Your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life, and the wedding photographs have a huge part to play in how you remember this moment.
Recently a trend taking photos before the ceremony has become increasingly popular, however. These are called “first look” photoshoots, and they are much less rigid and ceremonious than the traditional after ceremony photos; they are designed to represent who you are as a couple, and show the raw emotion of seeing each other in full wedding regalia for the first time.
These photos are more candid; sweet, saucy, serious, or sappy… it all shines through in first look photos, but of course there are some downsides if you’re more of a traditionalist.
If you’re not sure about whether first look photographs are right for your wedding you can consider the list of pros and cons that we have compiled
PRO: Your wedding photos will be done early
It’s traditional to have the wedding photos taken after the ceremony so that the whole wedding party can be captured together in their finery (before everyone lets loose at the reception), but first look shoots change this dramatically. Instead a series of photos will be taken before the ceremony depicting the unveiling of the dress to the groom/bride and eve close friends and family. This is a more candid experience which really brings out the dynamic of the couple.
CON: It’s much less traditional
If you’re a stickler for tradition and want that archetypal, fairy tale wedding this new spin on things may not sit well with you.
PRO: You get the best of the daylight
If you’re having a sunset or afternoon wedding it can be much harder to get the best lighting for your photos when you do things traditionally. First look photos will give you the best of the daylight to work with.
CON: The “aisle moment” won’t be quite the same
Many people think about that moment when the groom sees the bride for the first time and well up; the awe and joy of seeing each other, and the happiness of the gathered guests is a potent cocktail. Some people feel that a first look lessens the impact of this.
PRO: It narrows the focus
Many people get nervous about being the centre of attention on their big day; it can be really daunting if you’re not a show person by nature. Taking your photographs first can help to work out some of those nerves by focusing your attention on your spouse, and your closest family, not the big day at hand.
CON: Less people are involved
Generally when you take first look photos they will include only the bride and groom, and perhaps the core wedding party. If you wanted Great Aunt Ima in the photos this could be an issue for you.
PRO: They show who you are as a couple
Sweet, saucy, sappy, or comedy; first look photos get to the core of your relationship due to their candid, relaxed nature.