Pro Tips | Should We Do a First Look on Our Wedding Day?

If you are torn about whether or not you want to do a First Look on your wedding day, two things…
we are here to help + you are in the right place!

first look

We interviewed 5 SPRINGS Brides, as well as several wedding pros (two photographers + a coordinator), and have come to the conclusion that yes… you should do a First Look. 🙂

Before we go any further, we do want to be clear. We are not here to pressure you into doing anything. We strongly believe there is no wrong way to wedding.
We just want to provide a little insight on a wedding day trend that our brides are L O V I N G and leave you with the knowledge of the benefits of a First Look.
No matter what you decide, your wedding day is sure to be the Best Day Ever!

Back to first looks + why we love them!

If the photos produced are not convincing enough, below are the real-life, First Look experiences of the brides and pros we interviewed.
Our brides told us why they opted to do one and what they loved about it + the pros each told us why they are a fan of the trend and the benefits from their point of view. Enjoy!

From a bride’s perspective:

first look

first look
Photographer: Element Motif

Bre + Jacob were married at THE SPRINGS in Weatherford (Westwood Hall) on July 14, 2017.

We wanted to do a First Look because we wanted a private, intimate moment between us before our ceremony. Multiple couples told us how it calmed their nerves and was a special moment for them to look back on, so we wanted that too!

The First Look was my (Bre) favorite part of the day! I had so many nerves walking through the door and the second I saw Jake turn around, I felt so calm and that it was just him and me. The moment was so intimate for the two of us – that we don’t feel like we got at any other part of the day. It was pure joy and we are SO happy that we did one!

first look
Photographer: Element Motif

Our First Look photos brought us to tears when we first got them. They mean everything to us and are so pure with the emotions we were experiencing.

If you are a bride comptemplating a First Look, DO IT. It is such a fun part of the day that made us feel so much better going into the rest of the day! When we saw each other, it didn’t matter if everything after went wrong – we were just so excited to have each other.

first look

first look
Photographer: Clark Lara Photography

Allie + Neal were married at THE SPRINGS in Lake Conroe (Pine Hall) on November 26, 2016.

We were getting married after dark and wanted most of our pictures done while it was still day. My husband knows how to calm me down when I’m nervous and I knew seeing him beforehand would help me feel better.

I would definitely do [our First Look] again! The pictures are some of my favorites from the whole wedding day and I felt so much better after seeing him! Plus, it saves us sooo much time and we were able to almost immediately get to the reception.

first look
Photographer: Clark Lara Photography

Our photos are amazing! The look on my husband’s face is priceless. Being able to see the anticipation on his face as I walk up behind him is so sweet. I don’t think it took anything away from the ceremony and for us, I think it may have been better than him seeing me for the first time walking down the aisle because there were no jitters and no one else was around.

first look
Photographer: Clark Lara Photography

The pictures from our First Look weren’t posed or staged and that’s another reason I loved it! It was just our natural reactions to seeing each other that [our photographer] was able to capture.

I would recommend [a First Look] to anyone considering it! Obviously, it’s not for everyone, but it was the best option for me and I would do it over again in a heartbeat!

first look

first look
Photographer: Emily Nicole Photo

Victoria + Kolby were married at THE SPRINGS in Denton (The Lodge) on August 26, 2017.

I originally did [a First Look] so I could be sure Kolby was dressed correctly and all in one piece and still had his beard, etc. What it actually turned into was me and him having a moment before all the craziness began to remind ourselves why we were here in the first place.

I’m so glad we did one! We shared our vows during our First Look and it gave us a chance to be vulnerable with each other about our commitment. We didn’t do personal vows during the ceremony because we wanted to keep it short and sweet since it was in the heat of Texas!

first look
Photographer: Emily Nicole Photo

I wasn’t nervous on the day of, but it was still nice to see Kolby beforehand. Since he’s my best friend, I couldn’t have imagined getting ready and showing up without sharing part of that with him.

