Five Tips for a Great First Look - Jocelyn & Spencer Photography

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Five Tips for a Great First Look

Last week we shared a post on our blog that outlined Five Reasons to Have a First Look on your wedding day. And if you’re on the fence about having a first look, we’d recommend setting aside five minutes to read it. It might help you decide what you’d like to do! As full-time wedding photographers, we know there are many advantages to having a first look, but we would never want our couples to feel pressured to have one. We firmly believe that the most important part of any wedding day is to be present, savor the moments, and to have the BEST time. If you already know you’re going to have a first look on your wedding day and you’d like some tips for a great first look, then this post is for you!

Before we dive in we want to point out that your first look can follow all or none of these tips and still be special. Do what feels right to you as a couple and it’s going to be amazing!

A couple being present with each other, following our tips for a great first look

1. Plan for each Other

A first look is first and foremost for the couple. It’s a special moment for the bride and groom to see each other for the first time on their wedding day. So, one of our tips for a great first look is to have some privacy. Of course, moms, dads, grandma, and bridesmaids are all going to want to see the bride and her groom. It’s understandable. Nobody wants to miss anything because they care so much for you. But remember, this is your first look with each other. It’s your time. Give yourself permission to be in a private and secluded area.

A groom's reaction to seeing his bride for the first time on their wedding day.

2. Be in the Moment

Be present with each other. Let your guard down, and just savor it. This is a great time to calm some nerves and to talk and see everything that you’ve planned for so long coming together. It’s a romantic time, and we recommend taking full advantage of it by letting your guard down and by focusing only on each other. Side note, yes, as your photographers we’re going to be there. But we’re going to be quiet and we have camera lenses that allow us to be further back so we don’t interrupt your special moment. You probably won’t even notice we’re there once you see each other. And better yet, you’ll have incredibly sweet photos to remember everything else.

First Looks can be joyful and romantic

3. Great Light is a Must for a Great First Look

The first thing we do when we arrive on your wedding day is to find a great location for your first look. We purposely show up early so that we can map out a few things and get used to your venue. Especially, if we haven’t photographed there before. One of the things we look for is great lighting. Of course, we want you to have a gorgeous backdrop to your first look photos, but the most important thing to us is getting great even lighting so you can have photos like the ones you see on this post! And most times we’re able to do both! So, relax and enjoy yourself, we’ve got this!

Letting us choose a location for your first look allows us to find the best lighting at the time which makes for great photos that you can cherish for a lifetime.

4. Make Time for Your First Look

Probably the most important of our tips for a great first look is to have a wedding day timeline. Sure, timelines aren’t the most fun things to talk about in the wedding planning process, but they can be lifesavers! Making sure you plan for your first look is a great start to having one! Sometimes it feels like time speeds up all of a sudden, but having a timeline helps everyone stick to what it is that they need to do, and when they need to be ready. We’ll work with your wedding planner to create a customized wedding day timeline for your wedding day so we can ensure we’ll have enough time to photograph every one of your important memories.

Bringing a small gift is one of our tips for a great first look.

5. Prepare a Small Gift for Each Other

Small gifts can mean a lot but aren’t necessary. Something small like a handwritten note can make for some sweet moments. Imagine, before you turn to see each other you can take a few minutes to read a letter your almost spouse wrote to you. A letter pouring out their heart for your day, your relationship, and your future. It’s a small gesture, but a beautiful testament to the love you have for each other.

A first look is a short, sweet, and absolutely romantic time for a bride and groom to be present with each other before their wedding ceremony. If you want more information about having a first look on your wedding day, send us an email. We would love to talk to you about it, and are happy to share our own experience if you’d like some first-hand opinions! Until then, we cannot wait to document your memories!

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