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Why You Should Consider Having A First Look

It’s a chance to have an intimate moment with your partner before the wedding day craziness begins.

Your first look is a moment to exchange private vows, shed happy tears, and maybe even share a passionate kiss. And while some couples may feel that seeing each other before the ceremony takes away from the “moment of truth” when they finally lay eyes on each other at the altar, we say it’s a welcome opportunity to calm nerves and connect on a deeper level before the party begins.

Once the party gets started, you may not get to spend as much time with your spouse as you had hoped. Think of this: everyone in your life that you love is in one room, and they all want to talk to you. And your partner is experiencing the same but with other individuals. It’s a tough truth, but any quiet moments you get to spend alone on your wedding day should be cherished. Not to mention:

It makes for some truly beautiful photos.

At a first look, your photographer is able to capture amazing photos. Not only do they have clear shots of your “reveal”, which they may not have in the ceremony, but they also are able to capture you when your hair and makeup is newly done and camera-ready. You invested in having your beauty routine completed by a professional, to say nothing of your investment in a great photographer. You’ll never regret having extra photos of the two of you!

If you include your friends, family, or bridal party in your first look, your photographer may be able to finish either family or bridal party photos before the ceremony, which will lead to less wrangling later in the day. This brings me to my third point:

It may be your only option if you want to attend cocktail hour.

When we start working on the timeline, many of our couples immediately tell us that they really want to attend their cocktail hour to have extra time to mingle, or to enjoy their carefully curated catering. If you are having your ceremony and reception in different locations, if you have a large immediate family or large bridal party, or if you have a long “must have” shot list for your photographer to get through, and feel similarly about getting your hands on some passed apps, having a first look may be your only option.

We do not recommend a long break between your ceremony and reception for photos, as it decreases guest experience and breaks the flow of the day. However, we can help you talk through whether a 90-minute cocktail hour is a good alternative. And finally:

It won’t take away from the magic.

You are getting married to the love of your life. You are standing in front of all of your loved ones and pledging to choose this person forever. You have planned this day for months, even years, and it is all happening. We promise – there will be plenty of magic and plenty of feels as you step into that ceremony.

At the end of the day, there’s no wrong way to do things – as long as you’re making choices that will make your wedding day everything you’ve dreamt it would be. Either way, congratulations on your marriage and we wish you nothing but love!

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meet the planner carmen

Hi, I’m Carmen! I’m a wedding planner in Northern Virginia with a love of high-impact design details, well-executed timelines, and seamless event execution. I’m also a lawyer, a wife, a mother, an excellent cookbook recipe follower, and a cat foster mama!

Sound like your cup of tea? Let’s chat!

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