Erika and Justin September 7, 2019

Erika and Justin's First Look. We drove around the corner from where the wedding was taking place to a beautiful stone road surrounded on each side by trees and foliage. Their first look was a very intimate moment. Erika walked slowly up to Justin who had his back turned to her. Once behind him, she placed her hand on his shoulder signaling him to turn around....and that's when they saw each other for the first time all dressed and ready to take their vows.

A few moments before the groom sees his bride for the first time in her wedding dress.
The moment before Justin turns around....

A first look is an intimate moment when the bride and groom first see each other on their wedding day dressed in their gown and tuxedo. One of the best things about being a wedding photographer is working with brides and grooms with different styles, tastes and personalities. From white wedding dresses to colored wedding dresses and traditional champagne toasts to grooms doing keg stands, it is always great to work with people who want their wedding day to be their own. One of the things that I am most proud of as a wedding photographer is working closely with each couple to give them a unique experience that is truly reflective of their style and personality. This is why one of the very first questions I ask my brides and grooms is if they intend on having a pre-reveal or what is also known as a first look on their wedding day.

WHAT THE HECK IS A FIRST LOOK!? A first look is when the bride and groom decide to take a brief moment out of a sometimes (more than likely) hectic wedding day to see each other before the actual wedding ceremony takes place. Although it may not be traditional and not for every couple, I believe setting up a first look can provide a deeply intimate and special moment for a bride and groom that they will cherish forever.

A first look captures the very first time a bride and groom see each other on the biggest day of their lives, allowing them to experience the authentic emotions and love they have for one another in a secluded and private area. The overwhelming feeling of seeing your life partner for the first time in full wedding attire can literally be breathtaking and that is why the first look is so brilliant because it allows a bride and groom to experience those emotions before the actual ceremony. Not to mention, allocating this time for photography reduces any pressures due to time constraints if things fall behind schedule, which basically happens at every wedding since the history of weddings.

Choosing to do a first look before the wedding ceremony is certainly not for every couple, but brides and grooms who do often say it allowed them to enjoy the wedding ceremony more. This is because when they were able to move past the wedding day jitters of seeing their future Mr. or Mrs. for the first time they had a more clear head. The clarity allowed the couple to better absorb the enormity of the day while also helping bring a level of calmness that some said actually helped them better remember their wedding vows. As a photographer who has documented many weddings I can say with certainty that the hours on a wedding day are very precious and move rather quickly.

Photographers want to have the time to capture and document the love between a bride and groom the way it is meant to be captured: pure and uninhibited. A first look before the wedding ceremony offers this opportunity.


Photos by West-e Photography