Why I Love First Looks!

Newport Wedding Photographer

Your first look is an amazing part of your wedding day!  If you aren’t sure about this tradition, let me explain why it would be a romantic addition to your wedding day celebration. It not only adds to the experience but also reduces stress.  Please know that we would never want any of our couples to feel pressured to go with this option.  However, I do want to make sure that I share all of the benefits of first looks because there is a reason most DSP couples do this and LOVE it!   

I  have confessed my deep love for “First Looks” numerous times on my blog and I tend to point them out in every blog post. There is a reason for this. They’re AH-MAZING! However, not everyone is aware of how awesome they are, because they get caught up in how “non-traditional” it is, and they immediately write it off.  You want your partner to break down to tears at the sight of you walking down the aisle.  Isn’t that the dream? Who doesn’t want that reaction? The thing is, a LOT of spouses lose it during the very sweet and intimate moments of first looks. Then they break down again when it’s all so “real”, with you walking down the aisle! 

first looks

The traditional wedding day

Those who are not interested in a First Look usually think that by seeing each other beforehand, they will lose part of that initial reaction. They also assume that it will not be as emotional or as intimate as it would be if they were coming down the aisle. After photographing hundreds of weddings… I can say this isn’t always the case.

The whole day is focused on you. You need to look your best, hair and makeup is running late, the groom has no idea what side the boutonniere is supposed to go on and little by little… the tension grows.

It’s before the ceremony that the gravity of what is about to happen starts to sink in. The always so calm couple starts to get a wee bit anxious. So what happens next?  The groom waits in a little room somewhere for his cue from the coordinator.  It seems like it’s taking FOREVER.  Finally, the coordinator leans their head in and hurries the groom to get ready.  With clammy hands, the groom enters the ceremony and what does he find? …. he finds anywhere from 80-300 people and they’re all looking where? Right at his face… because everyone has expectations and anticipation about his first reaction. This is the farthest thing from a private, intimate moment. 

first looks

First looks

Sure, it’s SO powerful and SO wonderful. … walking down the aisle is one of the best parts of the day. But I can assure you, spending the hours prior to the ceremony together is one of the most peaceful, calming, centering things that can happen on the wedding day. Not feeling like you are going to pass out from nerves in front of all your guests is a beautiful thing.

 For most, the nerves kick in before they see their partner because when they see them, everything becomes VERY real! When the nerves start creeping up, instead of staying in a secluded space until it’s time to enter the ceremony, what if you went to a private place… no people, no on-lookers, no distractions…. and JUST the two of you.  You would turn around and finally get a first look at your partner in life. Embrace, cry, tell each other how much this day means. Enjoy the silence. Take as much time as you need in each other’s arms. And when YOU’RE ready… you can go get hitched.

first look at the barn at wight farm

Because you aren’t on a time crunch… you can start your portraits.  No one is around, the coordinator isn’t announcing “15 minutes left”, and there is no pressure.  It’s just the two of you… and me….. capturing the excitement and the joy of your wedding day. This is your time to be TOGETHER…and to be ALONE. When does that happen on a wedding day? Without a First Look…. it doesn’t.  After After your first look, we can get in your wedding party and family photos as well! And then guess what?! YOu will actually have some down time to freshen up, have a drink, and get ready for the ceremony.

There aren’t any guests waiting impatiently at the cocktail hour and there isn’t a DJ coming to find the photographer to get a time check.  It’s wonderful!  

first look at ochre court newport RI

But always do what’s best for YOU!

Now let me put a disclaimer on here before we continue…first looks are not required! I used to feel bad for sharing this option with couples who were against it, because I didn’t want to push anything on them. However, I’ve seen the benefits of a first look over and over again, and so I only share this because I want the BEST for my couples!! It’s totally ok if it’s not for you!

Charles River Museum first look


Let me just lay it right out there: criers are criers regardless. Honestly, my partner would NEVER shed a tear in front of anyone. So that’s a lot of pressure to think just because you’re getting married, your spouse is suddenly going to become overwhelmed with emotion… when that’s just not them.

Regardless if you choose a first look or not, the important thing is to take in that moment. Feel the Feels. And embrace the fact that you are marrying your best friend!
first look at Five Bridge Inn wedding
groom cries during first look at Saphhire Estate Sharon MA

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