Los Angeles Wedding Photographer | 3 Reasons You Need To Do A First Look

As a wedding photographer in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas I get asked this question a lot!

Should we do a first look?

There are many pros to doing a first look but first lets explore what a first look is.

What Is A First Look?

Traditionally the bride and groom see each other for the first time when the bride walks down the aisle with her father towards her husband to be. The groom sees his bride at the same time as all of the guests attending the wedding. 

A first look has become a new tradition where the bride and groom see each other for the first time before the ceremony. Usually this is done is a quiet, beautiful location near the ceremony or getting site. The couple can choose to do this in private with just their photographer and videographer present or with their immediate family watching. 

Both versions of the first look, alone or with family, can be fun and very emotional. 

So why should you have a first look? 

Great question, I have outlined 4 major reasons below. 

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Calms Your Nerves 

So you’ve planned this incredible Los Angeles wedding. You’ve mapped out every single detail of your day meticulously but the butterflies in your stomach just will not stop fluttering.

The wedding day can be nerve wracking. There is a lot of anticipation that is built up during the day and many couples say that they can barely remember the walk down the aisle because they were blinded by nerves! 

The first look is a no pressure safe place for the couple to see one another. Both the bride and the groom can be candid and raw with their emotions, allowing themselves to cry, squeal, jump around, hug, and share special words. 

Personally I think the first look is one of the most beautiful parts of the day. Your feelings do not need to be suppressed. You do not need to worry about the guests. You just need to focus on your beautiful other half. 

That sounds pretty amazing to me! 

Alone Time

In addition to not having to control your excitement, the first look allows for something rare on the wedding day, alone time. You get time to enjoy one another, look at the stunning venue adorned with the decor you chose and even enjoy the wonderful Los Angeles views while you and your fiancé talk about the crazy wonderful thing you’re about to do.

Yes, I’m sorry to break it to you but there is not a lot of alone time with your new husband/wife on your wedding day. Really, ask any of your other married friends.

You’re going to be beautifully surrounded by all of your friends and family celebrating the incredible union of your love. Which is great! However, the first look lets you take a second to breath. To enjoy one another. To silence the noice and just focus on the love of your life. 

Taking this time together is both memorable and rewarding. 

Just imagine, you walking up to your fiancé so they can see you for the very first time. Just the two of you, no interruptions, no pressure, just the two of you in a beautiful garden. Your fiancé turns around to see you and you both start to tear because you just can not believe that you get to marry your best friend. This is a moment that will sit in your heart for a life time. 

Time Management 

Allow me to get technical for a moment. 

As a Los Angeles wedding photographer the one thing I continue to hear over and over again is “ I want to enjoy my cocktail hour, I don’t want it to be monopolized by family photos.” 

Scheduling a first look, all of your wedding party and family portraits before the ceremony frees you up for almost your entire cocktail hour. You’re able to spend 15-20 mins taking a few more couples photos after the “I do’s” and party with your friends! 

Having schedule accommodate a first look not only removes stress from the timeline ( trying to cram family photos, couples portraits and wedding party pictures in to 1 hour for cocktail hour, you have no time left for friends) but it also results is more photos for you to have forever and ever. 

You will have more time earlier in the day for your couples session plus the first look itself. Then, as I mentioned before, we can do a few right after the actual ceremony. 

Who doesn’t want more pictures of their wedding day? 

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Will This Ruin The Walk Down The Aisle?

Many people will be worried about the actual walk down the aisle. 

Does this take all of the emotion out of the real thing? 

The simple answer is no. 

If the first look is planned right, the actual walk down the aisle will be just as beautiful and meaningful. 

Usually after the first look and all of the portraits are done we separate the couple in to their bridal and grooms suites. This allows the couple to really process whats about to happen and regain all of that excitement. 

I mean, YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED! How could you not be excited. 

Separating you usually works well for most people and everyone tells me that the first look did not take away from the feeling. In fact, many say it adds to the emotional aspect of the day. 

Are you looking for a wedding venue? I’ve mapped out some captivating Los Angeles wedding venues.

Crystal Stewart