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I'm a Jersey girl living in the Colorado mountains- I'm a sucker for glowly light and deep conversations over a glass of whiskey . . .

Meet Ashley

There are definitely more than 5 Reasons to do a First Look. I could probably come up with at least twenty more! To be honest, if I could go back in time to when I got married this is the first thing I would change. Although, sadly ‘first looks’ weren’t really a thing when I got married, 13 years ago. The whole concept is definitely new, but it has really stuck and there’s good reason for that.

To be transparent, my first impression of a first look was that it would take away from the special moment of when the groom sees his bride walking down the aisle. But, that’s not the case at all, in fact I’m going to debunk that mindset. Doing a first look actually builds that moment in slow motion, for just the two you, and creates more opportunities to capture your love.

Sometimes, it’s hard to break away from we think of as ‘traditional.’ But, I think between all these reasons to do a first look and then some, it could easily become a new permanent wedding tradition.

My top 5 Reasons to do a first look:

  1. Alone time: Think about it; when you, the bride, start walking down the aisle- everyone is watching you, there is a lot going on in that moment and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with emotion. After the ceremony, you go usually go directly into family formals and then to the reception. It’s busy! This small window of a first look before the ceremony allows that moment of quiet and intimacy, just between you and soon-to-be husband. You can concentrate only on each other, his face, his smile, his emotion, something likely to get lost while you are walking down the aisle. You get to enjoy this moment together, embrace each other, take a minute to slow down. You will have all day with your guests, there’s only one first look! Savor it and capture it.
  2. Favorite: Every bride and groom I’ve done a first look for have told me it was easily one of their favorite parts of their wedding day, as well as some of their favorite photos! Even the ones who were hesitant prior. They are all so glad they did it! They look back at that moment and remember it all, exactly how they felt and how their spouse reacted. They said it ”set the scene and excitement for the entire day.” One groom I spoke to was worried he wouldn’t feel the same ‘shock factor’ when his bride was walking down the aisle. “Nothing could take away from that moment of seeing the woman of my dreams walk down the aisle to marry me, the first look only made me enjoy that moment more.(Cue all the tears.)
  3. More portrait time: This is one of my favorite reasons to do a first look!! A first look guarantees more portraits of you and your spouse. Let’s be honest, sometimes a wedding day is hectic, it makes us ALL feel better when we know we got a solid 15-20 minutes in of extra portraits incase the weather goes crazy or anything unexpected happens. I also, of course, want you to have as many incredible photos as possible. You’ll be amazed at how many amazing photos we are able to capture in this little window of ‘first look’ time.
  4. Embracing the time: Hearing how you look on your wedding day from your soon-to-be spouse tends to be important for most couples. It is a unique and special once-in-a-lifetime experience. When you are walking down the aisle and see your spouse for the first time- there is no window to talk and tell each other how incredible they look, a first look gifts you that time.
  5. Genuine. Raw. Emotion: Look through my website or if you’ve done a session with me- you know/or can see my style. Raw. Genuine. Real. Authentic. Emotion. Story telling. Editorial. The first look is a perfect example as to how I capture that. Nothing needs to be said, no prompts, no posing. It’s just capturing the reaction of your soon-to-be husband seeing you in your wedding dress. It is as pure as emotion gets. And I’m standing back the whole time, its just you two love-birds. My job here is to capture the moment without interference.
  6. Being Present: Rather than worrying you will miss his look or being a big ball of nerves walking down the aisle. Most brides and grooms have actually said that the first-look calms them down before everything officially begins. Of course, this totally makes sense, who else could calm you down better than the person you are going to marry? What could be bad about having a little extra time to breathe and hold each other on the best day of your lives? When your nerves are calm you can be present. This day will go by fast enough, I want to make sure you enjoy every single moment of it.

I also want to put the fear of other’s seeing you to rest. I always make sure that we chose a secluded spot to do the first look. As well as ask a few members of either the wedding party, parents, or whoever you’d like to stand guard to make sure no one interferes. Rest assured, guests love helping out at weddings and feeling useful. So this is never a problem! (Also, know that if you want to have a best friend, parent, or anyone else present and off to the side, that is your choice and totally okay).

Doing a first look on your wedding day adds so much extra sweetness and intimacy on your day. This trend is definitely here to stay! If you are a sucker for first looks, think about doing more than one o your wedding day. You can do a first look with your dad, brother, best friend, or one with your bridesmaids. It’s always so fun to see the reactions to you in your dress! I notice that it usually makes the Bride feel extra special on her day as well. This is your day to shine girl, so soak it all in!

As I said, there are tons of reasons to do a first look, but I listed my favorites. Tell me your thoughts and experiences in the comments. Did you do one? Or wish you did? Do you have any other reasons on why to do a first look?

The first look is one of my favorites. They warned me that Tim would probably tear up during this. He did. And we all did with him.

Lock, Stock, and Barrel Wedding Venue Olathe Co Wedding Photographer
Reasons to do a First Look
First look images | Montrose CO Wedding Photographer
Tearing groom during first look
Reasons to do a first look | Olathe Wedding Photographer
This wedding was held at Lock, Stock, and Barrel Wedding Venue in Olathe, CO. A beautiful place to tie the knot!

If you are in the process of planning a wedding- check out some of other resources on Wedding Timelines, Why you should hire a Professional, and why to have a Wedding Unplugged.

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