist. Do a Look Without the Look. We’ve covered creative First Look Ideas before and included some gorgeous ways to take pictures before the ceremony without ever seeing one another.

Ultimately, the decision to have a First Look Session or Not is up to each individual couple – what will you decide?


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