There are many factors that will go into your decision to have a first look or not. Consider your personal wishes, the wishes of your partner, the schedule for your day and how you’d like to spend the hours leading up to your wedding.
If you decide that a first look is right for you, here are some tips on how to pull off a great one:
- Choose a location that is convenient for you over one that is meaningful to you. I know that I’m usually all about the meaning, however this moment is much more about the emotional connection between you and your partner and will be meaningful wherever it happens. Save yourself the stress of rushing across town to get to the spot you had your first kiss. Typically the most convenient locations are either 1) near where the bride is getting ready or 2) near your ceremony venue.
- Make this as private of a moment as possible. You will likely want your photographer/videographer there to capture the emotion. Those are always some of the most cherished shots. Try your best to eliminate all of the other distractions around you. Your friends and family will jump at the change to be there if you let them. Allow only the bare minimum. Having one best friend or sibling escort you to see your beloved for the first time. Yes. Having an entourage of 15 trailing behind your with their iphones. No.
- Keep your hands free. If you’re exchanging gifts or letters with your soon-to-be spouse, have another person carry that object and hold it until after your initial reaction. Keep your hands free, or only holding your bouquet, so the images of your first reaction are uncluttered. It’s also one less thing for you to think about (or potentially drop) in the moment. Important Note: The person carrying your item cannot be your photographer. Their hands are busy too. If you want this moment to be totally private, open those items while you’re getting ready.
- Stop, breathe and savor. This day goes by so quickly, and likely one of the main reasons you chose this first look is to squeeze in every minute of time together you can. Don’t rush yourself or think about your timeline in this moment. You’ve done your planning (see above!). Live this moment while you’re in it; don’t coordinate it.