Also, we were able to go straight from our First Look into couples photos, which was nice just being him and me and our photographer, rather than the whole bridal party and family. It still kept that intimate mood. Be sure and find a spot that’s private. My family wanted to watch outside, but we wanted it to be private so we settled with them watching through the window – haha!

first look

first look
Photographer: Wiler Weddings

Ashley + Nico were married at THE SPRINGS in Denton (The Ranch) on May 21, 2017.
See their perfect wedding featured on our blog here.

I loved so many things! First, I loved the suspense. I loved getting to walk up behind him and get super cute pictures in the process. I loved his face the second he turned around. It was priceless! He even asked the photographer, “Can I kiss her?!” and they said, “Of course!!”

It was such a special moment for the both of us. I am SO glad I chose to do a First Look!

first look
Photographer: Wiler Weddings

We got SO many great photos! It was so amazing the amount of extra pictures we got together because we chose to do a First Look. Most of my favorite pictures of us from the wedding are from our First Look! I was so excited to become his wife and you can truly see that through the pictures.

I wanted to have a special time where it could be just Nico and I. I wanted him to be the one to see me first and it meant a lot to me to allow him to see me one more time before I became his wife. My photographer/videographer team made it so special. And having a videographer was the best idea because we got to relive the whole First Look again!

first look

first look
Photographer: Taylor O’Neal Photography

Ally + Brian were married at THE SPRINGS in Edmond on September 17, 2016.

I wanted to have more time with friends and family after the ceremony. You spend so much time planning a wedding that I wanted to have as much time as possible to ENJOY it and live in the moment, rather than spend half my reception taking pictures.

first look
Photographer: Taylor O’Neal Photography

I liked [having a First Look] because you are able to have your first pictures right after you are done getting ready so you are nice and fresh.
Whether you do a First Look or not, do what fits in with the time, weather, and situation. It ended up raining right before our ceremony started.
I was thankful we did a First Look for that reason.

From a photographer’s perspective:

first look

first look

Nadia Wiler is one half of the wife + husband, photographer-videographer dream team, Wiler Weddings.

Nadia + Luke have shot some of our most beautiful SPRINGS weddings and we always look forward to getting their photos/videos back.
Nadia admits that prior to her own wedding, she was a First Look hater, but after doing one herself and shooting 100+ weddings since, she now has a deep love for this wedding day trend.

Some brides love “traditions”… but what a bride REALLY wants when it comes to her groom seeing her for the first time is a REACTION. Those who are not interested in a First Look usually think that by seeing each other beforehand, they will lose part of that reaction. They also assume that it will not be as emotional or intimate as it would be if they were coming down the aisle. What I have found is so ironic!

For most grooms, the nerves kick in before they see their bride because when they see her, everything becomes VERY real! So when the nerves start creeping up, instead of keeping the groom in a secluded space until his time to enter the ceremony, what if you took him to a private place… no people, no on-lookers, no distractions… and you let his beautiful bride, the love of his life, quietly call his name and have him turn around to see her for the first time.

He would turn around and finally get his first look at his stunning bride and not only would he get to see her… he would embrace her… cry with her… kiss her… and ENJOY that moment for as LONG as they wanted. As she shows him her dress, twirls a few times, and then asks him what he thinks… his nerves start to diminish. After all, she’s the one who can make him most comfortable anyway.

Are you crying yet?? Because we are. But if sentiment isn’t your thing, maybe practicality + investing wisely is…

You’re investing a lot into your wedding photography. With a First Look, you’ll receive 40% MORE portraits of the two of you… and those are the images you will decorate your first home with! With a First Look, you make the most out of this large investment and get the most for your money.

See more of Nadia’s thoughts on First Looks + why she loves them here.

first look

first look

Brittany Barclay is a professional wedding photographer who is self-described as sentimental, sassy + Southern.

Honestly, we have lost count of how many SPRINGS weddings Brittany has shot, but she keeps on coming back and we love her for it!

