• Magnolia Photography

First Look | The 5 Biggest Reasons Why you Totally Should

I feel like this is a dilemma every bride wrestles with when making plans for her big day: Should I let my groom see me before I walk down the aisle?

There are so many pro's and con's to consider when thinking about this decision. I personally did not do a first look at the request of my Fiance. It was the one wedding request he had and, of course, I agreed. I do, however, wish I had researched a little more before making this decision together. Let me be clear on this, I would not change my wedding day for anything-it was perfect, and yours will be too no matter what but there are so many positive things about doing a First Look.

Now, for my traditional Southern Brides, I hear you!! But hear me out before you write this option off. We all dream of walking down the aisle to your Groom with big Crocodile tears in his eyes, gushing over his beautiful Brides. Again, I hear you!!

I do want you to know from, not only a photographer's point of view but, a Bride's eyes the pro's of doing a first look. I highly recommend this and here's why:

01. You get to enjoy his reaction.

Remember the Crocodile tears we were talking about?? A first look gives you both the chance to be emotional with each other without a huge audience [Insert why I wish we had done a first look]. My husband is NOT an emotional person and is a true man's man. You better believe he would not shed a tear in front of a group of people. We all secretly want to see them blubber like a baby when they see us for the first time and an audience can sometimes ruin that approach.

02. You get more time together on your wedding day.

A First Look changes your day of timeline drastically. You typically do your first look 2-4 hours before the ceremony so there is no stressing about trying to keep your groom confined to one area so he doesn't see you. The most important time saver is being able to spend alone time together on the day of your wedding while doing portraits. This may be the only 30 minutes you get the entire day to just be together and enjoy the best day ever!

03. You get more photos.

A first look allows you to have more time for photos before and after the ceremony. You will get more time to spend together taking portraits before and after the ceremony. You actually add time to you timeline by doing a First Look and will free up more time for you to start having fun at your Reception!

04. You aren't rushed to get photos done.

We don't want the photos you hang on your wall and that your children will look at one day will be crammed in to 30 rushed minutes right after family photos with a hungry mob of guests waiting on you to eat. You get to feel relaxed and excited about your upcoming nuptials.

05. You can be lovey-dovey! ;)

I think this is the one Brides don't think about. If you wait to see each other until you walk down the aisle, he won't be able to go on and on about how amazing you look or wrap you up in an emotional kiss because you will be at the alter. Being caught up in the moment with just the two of you leads to sweet whispers of how beautiful you look and telling him you can't wait to marry him. Of course he can tell you these things at the Reception but the moment has lost it's spark by then. When he does let the water works flow you won't be able to wrap him up and tell him all of the wonderful things your feeling right then. This time is GOLD for photographers because there is no instruction needed--I just get to quietly observe and capture the moment.

There are also variations of this where you can do a First Look with your Bridesmaids or Dad. I have even seen some couples wash each other's feet during their look as symbol of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples at the last supper. So sweet!!!

If you still don't feel like a First Look is right for you and your Fiance, that is TOTALLY FINE! It is perfectly ok to want to keep it traditional and save that sweet time as you walk down the aisle. But--if I have convinced you that this is the right thing for you, you (and your photographer) will thank me!