Reasons to do a First Look

Last week I wrote about Michael & I’s first look.  And about how it was one of the BEST decisions we made on our wedding day.  I couldn’t imagine having to wait until 4:30 to see my best friend on the most important day of our lives.  It was a no brainer for us to do a first look.  But last week was just our experience.  Here are a few more reasons we tell our couples when they are on the fence about doing a first look.  But remember, like any detail for your wedding day, you gotta do what feels right for YOU.  We will never force an idea on our couples.  But we do look out for them, and will make sure they know their options.  And what we think is best.  Will we shoot a wedding when a couple isn’t doing a first look?  OF COURSE!  But again.. we want them to know their options.. so here’s why we LOVE first looks..
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You get more time in front of our camera. 

These are the pictures you will hang on your wall.  These are the pictures that will go into frames that your grandchildren will cherish.  These are the pictures that will remind you forever how deeply in love you are.  Doing a first look will give us more time to capture the two of you.  You’ve invested in your photography.. get the most out of it!

You have more time together. 

Your wedding day goes by SO quickly.  And you will have lots of guests you want to greet and party with.  Your attention will constantly be pulled this way and that.  The first look gives you more time to spend together.. ALONE.. on your wedding day.  This is the biggest reason to do a first look in my opinion.  You can even use your saved time during cocktail hour to hide away… just married.. and be alone for a little while before the big party starts.

You’ll look your best. 

We will take your portraits RIGHT AFTER you’ve just had your final touches of hair and makeup.  You will look the best you will look all day.. and it will be immortalized by our cameras. You won’t have just cried through the ceremony, or stood/sweat in the heat.  You’ll look perfect.

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You’ll have a more relaxed timeline. 

No running around trying to fit it all in.  A first look will give you time to breath, relax, and ENJOY the day without worrying if you can get everything done!  We can take care of bridal party, bride & groom portraits, AND family.. all before the ceremony.  Meaning…

You can enjoy your cocktail hour! 

First looks give you the option of actually attending your own cocktail hour!  Those bacon wrapped dates you fell in love with during your tasting?  You could actually eat one!!!  Most of our couples opt to take a few extra “just married” portraits as a husband and wife.. but that will still leave you with 30 or 40 minutes of your cocktail hour to enjoy (or just escape to spend some extra alone time together).


Your bridal party will LOVE you!!! 

By taking all those bridal party portraits before the ceremony, your bridal party/best friends/people who have been waiting on you hand and foot, will be able to go PARTY! And they will love you for it!

You can ease your nerves. 

Those first few moments before the ceremony are INTENSE.  And by seeing each other before the ceremony, a lot of those nerves are eased.  At least they were for us!

You still get an “aisle moment”. 

I wrote last week about how Michael still cried as I walked down the aisle.. even though we had already seen each other.  And that’s actually true for most of our couples.  Our grooms still comment about how emotional they were as they watched their brides walking towards them.  Even though they had already seen the dress.  It’s the moment.  It’s the fact that you are getting MARRIED.  It’s her dad handing her off to you.  It’s pledging your LIFE to each other.  It’s walking up engaged, and walking away married.  It’s still emotional.  You won’t miss out on that… unless of course you have a heart of stone.. which is not the case for any of our couples 🙂 thank goodness.


But, if you don’t want to take our words for it.. we asked a couple of our past clients, “would you recommend a first look?”  Here’s what they said.

“UM YES! I knew I had wanted to do this based on pictures I’ve seen, articles I had read, etc. Jonathan needed some convincing, but in the end he was so happy we did it! He was a little more anxious for the wedding day due to the shear number of people we were having at the wedding (300+) – he is not one that likes being the center of attention. So, when we had that moment with just the two of us (and y’all) it put both of our nerves to rest. We both said (after the wedding), our first look was easily our favorite part of the whole day. You still get the magic of the “reaction from the groom” but it’s even better because you get to cherish that intimate moment just the two of you. Plus then we got to spend the rest of the time leading up the wedding together!”  – Emily & Jonathan

“Yes! It’s a perfect way to have the groom take you all in at once and catch him on camera. The photos capture how excited he is to see you for the first time on the wedding day in your dress.” –Carol & Eric 



we're Michael & Laura


hey friends,

a husband and wife photography team based in Richmond, Virginia (though we LOVE to travel!). We hope you enjoy browsing some of our most recent work, reading our tips and tricks for brides, and taking a little peek into our life.  

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