I LOVE First Looks! I am biased, but I also let the client dictate what they want. I never push them one way or the other, but I think First Looks are way more intimate. A bride will look her best right after her hair and makeup are done. The nerves start to kick in and the groom is the one person she wants to see.

A First Look is private (with the exception of the photographers and videographers). This is the only time on a wedding day where the bride and groom will have a few minutes together without all their family and friends near them. All any bride wants is a reaction from the groom. I think having a First Look is a much better reaction than down the aisle with 100 other people watching. I’ve had some grooms lose it as she’s walking down the aisle, but I’ve had more reactions in a First Look. And, that feeling of walking down the aisle doesn’t go away. It is less nerve-wracking, but still butterflies for both!

As a photographer, I like to have time to take all these photos that they will treasure for a lifetime. They spend thousands of dollars and at the end of it all, the venue lights go out, the DJ’s music stops, the food is gone, the cake was eaten, and what’s left… PHOTOS. This is the most important thing they will have left. Why not make it the most important thing you invest your time into on the wedding day?

From a wedding coordinator’s perspective:

first look

first look

Ashlee Kautz is the owner + creative leader at Treasured Heart Events
and has served as the lead planner/coordinator for a multitude of beautiful SPRINGS weddings.

Ashlee is currently planning her own wedding and is excitedly anticipating her own First Look with her soon-to-be hubby, Brett.

I ADORE First Looks for a few reasons:

1. Your wedding is about YOU and your FIANCE! Of course, there is something to be said for holding tradition with not seeing your soon-to-be spouse until you walk down the aisle, but a First Look allows just the two of you to experience a private moment – one of the last ones you get before you become Mr and Mrs!

2. These photos are some of the most precious you will receive in your gallery! This First Look moment allows you to fully express your joy, excitement, and overflowing readiness for marriage with each other. These photos will ALWAYS bring you back to that first moment when you saw your groom/bride right before they became your husband/wife.

3. From a planning and timeline perspective, the First Look allows you to get to your party faster!! Think about it: you can take all of your bridal party photos, couple photos, and even your family photos if you want to BEFORE your ceremony even begins! This means you can enjoy cocktail hour mingling with your guests. You can spend less time “making your rounds” to all the tables during dinner and can get to the dance party faster!

When a couple tells me they are doing a First Look, I do a mini happy dance in my heart because I know they are going to forever be happy with their decision to get the nerves out of the way before the ceremony begins and experience more of their wedding day together!

Still not feeling the bride + groom “First Look?”

No worries. 🙂 Like we said, we’re not here to try to convince you to do something you don’t want to do. It’s YOUR wedding day + whatever YOU want is what we want for you!

We would like to leave you with one final thing to consider… did you know that First Looks don’t have to be for just the bride + groom? It’s true – you’ve got options!

As a bride, you can do a First Look with your father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, grandparents, brothers, etc. We LOVE the reactions of Savana’s brothers + dad in her First Look below…

first look

first look
Venue: THE SPRINGS in Edmond | Photographer: Emily Nicole Photo

Are you convinced you’ve got the very best friends in the world? If so, you could do a First Look with your bridesmaids. So, so cute…

first look
Venue: THE SPRINGS in Weatherford (Westwood Hall) | Photographer: Emily Nicole Photo

… or even with the groomsmen for a funny picture! Love this one!

first look
Venue: THE SPRINGS in Weatherford (Westwood Hall) | Photographer: Element Motif

We could continue talking about First Looks all day long because really… we love them! But we’ll go ahead + leave it at that. 🙂

So, what do you think? Will YOU be doing a First Look on your Best Day Ever?
Let us know in the comments below.

And if you’re loving the backdrops for all the beautiful First Looks above, contact THE SPRINGS nearest you today
+ let’s get you set up with a private tour! Can’t wait to have you out!

wedding venue tours

Written by THE SPRINGS

THE SPRINGS

The team at THE SPRINGS provides information, tips, and ideas for planning your wedding or special event.