Having a "First Look"
What it is:
A First Look is when a bride and groom see each other before the wedding ceremony. This is done alone, away from your wedding party, and it is a moment shared by just the two of you.
When you can't take any photos together until after the ceremony, you're putting yourself on a serious time crunch — especially if your ceremony and reception are held in the same location, meaning you only have the cocktail hour to get all of your shots. It may sound like plenty of time, but rallying the troops for your group photos can be harder than you'd think, leaving you with barely any time to get photos of just the two of you. But when you have a first look, you ensure that you capture plenty of sweet photos of you and your beloved. An added bonus: Your hair and makeup will be perfectly fresh and photo-ready for all of your photos. You can also knock out family photos before the ceremony as well if you’d like.
You get to experience that special moment in private. If you're a private person, you may not want to have a big emotional reaction when you first see each other in front of all of your closest friends and family members. During a first look, you can really let the emotions run free. Plus, you'll have the chance to talk to each other, which you can't do during your ceremony.
If you’re getting married when the sun is setting earlier in the day, it can be dark by the time your ceremony is over; not the best lighting situation for photos when there isn’t any natural light available!
You'll need to start your day earlier. Taking photos beforehand moves up the entire timeline of the day. You'll need to wake up earlier, get your hair and makeup done earlier, and possibly even have your limo booked for a longer period of time so that it can take you to the photo location, then the ceremony, then the reception.
If you’re getting married when the sun is setting later in the day, the lighting may be quite harsh for portraits before the ceremony.