Over the last decade the first look photo has become a common item on the shot list of many Whistler wedding photographers. The first look (or bride reveal) is a moment often shared privately between the couple with just the photo and video team there to catch the action. The first look captures very real moments of love, connection, awe, surprise, and emotion and is a great option for some couples. That said, the first look also diminishes the energy & emotion that has been traditionally reserved for when the groom first catches sight of the bride as she comes down the aisle. For some this is a good thing and for others it is not.
Ultimately it is your decision whether or not to incorporate a first look into your wedding timeline and so it is worthwhile to consider a few pros and cons. With that in mind, I’ve reached out to some of my favourite Whistler wedding photographers to get their feedback on the first look. They each shared a few photos and here’s what they had to say. Enjoy!
Logan Swayze Photography
www.loganswayze.com | On Instagram @loganswayzephoto
"To me, first looks are very intimate and all about each other. There are no distractions and no other people...it's all about the two of you in that moment. A lot of times couples are very nervous about the ceremony, not just because they are about to get married, but because they have to be in front of so many people as they do so. With a first look, I find couples find strength in each other, and can in turn face the nervousness of the ceremony together. A first look is about being in that moment together, with the memories that only the two of you will share"
The Cannons Wedding Photography
For first look: If the ceremony isn’t until later in the day you can do the portrait session before so the bride and groom don’t have to leave and miss time celebrating with their guests. It also affords more time for shooting portraits. Depending on the time of year you may run out of light for portraits after and so a first look makes more sense.
Against first look: I love the photos when the bride and groom have their eyes locked on each other coming down the isle and the groom is tearing up. If they've done a first look they don’t look at each other when she’s coming down the aisle, they’re looking around at the guests and that really takes the power out of that moment. I also prefer to shoot real moments as they happen (other than the portrait session which is my favourite) and as real as the first look is, it more often feels contrived.
Leah Kathryn Photo
www.leahkathrynphoto.com/ | On Instagram @leahkathrynphoto
Pros: A first look enables you to take photos prior to the ceremony allowing you to mingle with your guests during cocktail hour sooner. It’s a great decision for couple’s who want to spend some quiet moments together before the ceremony and it can really help to calm the nerves. Also, if you are having a winter wedding, a first look is key so that you can have your photos taken with natural light since the days are so short.
Cons: A first look is taken during the day, when the light is harsh, so I always recommend putting time aside time later in the day for more portraits when the light is nicer.
Another thing, the first look is not traditional and some prefer that magic moment of seeing each other for the first time while walking down the aisle. Also, some grooms are very private with their emotions, which can disappoint a bride if she expects him to have a big reaction.
Darby Magill Photography
www.darbymagill.com/ | On instagram @darbymagill
"I'm in love with the first look! It allows me to capture something so raw and personal while also giving us the chance to schedule a chunk of couple portraits before the ceremony. Sometimes there simply isn't enough hours in the day for portraits, especially if you plan on having a late afternoon ceremony or a winter wedding. It's a great way to utilize time and light. It helps to unsettle your nerves a bit all the while having a private intimate moment with your person; it's romance and logic all wrapped into one!"
Tara Lilly Photography
www.taralillyphotography.com/ On Instagram @taralillyphotography
Here are the 5 reasons to plan a first look for your wedding day:
1. It allows you to spend more time with your partner on your wedding day - you get to see each other hours before you would with a traditional timeline.
2. It might be the only time when the two of you can pause and share a private moment together.
3. You can get more adventurous with your photo locations. Once you remove the time constraints of doing portraits in-between your ceremony and dinner, you have the option to travel a little further to epic landscapes, take a helicopter to a mountain peak, or hop in a gondola to showcase 360º views of Whistler in your wedding photos.
4. Especially with a Whistler wedding, your guests have likely traveled a long way to celebrate with you. If you have taken portraits before the ceremony, you can spend your entire cocktail hour with your guests.
5. A lot of planning has gone into your wedding day, so why not enjoy the food, drinks, venue, and music that you have put so much thought and money into?
If you are considering a Whistler wedding, definitely reach out to any of the listed photographers as they are all very talented and bring their own unique vibe and style to their wedding photography.
For those couple’s who are considering a Whistler elopement, I am stoked to say that each of these photographers participate in my All-Inclusive Elopement Packages which provide simple, stress free elopements in the most remarkable places with the best wedding vendors. Check out my Whistler elopement packages here.
Enjoy the wedding planning!