4 Compelling Reasons Why a First Look is Essential for Your Wedding

One of the most common questions during timeline calls is, "Do we need to do a first look?" While I maintain that as a wedding photographer, I aim to create pictures about a wedding, not a wedding about pictures, I'm a HUGE advocate for doing a first look. With candid and documentary photography styles on the rise, it might feel conflicting to plan for a "First Look" before your ceremony. Here are four compelling reasons why a first look is essential for your wedding timeline.

  • More Time, More Photos, Less Stress
  • Private Emotions, Being Present Together
  • Enhanced Guest Experience
  • (Almost) Uninterrupted Cocktail Hour Bliss

1. More Time, More Photos, Less Stress

In the fast-paced environment of a wedding day, time is a precious commodity. Opting for a first look allows you to maximize your portrait time and get extra coverage of you and your soon to be spouse on your wedding day. With more time allocated for photography, you'll have the opportunity to capture a diverse range of shots, from intimate candid moments to grand editorial-style portraits against the backdrop of New York's iconic landmarks or the gorgeous views of the Catskill mountains.

This can be especially advantageous if you're hoping to keep your post ceremony or sunset portrait sessions short and sweet. You'll be happy to have the extra time during cocktail hour and reception to enjoy the fruits of your months (and possibly years) of wedding planning.

2. Private Emotions, Being Present Together

Your wedding day is brimming with emotions, and having a private moment with your partner before the ceremony provides a sanctuary to share your feelings and connect on a deeper level. Opportunities to be present with each other can be limited when hosting an event for all of your friends and family. This is a great way to prioritize some personal time together. You might opt to privately exchange vows during this time to cut down on the public speaking time during your ceremony or to just create a private memory together on your wedding day.

It's a bonus to capture the raw emotions and genuine reactions that unfold during these intimate first look sessions, creating authentic, candid and love filled images to preserve the chemistry and love on your wedding day.

3. Enhanced Guest Experience

By completing formal portraits before the ceremony, your bridal party and family members can fully immerse themselves in the festivities, ensuring that everyone enjoys the celebrations to the fullest extent. This is definitely a MUST for my couples with a large bridal party or big extended family!

4. (Almost) Uninterrupted Cocktail Hour Bliss

Couples are prioritizing attending their cocktail hour more than ever. By completing portraits, bridal party photos and family formals beforehand, time otherwise spent taking photos can be enjoyed celebrating with your loved ones. While I always love to sneak in some of those "just married" bliss-filled portraits after the ceremony, my couples are always thrilled to join their guests and start the festivities!

In the realm of luxury weddings in New York, every detail contributes to the narrative of your love story. Opting for a first look before the ceremony not only amplifies the beauty and significance of your wedding day but allows you to enjoy the maximum amount of celebration with your guests with the least amount of stress.

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 Erin Glover is a luxury wedding photographer based in New York City and the Catskills, offering a blend of editorial and documentary style photography to create authentic, modern heirlooms that tell your love story.

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