A “First Look” or the “The Reveal” is such a controversial topic. I know some brides are totally against it, and some brides don’t know what it even is! Having a First Look is a topic that I explain in larger detail in our Official Bridal Guide which we provide to all Samantha Ong Photography Brides to help with planning the day. While we as a wedding photographer, have been to hundreds of weddings, we understand how overwhelming it can be to make all the decisions on your own. It’s your first and only time in planning your wedding and you want it to be perfect. You want all the photos you’ve been dreaming of. We totally get it!
Trust us why I say that your first look is such an amazing addition to your wedding day. First Looks are becoming a romantic new tradition to weddings that I truly believe that it creates not only more wedding photos but authentic emotional ones you’ve been dreaming of! Here are five reasons why we love first looks:
- More time = More Portraits
Your wedding photography is important to you and you want as many quality photographs as possible. On a wedding day, everything goes by so quickly and it’s easy to run out of time. With a first look, we’ll be able to get so many MORE portraits of the two of you. Since we are doing photos before the ceremony, you can allocate as much time as you want for photos without making your guests wait for the reception. You look your best because you’re not rushed. Also, your hair and makeup is fresh and beautiful!
- No pressure = Real Emotions
Most brides don’t realise how nerve racking it is to come down the aisle in front of hundreds of people. Everyone’s looking at you and you look incredible. Everyone’s looking at him and he feels nervous to show how he’s really feeling. He wants to tell you how amazing you look but he can’t because there’s a ceremony to get on with! With a First Look, you’re on your own to fully enjoy this beautiful intimate moment. You’re free to laugh, cry and just hug it out for as long as you want.
- Extend your wedding day
As we mentioned above, First Looks allow you to extend your wedding day. Normally the wedding day would start when you come down the aisle, then the ceremony would end, you would rush through portraits so that you’re not late for the reception time. There’s so many photos to do. Think, bridal party photos as well as family photos. But with a first look, your wedding day is extended by at least three hours! Instead of being rushed for your bridal party portraits… you actually get to enjoy them and have fun hanging out with your BEST friends on your wedding day. My client’s albums are usually filled with images just from this time together before the ceremony.
- Your only alone time
Wedding days are hectic because there are so many people wanting to see and talk to you! Even though the whole day is about you, you’ll find that you’re NEVER alone on your wedding day. A First Look is perfect because it’s when you get to enjoy some intimate time together. It’s so hard to get into the lovey-dovey mood right after family photos and do it on a strict time limit! But when you have just shared your first look, both of you will be ready for all the romantic bride & groom portraits that are to come.
- Diminishes nerves
Most grooms aren’t really fans of the idea at first. However, they’ve not experienced their wedding day before so they didn’t know how nerve racking it can be. But with a first look, they become SO much more relaxed and ready for the ceremony. It makes for such an enjoyable experience for the rest of the day!
Below are some of our favourite first look moments and why!
This First Look between Ashley and Ryan was so sweet! We set them up by the water at Piper’s Heath Golf Club where they could freely enjoy their first moment in seeing each other on their wedding day.
Carly and Sean’s wedding day at the Glenerin Inn in Mississauga, started off with their first look in a nearby park. It was so incredibly romantic. Sean had one of the biggest smiles we’ve ever seen when he saw Carly. As Carly teared up, he got to comfort her in a warm embrace. These moments are priceless!
Jess and Spencer shared their First look in front of her cottage home in Creemore.
Nico and Claire’s First Look at the Estates of Sunnybrook was so cute! Although it was a freezing that day (being it was New Year’s Eve in Toronto!), Claire wore a cute fur shrug while they hugged it out!
Erika and Ryan shared their First Look out on the patio of the Novotel Hotel in Toronto. It was so neat to use the reflective windows for an impactful shot of Ryan seeing Erika for the first time that day. For their wedding day, they had to do their photos earlier in the day because their wedding day was in the middle of winter and the sun was going to set much earlier (around 4:45pm!). They were able to extend their day by several hours and we were able to get all their photos before the sun had set.
Kortright Centre makes for some beautiful places for a First Look like right out here on the amongst the tall trees.
Liz and Jin’s First Look took place in the little gardens of the Vaughan Estates of the Estates of Sunnybrook. Their reactions were just priceless, I love their little giggles with each other!
For Lina and Daniel’s First Look at Kortright it was extra special since their daughter came along as well. She held a bouquet as well and as they got closer to Daniel, they both tapped him to take off his blindfold. We got the cutest reactions from both mother and father. Adorable!!
Sabrina and Abid’s first look took place in the little backyard of a hotel in Vaughan. Abid’s smile said everything when he saw his bride all dressed up. She looked AH-MA-ZING and he knew it!
Meera and Samir had two “reveals” because they had two outfits on their wedding day. This was awesome for us because it meant more reactions to capture! Although both reveals occurred at the same hotel, we made sure to photograph them in two different places for two different looks.
Yoline and Chris enjoyed their first look at Ajax Waterfront Park. We found a beautiful tree for them to enjoy their first look under. We recommend that first looks be completely private (away from parents and the rest of the bridal party) for the best reactions!
Another Estates of Sunnybrook wedding First Look that I really loved was the one of Sunny & Chris! Chris’ reaction was adorable and they immediately took each other into each other’s arms. I love all the little touches that couples do when they share in the excitement!
So what do you think? Are you convinced into doing a First Look? If you’re an #SOBride, make sure to check out your Bridal Guide where we go into more detail (over 10 pages!) about why First Looks are so amazing. If you’re not sure how to get your hands on your copy, please be in touch with us and we’ll be happy to guide you on how to get your copy.
Photographer: Samantha Ong Photography