• Caitlin Anderson

First Looks: Why We Think You Should Plan One

Click here for part one of our series: "First Looks: What is it?"

Before your big day one of the few things we ask you to do is fill out a wedding day timeline questionnaire. It's filled with simple, gently probing questions that help us determine how much time we need to allot to each set of your photos, for example, family photos, bridal party photos, ceremony, etc. From that info and together with your coordinator, we will create a personal wedding day timeline for you that details who needs to be where and at what time. This allows us a schedule to stick to, and for you, a straightforward and stress-free day!

One of the things we'll ask you about is whether you and your fiancé would like to do a First Look. We can't suggest adding this to your day enough!! And here is why:

Saves Precious Time

Starting with perhaps one of the more practical reasons, having a First Look saves you time. Instead of needing to spend an hour after the ceremony for family pictures, bridal party photos, and photos of just the two of you, we can knock out those bridal party photos ahead of time. This allows you more time post ceremony to celebrate with your friends and family!

It's More Personal

Everyone's eyes will be on you as you walk down the aisle. That's not a bad thing by any means! But it does mean those first emotion charged moments as you lock eyes with your groom for the first time might be stymied by the fact that you have an audience. And as much as I hate to say it, depending on your ceremony location, your view of each other might be partially blocked by the congregation. Still faces you'd like to see! But when you're walking down the aisle, there's one face in particular that is most important, and you won't want to miss that very first look!

Spend More Of Your Day Together

If your ceremony is in the afternoon or evening and you wait until you walk down the aisle to see each other, chances are that by the time you see that first glimpse of your fiancé most of your day will have already passed. Your wedding day Lord willing only happens once; do you want to spend most of that day separated from the one that's the reason it's happening in the first place? Make most of those memories together!

Allows You To Connect Pre-Wedding

And last but not least, our favorite reason.

Josh & I realized from the beginning of our relationship that we each had a calming effect on the other. When we were together, everything seemed brighter and happier. All the stress of work and life just faded away and it was just the two us, side by side, taking on the world. When we planned our wedding, we almost immediately decided that we wanted to be able to have the chance to connect pre-wedding to pray together, share a final embrace as an engaged couple, gather our thoughts, and rally ourselves for the excitement ahead. We both agree that it is one of the best decisions we made, and we are so grateful for the photos we have from our first look too.

Our photographers, Brandi & Tom Brown, did an excellent job of fading away into the background, quietly getting shots from further away, allowing Josh & I to have a moment to ourselves. I remember feeling my heart race, hearing Brandi firmly shoo away our bridal party, walking up behind the man I was about to marry, wondering how he would react to seeing me and if he would think I'm beautiful. I don't remember the exact words, but he mumbled something about being nervous too. When I tapped him on the shoulder, he visibly pulled himself together, then turned and locked eyes with me. "OH WOW! You look AMAZING!" he said, looking me up and down. He may or may not have wiped a tear away, then he pulled me into a hug and we melted into each others' arms. Then he led us in prayer, we exchanged how our morning had gone, and together we went and joined the rest of the bridal party for pictures.

Those moments I can remember clearly in my mind, almost as if they just happened. Whereas I can't really remember the ceremony, only that it went by so quickly. As an enneagram 9, I hated being the center of attention and wanted it to be over as soon as possible so there was no chance of me making a mistake like tripping on my dress or forgetting my vows. I'm sad to say that even our first kiss (yes, our very first kiss, we saved it for our wedding day!) was a complete blur to me and I only have the pictures to remember it by.

Our story is not yours though, so definitely talk to each other about what you'd like to do and decide together what you want your story to be. It is our hope that these blog posts simply provide an alternative view what can potentially be a controversial subject. If you and/or your fiancé wants the traditional "first look at the alter", then by all means, go for it! Those will still be beautiful memories (that we will be thrilled to capture on camera :)

Stay tuned for part 3! "First Looks: How To Execute One"

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St. Louis, MO   |  caitlinaphotographystl@gmail.com  |  (636) 290 - 9465


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