What is a First Look you ask? A First Look is where the wedding couple will see each other prior to the wedding ceremony. Traditionally the couples first sees each other during the ceremony. First Looks are quickly becoming one of my favorite things, and one of the most requested “non-traditional” parts of a wedding day, especially for Hilton head Island weddings. I’ll explain more below!
#1 Intimate Setting= Emotional
I find that when my couples are alone, in a quiet, private space, the emotions are free to flow. No one is nervous about being watched, or if they will disappoint their partner if they don’t react a certain way. They are free to let it all go. People don’t know how they will react, and that is the beauty of it! This may also be the only time you get together, alone, so take it all in. Some couples are worried it won’t be as meaningful when the bride walks down the aisle… but trust me… it can be even more emotional because the weight of the unknown has been lifted.
*One quick photo tip I have for the First Look setup– If the bride wants to TAP the groom, she has to be arms length from him. This means he won’t see her whole body, and he’ll go straight in for the hug. That doesn’t make for the best photo. If he is further away and she TELLS him to turn around, he can see all of her, then I have a moment to capture emotion while he is walking to her—like the photo below!!
#2 Formal portraits finished early
After the couple sees each other, we move right into portrait time. We are free to spend as little or as much time as the couple wants. It is all about their desires, not mine. We can move to different locations, stay in one spot, get the bare minimum, or shoot for an hour. It’s your day! Couples portraits are then done pre-ceremony, while hair and makeup is fresh, dress and suit is clean. IF you want sunset beach photos– they are always a good idea– then I will whisk you away for a few minutes during cocktail, or reception (for HHI usually 15 minutes before sunset time).
#3 It is HOT and HUMID in the South!
The Lowcountry and Savannah can be HOT and HUMID April-November! Heat and humidity brings out the worst in us. I promise, if you are stuck taking photos after the ceremony, you’re hot, tired, and all you want to do is eat and drink— then your photos will suffer!!
#4 You get to the party faster!
Your bridal party and family will love you! If couples portraits are finished pre-ceremony, that means ALLL portraits are finished pre-ceremony! The only exception is if the couple wants any formal extended family photos before everyone scatters. Otherwise, everyone is let loose and free to PARTY! How many times have you been to a wedding, and the photographer takes photos for hours, and the couple misses cocktail?? Nope, won’t happen with a First Look!
Hopefully this helped you make a decision, but if you have more questions please don’t hesitate to reach out!
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