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Should You Have a First Look on Your Wedding Day?

Many of our Hudson Valley couples wonder if they should have a first look on their wedding day! As you are planning your Upstate NY wedding, you might wonder the same question—should you have a first look on your wedding day? There are reasons that more couples are choosing to have a first look prior to their wedding ceremony and we are here to help you decide if a first look is right for you.

We recommend having a first look for 3 reasons:

1. Having a first look means that you get to spend more time with each other.

When you wait until your wedding ceremony to see each other for the first time, you go the majority of your day without seeing each other. Having a first look earlier on in the day means that you get to spend much more time together on your special day. Your first look can be a special moment that just the two of you get to enjoy. On a day that you’ll be surrounded by others, you’ll at least have this moment to soak in the reality that you are getting married to your favorite person.

What is a first look at a wedding?

2. You be able to relax and enjoy your cocktail hour.

If you wait until after your ceremony to take portraits, you will miss your cocktail hour. Although cocktail hours are often scheduled so that the couple and bridal party can take photos during this time, it is a good opportunity to mingle with your guests, relax, and enjoy a drink. If you’d rather be there to enjoy your cocktail hour, we recommend having a first look before your ceremony. You’ll be able to take care of bridal portraits, bridal party portraits, and family portraits earlier in the day and sit back and enjoy the company of your loved ones during your cocktail hour.

3. We won’t be as rushed taking portraits.

A wedding day is filled with activities that keep you busy from sunrise to sunset. We have seen couples rushing through their timeline, trying to not get behind. By having a first look, you can save yourself some timing anxiety. We won’t be as rushed taking photos earlier in the day as we would taking them during a cocktail hour. You’ll likely be eager to get your photos completed so that you can get back to the festivities by taking them after the ceremony. Earlier in the day, there is more room in the timeline. We will be able to take photos in a more relaxed setting this way and we won’t have to rush as much!

Do a first look or not

Other things to keep in mind:

Having a first look will still give you a special moment.

You might wonder if a first look will take away from the special feeling of seeing each other for the first time walking down the aisle. Our couples who choose to have a first look actually say that they get to enjoy seeing each other for the first time even more, though! They enjoy the intimacy of the quiet moment, without the hundreds of eyes watching. There is no rule that says that you have to wait until the ceremony. Whatever you choose, we are here to capture it!

We can adjust the timing for portraits depending on lighting.

If you are worried about the lighting, we can always take portraits later in the evening during the golden hour. We can even have a first look earlier in the day and then take 15-20 minutes at sunset to take more portraits. Our couples love this option because they get to enjoy their first look and get some gorgeous portraits as a married couple during the golden hour. Or you can also wait to take any bridal portraits as a couple until golden hour. It’s your wedding day and we are happy to adjust to your preference! (We really do recommend taking your bridal party and family photos earlier on to save you time in the evening, though.)

Your wedding day is unique to you.

Your wedding day timeline is unique to you. You might have a very different timeline than what we have discussed in this blog post. We are happy to work with you to find the best time to squeeze in portraits on your wedding day. If that means waiting until later in the evening, we can definitely make it work. After all, it is YOUR wedding day and we are here to support you.

Whether you choose to have a first look, wait until the ceremony, or something in between, we know that what you choose for your wedding day will be perfect for you. If you are looking for a Hudson Valley wedding photographer + videographer team, we would love to be the ones to capture the unique moments on your big day. Inquire with us today; we can’t wait to meet you and help you find the perfect time to take gorgeous portraits.

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