I’m not one of those photographers who’s going to force that you need a first look on your wedding day. Deciding between a first look and an aisle reveal is a very personal decision. No matter what you choose, there are pros to both. And we’ll be able to get awesome photos either way!
In the recent years, it’s become more and more popular to do a first look. Not only will you be able to get all your photos done before the ceremony, you’ll also be able to attend your cocktail hour. Many of my couples today don’t want to be spending their time away from guests taking photos. Once the ceremony concludes, you’ll probably want to be running to the cocktail hour! I don’t blame you ;) Time with your family and friends, enjoying Hors d’oeuvres and trying your signature drinks is important too!
Another pro is that with a first look, you have more schedule flexibility on the wedding day. If you are getting married where weather might be an issue, having that extra time can do wonders for your sanity.
The last pro is that many couples feel so much more relaxed on their wedding day after seeing each other. Having that quiet and emotional moment together, alone, before anything else happens, is sometimes just what you need. Now you can spend more of your wedding day together rather than apart!
Really the only con is that you’ll have to be prepared to start photos earlier in the day, in order the get all the photos done before the ceremony. For first looks, I generally start photography coverage around 4 hours before the ceremony starts. I know that sounds like a lot of time to be taking photos, but believe me, it’s necessary! With detail photos, getting ready portraits, first look, couples portraits, bridal party photos, family photos, and getting everyone hidden away before guests start arriving, we’ll use that whole 4 hours easily.
Some of my couples absolutely love the idea of being separated all morning, and then seeing each other for the first time down the aisle. First looks are generally quiet and intimate, where as aisle reveals are very public. And can have that WOW factor. I can be really amazing.
I will say that if you are considering an aisle reveal over a first look, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Have the aisle reveal because YOU want to, and not because it’s traditional or because that’s what your parents want. The actual purpose and story behind traditional aisle reveals actually isn’t very romantic. So do it for you, and not for anyone else.
One major con for aisle reveals is that you won’t get to attend hardly any of your cocktail hour. That time is generally spent taking your family photos, couples portraits, and bridal party photos. Since most cocktail hours are only 60 minutes, I highly recommend extending to 90 minutes if you do an aisle reveal. This extra time allows flexibility with photo time, and you’ll likely get to spend the last portion of your cocktail hour with your guests rather then missing the whole thing.
Another con is you aren’t going to get as many portrait photos. It also won’t feel as relaxed since you’ll likely be rushing through every pose. If a variety of portrait photos is important to you, doing an aisle reveal may not be for you.
All things considered, this is your wedding day, so plan it however you want. With me as your photographer, no matter what you choose, I’ll make sure we get the best photos possible!
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