Should I Do a First Look? -


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I'm Claudia, a wedding photographer based in South Florida and serving the Florida Keys! Enjoy reading my blog posts filled with wedding tips and past sessions with my amazing clients!

Should I Do a First Look?

October 10, 2019

Andrea and Colin decided on a first look. It was their goal to spend as much of their wedding day together.
Should I have a First Look? More and more couples today are opting to have a first look before their wedding ceremony. This means that, rather than only seeing each other when the bride walks down the aisle, the bride and groom actually see each other for the first time before the ceremony. This is a private moment alone between you and your fiancé in which you enjoy the privilege of seeing each other before your guests see you at the ceremony. These are special moments of maximum excitement, nerves, and tension in which you see each other for the last time as “boyfriend and girlfriend,” as “fiancés.”

During this time, there are kisses, hugs, tears, laughter, and sweet words. Some couples use this time to pray together, to exchange gifts, and even to make private vows to one another.

T.J. was over the moon seeing Melissa. They cried, hugged and kissed sealing this special moment of their day.
Although first looks are becoming more and more popular, many couples are still reluctant to have one at their wedding. Some couples love to follow the traditions, while others believe is bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony. Some even believe that the magic of seeing each other for the first time at the wedding altar will be lost.
In the end, you decide how you want to create that magic by giving importance to certain moments on your wedding day. It can be so magical to see each other for the first time alone, before the wedding, and it can also be incredibly magical to share that moment with all your guests as the bride walks towards the altar.
Why you might have a first look: If you want to break with established traditions. If you are a modern couple and you want to do something different. If you want to get most of your portraits done before the ceremony so you can enjoy the cocktail hour together with your guests. If you want to enjoy a special, private moment with your future husband or wife just before the wedding. If you want the first person who sees you to be your partner. If you want to have not one, but two magical moments of seeing each other for the first time – the first look, and the ceremony. Both are very different feelings, and some couples cry both times. If you want to get excited and release your emotions without any pressure. If you want to have some photos that capture your raw emotions in a moment of relaxation and tranquility among you. Why you might not have a first look: If you are a traditional couple that likes to follow the customs. If you are superstitious. If you want to have only one magical moment of arriving at the ceremony without having seen each other, and to connect that moment to the marriage altar alone. If you want to share that special moment with your guests, letting them witness your emotions the first time you see each other all dressed up. If it is a church wedding, since first looks are not very common in traditional weddings. My recommendation: My personal opinion is that all brides should have a first look. I know that’s a bold statement but let me tell you why. From a practical perspective the first look gives you a huge advantage. By being able to take care of all the formal photos of family, bridal party and bride and groom, you not only get more photographs of your wedding day, you free up time afterwards to enjoy yourselves and have fun with your family and guests, knowing that all the formal photos have been taken care of. But that’s not all. A first look opens the door for you and your partner to have a more relaxed ceremony and enjoy a deeply emotional and private moment with each other. Weddings can be a whirlwind of activity and that first look—when the groom beholds his bride for the very first time–may be THE magical moment that you will treasure for the rest of your lives. But if you decide to treat both moments as special, you can have both without losing any of the magic!

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Claudia Rios is a Florida Keys wedding photographer specializing in natural light and romantic weddings in South Florida, the Florida Keys, and beyond.

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