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October 10, 2021

Private First Look vs Traditional

Weighing the choice of a private first look vs traditional first look during the ceremony? I’m here to help!

I joke to my couples all the time that after almost 8 years of weddings, I feel like I’ve seen it all. Because of that, I feel a responsibility to help guide them into making the most educated decisions possible for their timeline.

One thing to remember here, is I’m not trying to sway you one direction or the other. Our job is to make sure you and your fiancee are making the most educated decision possible. (Along with fully understanding the pros and cons to your decision.)

My goal for these planning blogs is to keep them short, sweet, and easy to understand, so let’s dive right in!

The Private First Look

Most times, the timeline flows easier. We also notice couples enjoying more of their wedding day. This happens because your photographers (& videographers!) don’t have to sweep you away from cocktail hour! More time can be spent with your loved ones, and more memories made in your heart.

What the bones of your timeline could look like: after getting ready, you have the private first look, followed by portraits, wedding party portraits, and then finishing with family formals. From there, we move into the ceremony. After that, our couples enjoy the rest of their day without the pressure of taking more pictures. (It’s time better spent enjoying the evening with their loved ones. Of course, with the sunset photos added in there, too.)

This also takes performative pressure off the groom. Knowing that many curious eyes are watching and waiting for his reaction, might make our shy guys even more nervous. Enjoying the moment, and getting to talk to her, twirl her, and hug her in the moments following, is so wonderful!

And a bonus to that last point: As your photographers, we can ride the high of that moment right into the sweetest, most romantic, and joyful bride & groom portraits.

The Traditional First Look

With the traditional, “see-you-down-the-aisle” first look, the moment is shared with all your loved ones! If the aforementioned concerns don’t apply, then the traditional first look is a fine option.

A possible drawback, is you may miss part (or most) of your cocktail hour. When family photos, wedding party, and bride & groom photos need to be taken in that time. This can become more concerning if you’re getting married off-season with shorter daytime hours.

With that, you might find yourself needing to either have an earlier ceremony, (which leaves guests with a longer time to wait til cocktail hour), and a need to possibly add more hours for photography.

With proper planning, we can still make the most of your timeline and honor your wishes for a traditional first look.

The Takeaway

Remember the goal: choosing the option that makes the most sense for your timeline, and honors your wishes. With that, we’ll do our best to make whichever option you prefer work for us. As long as your decision was a very educated one, we’ll be all good!

Wherever this sweet moment happens (down the aisle, or in a field of flowers), it’s going to be an absolute dream! After all that waiting, and the day finally arrives…what a magical scene it is!

PHOTOGRAPHY: Madeline Rome | VENUES IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE: Vennebu Hill, Cannon River Winery, The Bog