Destination Wedding Photographer in Los Angeles - Nic Hilton Photography
Destination Wedding Photography | Los Angeles Wedding Photographer


First Look, Wedding Day Tips

First Look Wedding Los Angeles Japanese Gardens

What Is a ‘First Look’?

A ‘First Look’ is a private photo session on the wedding day in which the Bride and Groom see on another all dressed up before the ceremony.

Is there a benefit to doing a ‘First look’?

Absolutely. Adding a ‘First Look’ to your wedding day can be beneficial in many ways.

The first benefit is with the timeline. Planning a ‘first look’ allows you to also plan time for bride and groom portraits, as well as a session with the family and wedding party before the ceremony. More traditionally, all of these photos would be left for the cocktail hour after the ceremony. Scheduling these before the ceremony can reduce a lot of stress, give more opportunity for bride and groom portraits, and allows you more time with your guests after the ceremony.

The second benefit has to do with lighting. Lighting during a ceremony can sometimes be out of anyone’s control. This means that the bride and groom may have harsh light across their faces, or perhaps the groom is in soft shadow and the sun is beating down onto the brides face. This can make it hard to capture that moment beautifully. When you do a ‘first look’ however, your photographer is able to set you guys up in a controlled state. This will ensure nothing in the photographs is distracting from the moment.

The last benefit I will mention for now is about the moment itself. The first look is a very intimate moment with one another. It is an opportunity to take each other in and to breathe. The wedding day and everything leading up to the wedding can be very stressful. This is your moment to embrace, relax, and let that stress fall off before the ceremony begins.

first look wedding

How does a ‘First Look’ fit into my wedding day?

A First Look will generally happen 2-3 hours before the ceremony begins. It is wise to schedule it 3 hours before the ceremony because this allows time for Bride and Groom Photos, Wedding Party photos, Family Photos and have time to freshen up before the ceremony begins.

If you choose not to do family photos before the ceremony; scheduling the First Look 2 hours before will be just fine.

Should I add a ‘First Look’ into my wedding day timeline?

At the end of the day, this is ultimately a decision for the two of you to make. If you want to keep it traditional and wait until the ceremony, that is totally fine. That is still a beautiful moment, and it is shared with your friends and family. With that said; If you want more time for bride and groom portraits, and you don’t want to feel rushed during cocktail hour, or you like the idea of an intimate moment between the two of you before everything gets crazy, then I would say a first look is a great addition to your wedding day timeline.

If you would like to talk more and see how a ‘first look’ can fit into your day, contact me today!

ABOUT ME: Hi! My name is Nic Hilton. I am a destination wedding photographer based in Los Angeles. I shoot many weddings in the Mammoth Lakes area as well as Southern California but I am available to travel worldwide! Contact Me today because I would love to tell your story.