As a photographer, one of the biggest topics I see bride’s struggle with is the decision about whether or not to do a First Look. There are many different opinions out there about this and ultimately, it is your wedding and you should do what you are comfortable with.

My opinion? …Do a first look! Like I said, if you are a traditionalist and it is absolutely important to you that your future hubby not see you before walking down the aisle, then by all means…don’t do it! But if you are on the fence about it, keep reading.

The BIGGEST reason why I encourage my brides to do a first look is because you get TIME with your man before all the chaos begins. Here’s how First Looks typically go down: the groom is turned around in a strategic location (your photographers also strategically placed) and then you, the bride, walk behind him and at the perfect moment, he turns around and sees you for the first time. It is magical! Just the two of you, with your photographers far enough away so you have privacy, but close enough so they are able to capture this priceless moment. Then, after you’ve done a few twirls…take some time! Sit, talk, just be together. (Hint: put this time in your wedding timeline.) You should even consider asking your photographers to give you some time alone. Take just about 5 minutes to soak it all in, because I can promise you, that it will be non-stop people, smiles, and poses as soon as the ceremony begins.

My second reason for encouraging brides to do a first look is so that you aren’t stressed and rushed to get all the amazing photos you want. If you and your groom see each other prior to the wedding, you can get your whole wedding party together for photos and you can even do your couple photos during this time, leaving a smaller gap in between your ceremony and your reception (all you’ll have left is family photos after the ceremony and those go super fast).

I promise you that you’ll still get butterflies when you walk down the aisle with your groom awaiting your arrival at the end. You won’t be able to help it – family, friends, the music, the atmosphere – none of those emotions will be lost.

So there you have it…a photographer’s view on First Looks. Be sure you talk to your photographer in depth about your First Look, should you decide to do one so that you both have the same expectations for this moment. If you want time alone after they get their shots, don’t be afraid to ask! This is your wedding and they are there for YOU.

-Lauren, Lauren Alisse Photography

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