Who's Invited to the First Look?

Ahhh, the first look.  For those of you who are wedding planning newbies, the first look is a private moment between the bride + groom before the ceremony, where they get to see each other for the first time.  It is a super sweet and sentimental moment, and many couples opt for it as a more intimate alternative to seeing each other for the first time at the altar.


With that being said, let us talk logistics.

I always encourage couples to keep the first look just between then two of them (as well as myself and the videographer) so that they feel more comfortable having a genuine reaction.  I know that your entire bridal party is dying to witness this moment, but really, the reason you chose to have a first look is to have a moment just the two of you.  It preserves the integrity to keep it that way, but also, I truly find that it tends to cheapen the moment a bit when you have a live crew "awwwww-ing" or cheering from the sidelines.  The other thing to keep in mind is when you start allowing audience members, it becomes hard to draw the line, and before you know it, you have half of your wedding guests witnessing your "private first look".  

Here's the other thing I'll say--and I mean this so very lovingly--from a photography standpoint, it looks really messy and kind of odd to just have a clump of people standing in the background.  Chances are, they're holding up their phones snapping pictures (which is pretty much why you hired me), and they're just plain in the way of the shot.  Worst case scenario, they wander on down and get in the way of me getting the shots I wanted, and what you're left with are grainy iPhone 6 photos with no real framing or artistic vantage point whatsoever (no matter how many filters are slapped on that bad boy).  I know not everything is about pictures on your wedding day, but talking as a professional whose only goal is to serve you unbelievably well, I find that this is a conversation worth having.


But what if it's just my mom and dad who want to watch the first look?

I meannnn, what do YOU want?  Do you really want your parents watching one of the most intimate moments of your wedding day?  Whose parents are allowed to watch?  Bride's?  Groom's?  Both?  Is this your wedding day or senior prom...cue the flashbacks

I know this may sound harsh, but your wedding day is about the two of you.  Yes, it's about bringing the families together and celebrating with family and friends, but at the end of the day it is about you starting your lives as a unit, independent of your families.  You have so few moments alone together to just kind of soak everything in throughout your wedding day, so let's protect the moments you do have and keep the first look RSVP only with two people on the guest list.  In case you haven't been following...those guests are the bride + groom.