groom sees his bride during first look - ottawa wedding photographer

I don’t think it comes as any surprise that I love the non-traditional weddings. I love when couples do what they want, and plan a day that reflects who they are as a couple. Personal touches, unique venues, backyard weddings, it all makes my heart sing. And yes, the first look has a soft spot in my heart.

At the end of the day, what matters most is that your wedding day is what you want it to be. If you don’t want to have a cake cutting, skip the cake. If you don’t want to do the garter toss, to hell with it. You’d would rather invite 30 of your closest family and friends and have a backyard BBQ? Dooooo it. Your wedding day is yours, and you want to make sure you and your partner enjoy it. So if you hate being the centre of attention and the thought of having 130 people watching you cut the cake and toss your bouquet makes you break out in a sweat, forget it all. I promise, you will be so much happier, relaxed, and present on your wedding day.

So, while a first look is 100% a personal choice, here are a few reasons why you might consider it:

An Intimate Moment for the Two of You

One of the most common things I hear from people who don’t want a first look, is that they want that “moment” when their partner sees them walking down the aisle for the first time. Which is totally fair. But, you can still have the beautiful moment with a first look. Not only that, but a first look gives you the time and space to enjoy the moment, and soak it up with your partner. There’s no need to jump right in to the ceremony, with all of the guests’ eyes on you. When you choose to do a first look, you can take your time; hug, talk, and laugh together. And you’d be surprised how freely the tears fall and the emotions overwhelm when there isn’t the pressure of everyone watching and the officiant waiting to start the ceremony.

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Frees Up Time for After the Ceremony

By having a first look and taking photos before the ceremony, you free up some time afterwards. You always have the opportunity to take more photos of the two of you after the ceremony, but since you did the majority of them earlier, you’ve freed up some time. So if spending time with your guests and enjoying cocktail hour is a priority for you, a first look is a great option.

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Shake the Wedding-Day Nerves

Let’s face it. It’s a BIG day. You’ve been planning it for months. People have come together to celebrate with you. And you want the day to go perfectly. It’s a lot of pressure, and it’s only natural to feel some nerves the day-of. Literally every couple that I have ever photographed a first look for say it was the BEST decision and they felt so. much. better. after seeing each other. It’s like you can feel the weight of the world being lifted off their shoulders. Seeing your person, hugging them, and laughing together is literally the best way to shake the wedding-day nerves. And it allows you to go into the ceremony with a clear head.

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Quiet Time Together on what is an Otherwise Very Busy Day

Wedding days are busy. After the ceremony, everyone wants to hug you and congratulate you (as they should, I mean they’re all there to celebrate you)! So asides from the time that you and your partner are taking photos of just the two of you, there really isn’t much time for just the two of you alone that day. A first look carves out a few precious minutes for you to be together, really together, and enjoy the moment before the busyness takes over. So whether you have five, ten, or twenty minutes (or more) for a first look, it is still time for the two of you alone.

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Again, a first look is totally a personal decision. What matters most is that you choose to do what you are comfortable with, and what you want to do! I photograph many weddings where the couple has chosen not to do a first look, and they are just as beautiful and special as any other.

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