Often driven by social media trends and advice from friends, many couples decide to include first look photos into their wedding timeline without much thought. While it can be a beautiful moment when approached with the right intentions, it might not be the right fit for every couple. So you should be very considerate before making the final decision! We reached out to the talented wedding photographer, Kate Roberge, to share her insights and advice with us.
A First Look Can Realise Tension, if That's What You Want!
A first look isn't a one-size-fits-all choice, especially if it's solely for photos. This principle extends to various aspects of a wedding day, as we'll explore later.
For some couples, seeing one another before the ceremony may diminish the ceremony's significance, while for others, it adds depth to the moment. If the prospect of facing each other amidst guests, recollecting vows, and navigating the ceremony feels overwhelming, a first look can provide relief. It allows you to eliminate one stressor, find comfort in each other, and approach the ceremony as a united team. On the other hand, if you thrive on the excitement of tension and eagerly anticipate the aisle moment, a first look might not be the right choice for you.
Allow Yourselves to Enjoy Your Full Wedding Day
A first look is ideal for an intimate wedding, enhancing the time spent with your partner. If you're both getting ready in the same house and avoiding each other until the ceremony proves logistically stressful, consider a first look. This way, you can sidestep the need for covert manoeuvres and too many solitary moments, ensuring you fully relish each other's company throughout the day. Trust me, the joy of shared experiences far exceeds the stress of house-splitting tactics that detract from enjoying half of your wedding day.
Don’t Do it For the Photos
Using a first look solely for photo opportunities or to expedite couple photos before the ceremony might, in hindsight, dilute the genuine essence of those captured moments. Rather than cherishing the intimacy and romance of the pre-ceremony period, the focus shifts to fulfilling a trend someone suggested on TikTok.
So please, refrain from letting social media dictate your wedding decisions, including opting for a first look if it doesn’t fit you. If it's a genuinely enjoyable experience that enhances your day and memories, absolutely go for it! However, if it's driven by the allure of impressive photos for the moment or your Instagram feed, consider the long-term impact. In a decade, when trends fade and emotions become the anchor of your memories, prioritise genuine experiences over fleeting photo opportunities on your wedding day.
Use a First Look to Create Anchoring Memories
In helping couples shape their wedding day, I advocate for anchoring lasting memories. Those who've planned and lived through weddings universally attest to the rapid pace of the day. Even when you're super intentional, your day goes fast, imagine if you don’t put those moments into your day? Anchoring, as I see it, involves planning small moments for memory-making with specific individuals. These key instances, such as morning pancake-making with bridesmaids or pre-wedding golfing with fathers, moments and activities that prompt intentional pauses, allowing you to stay present and create enduring memories. By embedding these instances in your consciousness, the day unfolds more slowly, occupying more mental space as a collection of cherished stories for years to come.