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Charleston wedding + family photographer here! Welcome to my blog, a journal where I share all-the-pretty details, stories, and even a few tips. Stay a while and say hello!

Hi, I'm Jen.

5 Reasons to have a First Look on your Wedding Day

Jan 3, 2021

Talking with my couples about every detail of their wedding day is something I really love making time for during the planning leading up to the big day.  During that conversation, I love talking through the option of a First Look and sharing reasons I find doing a first look on your wedding day to be not only so special, but also makes the whole wedding day feel less rushed.  I would not change anything about my own wedding day, but I do wish Ben and I had done a first look together.

I remember getting back to Zero George after the wedding and feeling like, “Hiiiiiiii …”  There was so much to take in and the whole day went so fast, looking back I do wish we had even know about first looks!  Having photographed many couple’s first looks, here’s why I believe they are such a win on the wedding day!

1. The First Look gives you alone time.

Photo: Ceremony at Magnolia Plantation

And this very well might be the only truly alone time the day of the wedding.  The first look allows you to take a moment, be present, talk about the morning, how beautiful you look, and get really excited that you are finally there on your wedding day.  A first look is usually JUST the photographer, videographer, and wedding planner.  No moms, no friends, just the two of  you.

2. The First Look is a great time to read each other letters.

Cue tears!  One of my absolute favorite moments during the day is hearing couples read each other letters that they have written to each other.  Bonus: videographers love adding this audio onto wedding films, too!  I don’t think I’ve never not cried during a letter reading.  It also brings such sweet, sweet emotions.

3. The First Look means you have time for stunning portraits.

… especially if your wedding is after the time change, a First Look means that you have plenty of time to take portraits together … and not feel rushed!  You also have fresh faces, freshly dressed so the pictures are destined to be flawless.

Also, there is no smile like the moment you see each other on your wedding day.  Those genuine smiles make portraits a breeze!  It’s like joy is just radiating!

4. The First Look means actually having a cocktail at cocktail hour.

After the ceremony, my couples are so, so excited to talk and let’s be honest … party with their family and friends.  During the ceremony, it’s so exciting to see everyone that’s gathered together.  Since you’ve already had the First Look (taken portraits, and knocked out a lot of the family formal photos) there are minimal photos to take right after the wedding.

The First Look means that instead of spending cocktail hour taking more photos, you can move right into imbibing!  Who doesn’t want to sip their signature cocktail on their wedding day?

5. The First Look will never replace the “walking down the aisle” moment!

Most of my grooms say, “I’m so glad I got all the emotions out, together, alone … and not in front of 220 people!” It can be overwhelming!  I love that the First Look allows for a more intimate moment for the couple.  And honestly, nothing will ever take away that walking down the aisle moment!

Pro tip: Once the decor is set, some couples will style their first look walking down the aisle before the ceremony!  It’s a First Look AND the Aisle Moment, all in one!

Wedding Day Tips

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Love is all you need.  Love, and a great Rosé.
CHARLESTON, SC Wedding, Branding, & Family Photographer

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