I am a huge fan of today’s guest post by Sandra Mikalauskas of White Ivory Photography. First looks are getting more and more popular as most couples are breaking the mold of a traditional wedding. Take it away Sandra!

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What is a First Look?

We hear so much about it today when referring to wedding photography. I thought I would take this opportunity to demystify the concept and how you might find yourselves reconsidering the traditional approach to bridal portraits.

Tradition has always dictated that it is bad luck to see the bride prior to the ceremony. Many people still believe that it will take away from seeing your future bride or groom when walking down the aisle. Far be it from me to say that is wrong, as in the end you do have to do what you feel is best. The first look has a host of advantages that you might want to consider.

Learn more about first looks after the jump…

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An Optimal Timeline and A Less Stressful Wedding Day

A wonderful benefit to doing the first look is the control it gives the bride and groom over their wedding day schedule. Together, the couple and the photographer can decide how much time to allot for their formal portraits instead of rushing to have them completed after the ceremony. There are many photos to be taken after the ceremony in addition to the bridal portraits, such as the bridal party and the family formals. It can be a lot to squeeze in when you have a tight time frame.

The first look is typically scheduled about an hour or more before the ceremony. When the bride and groom are fully dressed and ready, we have them meet for the first time. It is a great opportunity to capture a very special moment between the couple. The first look can be even more intimate and romantic because it is just the two of you enjoying your time together, without any expectations or stress. Nor do you have all your guests looking at you, which can be a little unnerving.

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Making the Wedding Experience More Meaningful

When setting up the first look, we look for a very private area that will enhance the moment. For many brides and grooms, the first look enhances the rest of the wedding day. You get to spend the time shooting in great locations, kissing, laughing, and really being at ease with each other. By the time you start to walk down the aisle, the nerves will be gone.

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Good For Your Guests

Your guests will thank you for it! You know what I’m talking about, the long break between the ceremony and the reception, which can sometimes but a damper on the momentum of the day. The couple rushes through the bridal portraits because they have to get to their guests or they spend more time on the portraits and have to make their guests wait. With a first look, rushing to get the bridal portraits done is out of the way, leaving you more time to enjoy your guests.

In conclusion, the first look doesn’t diminish the importance of the bride walking down the aisle. You will still experience that moment. The first look allows you to to indulge in the time with the person you love most as well as soak up the wedding experience. As I mentioned earlier, couples have to choose what is right for them. I just feel compelled, as a photographer, to present your other option.

I would love to hear from other brides and whether they chose to do a first look. Please leave a comment about your experience!