Arkansas Wedding Photography: Why You Should Consider a “First Look”

arkansas wedding photography, why have a first look, meredith melody

Since I shoot a lot of Arkansas wedding photography, a lot of brides ask me if she and her groom should see each other before the wedding. I usually say yes, but I always follow-up my answer with my personal and professional experience to explain why. I view the wedding day from a bride’s perspective before approaching it as a photographer. I know what its like to finally be in the dress – nervous and waiting with anticipation – ready to walk down the aisle. My husband and I did not have a ‘First Look’ and I regret it. I’m not saying that it wasn’t special seeing Andrew for the first time as the doors to the sanctuary opened. In fact, I cried like a baby. Seeing him that way just wasn’t what I wanted or needed in that moment. All I wanted to do was wrap my arms around him, hug him and tell him how much I loved him. I was worried about how I looked crying and was worried about smearing my makeup. I wanted to feel comfortable and like myself, not a version of  myself on display for everyone to see. I wanted more than anything for Andrew to hold me, tell me he loved me and tell me how beautiful I looked. After the wedding, all I could think about was how I wished we’d had some alone time before the ceremony. Looking back on the experience, I also wish we’d done a first look so we would have had more time for portraits.

arkanas wedding photography, see eachother before the wedding

From a photography standpoint, the benefit to a couple seeing each other prior to the ceremony is that it calms pre-wedding jitters and allows for a much smoother timeline for family pictures, the cocktail hour and portraits of the couple alone. By capturing the ‘first look’ and formal photos before the ceremony, your family and bridal party can mingle after the ceremony and it allows you to enjoy more time with guests at the reception. While incorporating a ‘first look’ into a wedding timeline is great for some couples, it might not be the thing for you. I suggest doing what feels right for you and what will make you the happiest and most stress-free.