I feel it is important to tell you that while I have the eye of an artist, I have a heart of a journalist. I see my role as your photographer as to the see real beauty of your love and capture in the way that leaves it the most untouched, the most authentic to who you are, not who I am. I am not to cookie-cutter your wedding images; my goal is to make your gallery unique to you, not identical to another. It is your love; there could be nothing more picture-perfect beautiful than that. But in the experiences I have had with weddings, both personal and professional, I’ve come to this conclusion: Some couples love “traditions,” others want to strike out and form their own. What all love birds really wants when it comes to seeing each other for the first time is a reaction–smile, tears, breathlessness, the whole shebang. Those who are not interested in a first look usually think that by seeing each other beforehand, they will lose part of that reaction. They also assume that it will not be as special as it would be when they are walking down the aisle.
What is also true of all couple, traditional or otherwise, is that they are under a bit of stress come the date of their wedding. The whole day is focused on them, they need to look their best, they need to be on time, no one has any idea what side the boutonniere is supposed to go on or what leg the garter goes on (some wondering why they even have to wear that itchy thing anyway). Little by little, the tension grows and grows and grows until it is the wedding crasher that is really worth worrying about.
Sadly, this uninvited guest does not show up just for the reception to steal a little cake and champagne, but well before. Imagine this: It is before the ceremony and the gravity of what is about to happen starts to sink in and the calm, collected couple who was playing golf just a few short hours ago or getting a manicure and pedicure is now starting to feel a little anxious. So what happens next? The groom waits in a little room somewhere for his cue from the coordinator/maid of honor/mom. It seems like it’s taking an entire lifetime. Finally, the responsible party hurries the groom to get ready. Already nervous, the groom enters the ceremony and what does he find? All the guests, and they are all looking right at his because everyone–and I do mean everyone–wants to see his reaction. If it is not a wireless ceremony, these faces include every conceivable model of smartphone and tablet are lifted as well, some recording, some streaming, all a distraction. This is the farthest thing from a private, intimate moment. Yes, it is powerful and wonderful, but is it the perfect scenario for you to see the reaction you want?
But with a first look, those distractions are less so, because that wedding crasher
named Worry has been asked to leave. The first look serves as a bouncer to those emotions, keeping them in check by relieving them just a little. So many couples who participate in the first look say the whole process made the nerves most disappear, and with the nerves are gone, true emotions are free to be expressed. The amount of emotion that is expressed after the first look is generally greater than without it; with the first look, you not only get that sought-after reaction once, but twice.
For most couples, the nerves have set in well before they see their love because when they see each other, everything becomes too real. When the nerves start kicking in, what if we took to a secret place where there were no people, no gawkers, no distractions. One would approach the other, and eventually they would turn around and finally get his first look at their stunning soon-to-be-spouse and not only would you see each other, you embrace each other, cry with each other, kiss each other, and simply enjoy that moment.
From that moment, we can move into a few portrait before we move into hiding before the big show. It is at this time where you will get to have that moment can as you walk down the aisle, knowing that while this may be the last time you see each other before becoming married, you had one last hurrah with the first look.