Wedding Photographer Blog

Why We Love a First Look on Your Wedding Day

Mandy M - Friday, September 25, 2015
Why We Love a First Look on Your Wedding Day

So where did the idea even come from that a bride and groom shouldn’t see each other before the ceremony, anyway? Marriage back in the day was more of a business transaction than an actual romance. Royal marriages were sometimes arranged to unite two warring clans or countries. Daughters were wed to men they had never seen in order to increase a family’s status. Or simply put, some marriages were even arranged to trade for more livestock or land. Marriage in these instances was more about a commodity than it was about love. The bride and groom were prevented from seeing each other before the wedding for fear that the bride would be rejected if the groom found her to be unattractive. So, the bride was veiled (another tradition many modern brides choose to forego) and they were not allowed to see each other until the marriage had been officially sealed and the transaction exchanged. Interesting, but hardly applicable to our clients!

Groom's reaction to his bride after first look in Charlotte NC

In the past few years, the popularity of doing a First Look has risen dramatically. Partly because as a culture we are getting away from the “traditional” concept of marriage, but mostly because brides and grooms who highly value preserving their memories through photography are starting to realize what a great opportunity doing a First Look offers. A First Look is a portrait session BEFORE the ceremony between only the bride and groom – fully dressed in wedding attire and sometimes in an alternative location other than the ceremony/reception site. It usually lasts between 30-45 minutes and results in more chances for candid and intimate wedding images. And we, as photographers, believe wholeheartedly that it is DEFINITELY the way to go. Thus, Happier brides/grooms = better wedding images.

Groom cries during first look in Charlotte nc

Bride walking up behind groom during first look in park fall leaves in Charlotte NC

Fusion typically creates a custom, one-of-a-kind experience for each couple seeing each other for the first time, then use the subsequent time to transition into the formal bride and groom portraits. We have incorporated dramatic settings and sometimes props such as blindfolds to add to the mystery and sense of surprise with great success. The raw emotion that comes through in this moment on camera is undeniable, such as in the photos that you see here.

Bride walking up behind groom during first look in Charlotte nc Groom's reaction to bride during first look in Charlotte NC

The benefits of doing a First Look can vary depending on your perspective. We’ve heard some couples say it’s less stressful because they are not rushed through their photography session in order to get to their reception. The First Look offers a period of time between you and your partner that is privately shared and extremely intimate, plus we as photographers are able to capture tons more up-close images than you would if you go the traditional route.

Bride tapping groom on shoulder for first look in Charlotte NC

Groom's reaction to bride during first look in Charlotte NC

Here are what some of our actual brides and grooms have to say about First Looks and why they chose to do them:

“Seeing each other for that first time, with just the two of us to enjoy that unbelievable moment and no one else, will always be something we are glad we did. It was so private, so intimate. We talked like we had weeks worth of information for one another, and in reality it had only been a few hours since we had seen each other. The entire wedding and reception went by so quickly, so we are glad we had that moment to ourselves.”

"We choose to do the first look because we wanted to get some great photos of us without feeling pressured with time. We wanted our wedding day to just be about our love, and sharing that love with friends and family. After the first look we had no idea when photos were actually being taken, we were simply in the moment and Fusion captured that moment.”

Bride crying during first look in downtown Charlotte NC

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Fusion Photography was one of the first vendors we selected, and it was by far one of the best decisions we made! From the first meeting, we knew that we would have beautiful pictures but neither of us could predict our expectations would be exceeded at every turn.

Joanna & Rick

Joanna & Rick