For many brides, that is a tough question--especially if they aren't quite sure what a first look consists of.
A "first look" is a moment for the bride and groom to first see one another on their wedding day before the actual ceremony. As a photographer, I personally love the first look, because it is a wonderful moment of intimacy and joy for just the couple to share.
When we do a first look, we like to ask the bride and groom to each spend a moment alone before they see one another. This helps them shed any distractions or worries about the logistics of the day, and just remember that it is about their love and life together. It also builds some very sweet excitement and anticipation.
During the first look, we typically lead the bride out to the place where the groom is waiting, then we give them some space. We do our best to quietly capture everything from a small distance. These are often some of the sweetest moments of the day.
After the couple has had some time to enjoy one another's presence, we come closer and have a mini portrait session. Ideally, this will last about 30 minutes. This gives everyone plenty of time to get beautiful, artistic images to commemorate the day. This will give the couple up to 40 additional portraits of just the two of them. Without the first look, scheduling those portraits isn't always possible. Once the ceremony ends and the reception begins, it can be a challenge to sneak out and make time for more photos.
Often, I think first look photos are some of the best images we capture. The portraits can be romantic, dreamy, playful, etc. depending on the couple's personality! They can also diminish some of the nerves of the day. :)
Scheduling-wise, it is a seamless transition to move from first look portraits to bridal party and family photos. Having all of these group photos done before the ceremony allows couples to simply enjoy friends, family, food and one another during their reception.
Now, of course, some brides would prefer to stick to tradition and wait to see their spouse until the ceremony. That is completely okay! The anticipation and first-look moment as the bride walks down the aisle can be truly magical. Mini-portrait sessions can be scheduled after the ceremony, time allowing. I just wanted to share from a photographer's (and former bride's) perspective--first looks always seem to be a fun, memorable and convenient way to fit more gorgeous photos and sweet memories into your special day.
But no matter what, we are committed to documenting your gorgeous wedding, and getting photos you will always cherish and love!