The First Look :: Sacramento Wedding Photographer

The First Look is one of my most favorite things to do at a wedding.  It allows more time for pictures before the ceremony, but more importantly it gives my bride and groom an intimate moment to see each other for the first time, and the pictures I capture from that moment are priceless!  I can tell you all the reasons why I love and encourage (but don’t force it), all of my couples to do a First Look, but I’d rather have my 2011 grooms tell you how they felt about it.  Here it goes…

“My wife & I were married in January 2011 at Arden Hills Country Club in Sacramento, CA.  We employed Jackie to do our photography as she has done so many great photo sessions with us prior.  In doing so Jackie made the suggestion of doing a First Look photo opp in which I would see her for the first time in her wedding dress prior to walking down the aisle.  While I can see where some brides and grooms would feel that the “magic” of seeing them walk down the aisle towards each other would be ruined by seeing each other before that moment, it is simply not the case.  Having the opportunity to see your bride for the first time in her dress is special and amazing regardless of where it takes place.  In our case, my wife walked up behind me slowly after coming down an amazing staircase.  When she arrived behind me she turned me around and I got the chance to lay eyes on her in her beautiful dress for the first time and my heart skipped at least a couple beats.  The other element that made this amazing was the ability to have just our familes and bridal party at the top of the staircase looking down upon as as we admired one another in our wedding dress for the first time.  That is a moment that cannot be replicated after the wedding ceremony in the same way and with the same emotions.  Once our ceremony began and I had the chance to watch her walk down the aisle to me was just as amazing and special because we had the chance to look each other in the eyes all the way down the aisle with smiles and joy while everyone else had the chance to admire her in her beautiful dress.  First Look photos are great because it captures a special moment in a unique and memorbale way that is still traditional but a bit outside the box.  I would recommend this method to anyone, especially if you are using Jackie as your photographer!”
-Andrew D.

“When planning our wedding I found myself to be very traditional when it comes to the classic moments during a wedding.  I was adamant that the first look should happen when my bride walks down the aisle because I felt that this is how people have been doing it for hundreds of years.  During the planning process the issue of the first look came up and due to planning purposes it made more sense to think about doing the first look prior to the ceremony.  I tried everything to change the schedule so that I would be able to postpone the first look until she turned the corner and everyone could experience seeing her for the first time as I was.  Ultimately it was decided that this couldn’t be the reality and in hind site I am so happy that I was talked into doing our first look before the ceremony.  Logically this made sense because we were able to take the bulk of our pictures earlier in the day and could enjoy the company of our friends and family during the reception.  Also, many people have an early even ceremony so having the opportunity to take picture in the afternoon can provide lighting options that you won’t have later in the day.  Financially speaking doing it this way made the best use of Jackie and her assistant’s time.  Emotionally, I hadn’t even considered the pressure that I would have experienced if I was seeing my bride for the first time while in front of our 130 guests.  Instead we were able to see each other privately and I could spend more time taking in the beauty that stood before me.  We must have spent 20 minutes looking at each other laughing, smiling, and crying.  We would not have been able to do this during the ceremony.  Furthermore, the pictures created at the moment of the first look perfectly capture our emotions of the exact moment that we first saw each other.  When it came time for the actual ceremony I found it fun to look at the guests when they first saw the bride and I got the experience two unique moments.  Just because I saw her early didn’t mean that I lost the opportunity to experience a classic moment and have absolutely no regrets about our decision.  I know that many people out there will still elect to see their bride during the ceremony but I urge you to think about your decision carefully and consider an early first look as a great option.”

-Ryan W.

“The first look was something my fiance wanted to fit into our schedule. Thinking about our guests, she did not want them to have to wait a few hours between the ceremony and reception. So she wanted to do a first look, then the ceremony and straight to the reception. Me being a traditional guy, I did not want to see the dress before her walk down the isle. I felt like this would be a spoiler for the dress that I have held out for so long. Due to the time constraint we decided to meet in the lobby for photographs and the first look. To my surprise I was stunned by my beautiful fiance. We ran around mid town to take photos all over and had a blast! Then about an hour later it was show time. Standing at the end of the isle waiting for my future wife I did not feel nervous at all. I knew what she looked like, I knew she was not nervous and we all knew what to do. But once she rounded that corner, when we first saw each other, it was like seeing her for the first time again. All of a sudden those butterflies came back. We got through the ceremony and it was as perfect as can be. The first look definitely did not spoil anything…..”

-Nate M.

The First time I saw my wife on our wedding day was at our first look. This was one of my favorite moments of the entire day. Before the ceremony I was nervous about all sorts of wedding things, getting to the ceremony on time, saying my vows in front of a crowd, and thousands of other things. The moment I saw my (almost) wife, all those worries vanished & I felt calm. We were walking into this marriage hand-in-hand, already united. When our eyes meet for the first time that day it was intimate & I am glad we kept that moment to ourselves. I will cherish that time we shared together before being around our guests. Our wedding day was truly special and full of moments I will always remember, like our first look.”

-Steven C.

Seeing Jasmin before the wedding for the first time instead of at the altar worked out really well. For one, since we were both nervous I think it helped both of us get a little more relaxed. Also, since we did the first look prior to the wedding we were able to get a lot of our couple pictures out of the way. This was nice because it allowed us to spend more time at the reception instead of being gone taking pictures. I would recommend doing it this way to anyone that is getting married.

-Eddie P.

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