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As a prior English teacher, I love telling each of my couple's love story. Each story is unique and in a culmination of love and a little planning, the wedding day brings that love to life in front of family and friends. As a lover of heirlooms and legacies, it's a joy to be alongside each of my couples as they create memories that will last forever for their children and grandchildren!

I'm ali rae.

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4 Benefits to a First Look

For Brides

January 15, 2021

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If you’re anything like I was when I got married, then you are adamantly against a first look. You want the tradition; you want the awe; you want the excitement of the moment when your groom sees you for the first time walking down the aisle.


Trust me. I get that.


But let me tell you…if I were to do anything differently about my wedding day–it would be that I would have a first look with Caleb. Seriously! Now that I am in the industry and I truly understand all the benefits a first look gives, I would have rearranged the timeline, had my photographer come earlier, then bask in the glory that is a first look. Let me tell you why!

  1. You receive about 30-40% more portraits. And let’s face it–those are the images that are typically hung on the wall for years to come, the ones that are put into the heirloom albums that are passed down for generations. They’re the ones you get to kiss your groom in, nuzzle into him, hold him. They’re the fun ones!
  2. It’s one of the only moments you will get to be alone with your groom. I’m not joking…think about it. If you see each other for the first time at the ceremony, you go straight from there into family portraits, then the cocktail hour, straight into dinner and the reception with all your guests. No alone time to celebrate the two of you and bask in the love that brought you to your wedding day in the first place.
  3. You are able to take some (if not all) family formals completed before the ceremony. You know all those images that are very posed that have all your family members in them? Those are what we call “family formals.” They sometimes take a long time depending on the size of your family/formal list…sometimes people trail off to cocktail hour to get a drink and have to be tracked down…stuff happens. Getting through those images quickly–or better yet, before the ceremony–might not seem like a big deal, but after the ceremony you are able to progress to your cocktail hour and/or reception to spend time with the friends and family that came to celebrate your love!
  4. It alleviates all the nerves! When Caleb and I got married, I was at the top of the aisle…about half off of our 220 guests’ eyes were on me; the other half were on him expecting some grand, emotional reaction. That’s a lot of pressure! Caleb isn’t a super emotional guy in the first place, so what were the actual chances he was going to tear up as I walked down the aisle? Pretty slim. Of course he was happy and excited to see me, but being on that stage with so many eyes on him made it more difficult for him to give me his true reaction to seeing me in my gown for the first time. When couples decide to do a first look, those nerves are gone because he has seen you already and isn’t pressured to have a specific reaction in front of everyone.

I am 100% for first looks. I mean, who wouldn’t want their groom to look at them this way?! They make sense emotionally and logistically…and that means a lot when it comes to planning your ideal wedding day! If you’re on the fence about a first look, tell me why in the comments!

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As a prior English teacher, I love telling each of my couple's love story. Each story is unique and in a culmination of love and a little planning, the wedding day brings that love to life in front of family and friends. As a lover of heirlooms and legacies, it's a joy to be alongside each of my couples as they create memories that will last forever for their children and grandchildren!

I'm ali rae.

Hey there!