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What Is a First Look?

A first look is when a couple has decided to share a special moment together where they will see each other for the first time on their wedding day before their actual ceremony. Usually, both partners get dressed and ready separately; then, a photographer captures the moment they see each other for the first time. Couples are able to personalize their first look; they may decide to have a first look with their bridal party and/or their parents. Having a first look opens up precious time on their wedding day; they can use this time however they may choose. As experienced wedding photographers, we at Turnquist Collective recommend our couples have a first look. This allows us more time for photos and for couples to spend more time together on their special day. Here are some of the upsides you might consider about having a first look on your wedding day:

Reasons You Should Have a First Look on Your Wedding Day

You gain more time together on your wedding day.

Choosing to have a first look gives you more time with your fiance/soon-to-be spouse on your wedding day. If you wait to see each other at the ceremony, most of the day goes by before you get to spend time together. When you do finally see each other, that precious moment will be less intimate because it will likely take place in front of a large crowd. Many couples enjoy having a first look because they get to spend quality time together, creating beautiful memories during these quiet, more private moments.

You may choose to see each other for the first time in the morning after you are both ready. You can then prepare for your ceremony together and fully enjoy all of the time at your cocktail hour and reception! Instead of feeling like you haven’t had a moment with your new spouse until all of the festivities have died down and the day has passed you by, you can spend time together earlier in the day and have your spouse close by until you exit the reception!

You get to share an intimate moment before your ceremony.

Your wedding day will go by faster than you can imagine. Having an intimate moment together, before you say your vows to each other, allows you to share quiet time alone that will leave you both feeling centered and more ready for the day’s activities. Waiting to see each other until your ceremony means you will likely have a very public first look in front of your family and friends. Many couples prefer having a private moment where you can enjoy the other person’s company without so many eyes on the two of you. You might not get another intimate moment together until your wedding day has ended. In addition to feeling more relaxed and prepared for your big day, your photographer and videographer can unobtrusively be present for the first look and take photos of your reactions! That way, you will have photos of that special moment forever.

You will be able to take portraits earlier in the day and enjoy your cocktail hour!

As a wedding photographer & videographer duo, we see countless wedding timelines. When couples choose to have a first look, the entire timeline shifts. If you would like to, you will have time to choose to take photos at multiple locations. You will be able to schedule family portraits and bridal party portraits earlier in the day before your ceremony instead of having to wait until the cocktail hour to take portraits. That gives you more photos of the two of you together, more time for photos overall, and more time to enjoy your cocktail hour, your guests, and each other! 

Different Ways to Have a First Look

There is more than one way to have a first look on your wedding day! Other than the classic “touch and turn around to see each other for the first time,” there are other unique ways to make your first look even more personalized. Here are some of our favorites:

private vow reading wedding day
  • You can stand back to back, or hold hands side by side, with your eyes closed, count to three together; then, open your eyes to see each other for the first time.
  • The bride could come up behind the groom and wrap her arms around him; then, say a few words to each other before he turns around.
  • Each of you could stand on separate sides of either a corner of a building or of a tree; then you can come around the corner at the same time for your first look.
  • You can enjoy more than just words together during your first look. You could have a blindfolded first dance, pop a bottle of champagne together, or exchange gifts or love letters with each other making your first look even more memorable.

Looking for a wedding photographer to capture all of the special moments on your wedding day, including your first look? At Turnquist Collective, we are a husband and wife wedding photography and videography team based in Hudson Valley. Contact us today!

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