5 reasons to have a first look | Metro Detroit Wedding Photographer

We all grow up listening to fairy tales. Whether they are dark and moody or lighthearted, there's almost always a Charming someone waiting at the end of the aisle for the heroine or hero. 


Sometimes I feel like we all have this fairy tale imagery when planning a wedding - and we should! But what if the modern-day fairy tale meant limiting your amount of anxiety prior to walking down the aisle. What if it meant truly and really spending the entire day celebrating your love with well, YOUR LOVE?


I'm here to tell you that it's quite alright to skip out on that fairy tale wedding entrance - whoever is standing at the end of the aisle waiting for you will still find you just as magical as they did the first time they spoke to you. Just as magical as when you woke up next to them the morning before. Just as magical as watching you brush your teeth or eat chips on the couch. Whoever is waiting at the end of that aisle for you will still catch their breath when you walk down, whether or not they've seen you earlier in the day. Trust me. 


Instead of thinking about what a first look can take from you, here's a bit about why a first look can only enhance your wedding day (please enjoy these snippets from Corrinne and Nick's first look at the Shinola Hotel in Detroit: 



A lot of the stress surrounding the wedding day revolves around that initial walk down the aisle. You spend the entire morning getting ready, having your hair and makeup done, waiting, waiting and waiting all for this really nerve racking (albeit magical) moment where you see your love at the end of that aisle. But really, why should you be nervous on your wedding day? Why should you have any anxieties? The whole point of the day is to celebrate being with your love, officially, forever. So why not start forever before that walk down the aisle? Why not get to play around a bit with your love before the nuptials? There's not a good answer. There will always be a first time they see you gussied up for the day - why does it really matter when that is? So skip the anxiety and go straight to holding hands the entire day through with your love.






Having a first look with your significant other means there is more time to take those special bride and groom only photos. By doing that first look, you are freeing up your evening. So when we do a first look, you get to have that alone time that frankly, you won't get after the ceremony. Enjoy the time before hand with one another so that you can focus on your guests afterwards. Because we all know that as much as the wedding day is about your love, you spend most of the time talking, dancing, and celebrating with family and friends and not just your spouse. 






Doing a first look frees up not only time, but allows you and your wedding party to be a little more flexible. By taking care of these first look and bride and groom photos before your ceremony, you are leaving room for either of two things: 1. Making more time before the ceremony to try out some different locations with your bridal party or 2. Leaving more time after the ceremony to travel a bit with your bridal party, depending on the time gap between your ceremony and reception. It allows for more variety in your photo gallery at the end. 




If you opt for a first look and taking care of all of your bride and groom portraits and bridal party portraits before the ceremony (maybe even family portraits too!), then you get to fully enjoy every aspect of your wedding. This means that if you are having a cocktail hour, you can skip the awkward receiving line after your ceremony and go straight to having cocktails and hors d'oeuvres with your guests. You'll get to spend this time mingling with your guests, friends, and family and then you know what that means, right? (see the next section for the answer to that)




Like I said, that first look frees up so much time for you and your spouse. After mingling with your guests during the cocktail hour - you get to let it all go and just have FUN! This is what you've been waiting for all day. This moment, this one where you get to actually eat delicious food, drink fancy drinks and laugh and dance and PARTY - this is what the day is all about. So let's not take up the time after your ceremony when you are hangry and annoyed to try to take beautiful photos. A hangry bride is not a cute bride (I'm lying - literally everyone is always cute to me), but seriously. If you are hangry, you don't feel cute right?


So let's change the story - let's change the fairy tale. Let's let the love story start before the declaration of marriage because you're already head over heels before you get down that aisle and you are still gonna radiate happiness and pure, pure joy every single time you see your new spouse - not just when you walk down the aisle. 



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Heather Stern Photography, LLC

Fenton, MI           |       heather@heathersternphotography.com     |         Metro Detroit

Wedding and family photographer in Metro Detroit, Southeast Michigan, and beyond.