a first look : 5 reasons for a new tradition | janiece & ian | jenna grace photography


May 15, 2018

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A First Look

Planning a wedding requires making hundreds of decisions: dresses, flowers, food, guest lists, and so many more. One important decision a couple needs to make is whether or not to have a First Look. There is an old wives’ tale that it is bad luck for a groom to see his bride before the ceremony on their wedding day. Particularly in the South, it is traditional for the couple not to see one another until the bride walks down the aisle. If you aren’t particularly superstitious, you may want to reconsider this tradition. First Looks are becoming more and more popular. I think that having a First Look is becoming the new tradition!

Ultimately, your wedding day is YOUR day, and our goal is to make it the very best for YOU. We understand that some couples feel very strongly about not seeing each other before the ceremony, and that’s okay too! However, we’ve seen from experience that most couples aren’t even aware of the best reasons to do a First Look. We hope this post will make it easier for you to make that decision.

Here are five reasons to choose a First Look on your wedding day.

1. A time just for you…

Your wedding day will go by so fast. Unless you choose a First Look, even on a day that’s all about the two of you, you don’t get to enjoy any of it alone! The First Look is a modern tradition involving a quiet, private moment where the bride and groom see each other for the first time prior to the ceremony. The showcase of the gorgeous wedding dress, the handsome new tuxedo, and that gleam in your partner’s eyes are captured during this intimate occasion.

It’s just the two of you. Unlike at the altar, he can tell you how beautiful you look, hug you, whisper in your ear, and tell you how much he loves you. Afterward, you will have some time alone with each other to just enjoy your wedding day (and take some beautiful, romantic portraits!).

There is so much activity and so many things to accomplish on your wedding day that sometimes taking it all in just isn’t possible. If you choose a First Look, you will be able to spend a few precious moments alone with one another just enjoying your love.


2. The emotion…

You’ve heard it dozens of times before… brides have been planning their wedding since they were little girls! It’s true. But what a bride looks forward to most on her wedding day is that moment when her groom sets his eyes on her for the first time. She can’t wait for his reaction! With a First Look, you will have photos of your groom’s reaction for the rest of your lives. You’re guaranteed to have that moment documented forever.

During the ceremony, there are just so many things happening and so many unforeseen variables, the groom’s reaction is VERY difficult to catch. With a First Look, you will get that photo of his reaction to you in your dress ready to become his bride. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing the pride and joy he feels when he sees you for the first time. For a brief moment, all of the nervousness and anticipation disappears and the couple enjoys an emotional connection that they’ll cherish forever. This photo session slows everything down to a cozy moment and gives you the chance to bask in the affection you both have before the frenzy of a wedding day.


3. It calms the nerves…

At the altar, the groom is well aware that all eyes will be on him when his bride comes down the isle. Will he cry? Will he grin? Will he bounce up and down with excitement? Wedding days are nerve-racking enough without all that pressure! But with a First Look, the groom has already seen his bride, without a hundred pairs of eyes on him. She’s already had time to hold his hand, kiss him, and calm his nerves. We’ve had so many grooms tell us that they were so glad that they did the First Look! Without it, they would have been even more nervous.

For the bride, doing a First Look will give you peace of mind knowing that your significant other will be there for you to help calm those nerves. Time and time again we see the stress fly away just after the bride sees the groom for the first time. It’s almost like a weight is lifted off their shoulders and the rest of the wedding day activities are a breeze. This quiet moment will allow for you to get out the jitters so you feel and look relaxed and comfortable for the rest of the photos.


4. Your family will thank you…

If you decide to do a First Look, it means you can get all your formal portraits out of the way before the ceremony and reception. Seeing each other before the ceremony lets you finish all of your couple, bridal party, and family portraits. So after the wedding all you have to think about is actually attending your own cocktail hour and mingling with guests who are eager to congratulate you. It also provides you with a back-up time slot to finish your portraits just in case something kept you held up earlier in the day.

We want you to live in the moment on your wedding day. We want you to be present with your guests. A First Look gives you the flexibility to get all your portraits finished while you look your best so you can engage with the people you love the most.


5. Your photographer will thank you…

This one is probably our favorite because, let’s face it, we want you to have more opportunities for great pictures. When brides were asked after their wedding what they wish they spent more time and money on, 21% of brides wished they spent more on photography according to this article found in the Huffington Post, more than any other single item on the list. Photography is that important. It is what you will look back on for all the years of your marriage to remember the day. We want your photos to be the very best they can be. We want you to feel relaxed, calm and comfortable. We want for you to have as many amazing pictures as we can possibly give you.

The best thing about getting formal photos done at the beginning of the day: you look incredible!  Of course, you’ll both look amazing all day. But a First Look is done before the ceremony and reception when your hair is in place, you haven’t cried off that mascara, and neither of you has gotten the chance to get wrinkled. In addition, weddings are unpredictable and there are often delays. It is not ideal to rush pictures after your ceremony.

The First Look also allows us time to shoot your reception details. You’ve spent months, and a lot of money, planning your wedding. We want to make sure you will have beautiful photos of all your hard work! Since all the portrait photos will be done, we have time to capture these details before guests enter the reception area. Conversely, if you choose not to have a First Look, we not only have to take all the formal family photos, but photos of the bridal party all together as well as all your portrait photos. At this point, our main concern is getting you to your reception. A First Look allows us to capture all of these formal photos before the ceremony takes place. The happy result…you get more photos!


Do what is right for you…

Contrary to what most grooms think, the First Look does NOT ruin that moment his bride walks down the isle. The two are completely different. The First Look is romantic and intimate, a special time just for the two of you. That moment you come down the isle is all excitement, nerves, and energy. It’s a “here we go!” moment, and there’s nothing you can do to take that away! For the groom, seeing his bride walking toward him down the aisle is special every single time. No matter what.

Of course, we are here to serve you whatever you decide. We are thrilled to be a part of your wedding day and make it special for you!


To see another wedding at this beautiful venue, check out this post.

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