First Look or NOT

First lets look at what the term means – “First Look” – a first look is when the couple sees each other for the first time on their wedding day. Traditionally this has been when they walk down the aisle in the church and the groom sees his bride for the first time. However there are so many types of couples now and add to that you are not going the traditional church wedding for the most part when you are planning a destination wedding. When couples were married in a church (all guests are required to stay in their seats and be respectful of the environment) they planned their ceremony then usually and hour or two later their reception, in between they would go to a beautiful park etc. to do family, bridal party and couple photos – then arrive later for the reception. With a destination wedding when your ceremony is on a beach, garden, or pier (guests are not as respectful LOL and often there are as many phones as guests and usually not seated) in addition to the fact that your ceremony and reception are located within the same venue. Either way – couple now are preferring to see each other for the first time in an intimate private moment – this allows them to pull out of the crowd and have a personal moment together on their wedding day.


The bride sneaking up behind the groom The groom standing anxiously, with a smile of sheer anticipation. The look on the groom’s face as he sees his bride for the first time in her wedding dress. Everyone knows that first looks can be truly magical and especially intimate, filled with raw emotion and heartwarming embraces that make for the best photographic moments._sap7613-copy

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When you choose to have your first look at the ceremony there are many things to consider – first and foremost you can not not touch, giggle, kiss or speak to each other – also the aisle is far from the straight and respectful location of a church – and – then after you have been married you will go right into group photo, family photos, bridal party photos and just when you think you can’t smile again its time for your couple photos (which is when most couples just want to get to the party). You are usually limited to one location for photos.


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There are many benefits to a First Look:
You start your day earlier (more hours together on your wedding day) in addition to you are not locked into a hotel room all day awaiting your ceremony.
You have only one wedding day why not spend all day and night together.
Your couple photo proceed all the family, bridal party and friends – so you have more options for candid photos, locations, and fun together before the formal photos required for family.
You (your family and bridal party) are all included in cocktail hour – why have all the most important guests including you two eliminated from 1/4 of the reception.
Why have all the most important photography squeezed into the 1 hour cocktail with limited options for creativity, locations and fun.

IF you choose NO first look:
You may want to consider earlier ceremony time to insure there is day light for your couple and formal photos
You may want to consider adding time between ceremony and reception for photo fun

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How important is it that your vendors work well together?

You are excited to plan your wedding celebration and hire the vendors that fit your needs best – possible a family professional or a local professional or the music that moves you best!  You are thrilled to have selected your top choices – but do they play well with others… LOL.

In my experience I have found that many do not – here are some examples:

Wedding One – Couple hired a band for their music – but the band (not a wedding band) was all about their music and as they were not a wedding band – their understanding of announcing in the bridal party and couple at the start of the reception was lacking – so with the start of the reception they called out the names given in order but did not allow time for each couple to enter, so that were done the list and the Bride/Groom’s names were called as one of the bridesmaids and groomsmen entered.  Then  during the brief venor break they decided to call dad-daughter dance 30 minutes early – (not really understanding that the time line is critical). The bride and groom were having a great time and never noticed that no one was capturing the moment!  The dance was redone to capture the moment.

Wedding Two – Couple hired Photographer and 2 Videographers that had never worked together – and in this case the videographer felt they owned all the space.  Sharing the broad view especially during ceremony when it is imposible to stop the moment to correct is the utmost.  As you can see…

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Wedding Three – Couple hired planner, DJ, and live music for the ceremony, and a family “professional” photographer was added to the team  – but the day became delayed in everyway as the family photographer was unaware of the environment, the venue, the photo locations on property, etc which caused  the ceremony to start late, the dinner started late, the guests were anxious and the planner perplexed.  One vendor can change your day in every way if they are only focused on their craft.   Photos are one of the most important aspects of your day but the last thing you want is for them to be the main focus- your photographer should know that YOUR exciting fun filled day is the focus.

Another “professiona family photographer” had all the best intentions attempting get the best captures for their wedding couple – but – in doing so interupted every moment of the day – trying TOO hard can kill your day.

Team Work – when you have individual vendors who have worked together in the past and more importantly like to work together – you and your partner are the focus of the team, each individual vendor is communicating with the other members of the team and they can assist in avoiding all types of complications, making your day stressfree and fun!  Preferred vendors understand the day from start to finish, they are extremely familar with your venue, set up locations (as simple as the electric outlets), they understand how everyone eating late or how constant interuptions can turn a good wedding day into a frustrating mess….

Family Affair’s believes the best way to have a stressfree, exciting, happy and relaxed day is to assemle a team of vendors that will work hard to create just that and then the rest of the day and details fall in line to create the “Best Day Ever”.