Do you want to see each other before the wedding?

I ask a ton of questions during the initial client consultation, but few  generate such mixed emotions as the decision to see each other before it’s time to walk down the aisle. According to a tradition, the bride is supposed to be in seclusion before the wedding in order to build anticipation, which somehow keeps the groom from getting cold feet (or something like that).

With so many couples living together before they get married that tradition has slowly waned. I get plenty of couples that want to have their portraits taken before the ceremony, but they also want to capture some of the magic involved in seeing each other in their wedding outfits for the very first time. In that case, I often suggest a First Look. The first look is when the couple see each other for a few minutes before the ceremony, without any friends and family hovering about. The first look can involve a kiss, a smile, a huge hug, and a lot of love. All that matters is that all the day’s stress is gone, and the couple can share a special moment.

Personally, I do not have a strong preference as to whether the couple see each other before the wedding or not. As long as I have enough time (usually about an hour) and the light is good, I’m perfectly happy to wait until after the ceremony to photograph formal portraits of the family and bridal party, and create romantic photos of the bride and groom. The first look is simply an option that should be considered, and I’m perfectly happy to set it up during your wedding. Here are some of my favorite first look photos from the past few years.