Wedding Photography and Videography Forum

Pre-Wedding "First Look" Opinions Please??!

My fiancee and I are planning an evening wedding and a night time reception. We have recently come up with a problem though... if we wait to do the photoshoot until after the ceremony it will be dark, our venue is a meadow surrounded by trees with lights up in the trees to give the area a glow. Besides, I don't want to keep my friends and family waiting too long between the ceremony and reception. What are your guys' opinions??

Re: Pre-Wedding "First Look" Opinions Please??!

  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited January 2014
    My fiancee and I are planning an evening wedding and a night time reception. We have recently come up with a problem though... if we wait to do the photoshoot until after the ceremony it will be dark, our venue is a meadow surrounded by trees with lights up in the trees to give the area a glow. Besides, I don't want to keep my friends and family waiting too long between the ceremony and reception. What are your guys' opinions??
    We had a December wedding.  The sun set at 4:30pm.  Our ceremony started at 6pm.  We wanted outdoor photos, so we did a first look.  We got ready, had our first look at 3pm.  The bridal party came out shortly after and did some photos and then we went inside and did the immediate family photos.  We had about an hour to relax in the suite before the ceremony started.

    We loved having that special time together privately.  It helped ease my nerves walking down the aisle but in no way took anything special away from it.  And, my DH and I got to enjoy the entire cocktail hour, which, IMO, is the best part of any wedding!

    ETA:  If you do decide to do photos between the ceremony and reception, you should be having a cocktail hour.  Your friends and family shouldn't be waiting around for you with nothing to do.
    hellohkb
  • We did a first look because we didn't want to have to leave our wedding to take pictures. Also, we walked down the aisle together, so it was nice to have a "big reveal" with just the two of us beforehand. It was great because it really calmed my nerves to see him before the wedding. It was sweet and romantic. Like PP, we did family photos right after and then had an hour till our ceremony, so it was relaxing instead of trying to pack a bunch of pictures into as little time as possible. And best of all, we didn't have to miss anything!
  • We did a first look and I highly recommend it. I knew the more time I spent with my husband, the calmer I would be on our wedding day. We started with the photographer for the first look around 2:30, did just b&g photos until 4,then we had an hour for family portraits before the 5:30 ceremony. We have some awesome pictures from those first 90 minutes. The people who've seen my wedding pictures and didn't do a first look at their own wedding always tell me how jealous they are that there are so many pics of just the 2 of us. We also got to attend the majority of cocktail hour, which gave us extra time to see all our guests.

    My husband and I spent the nigh the before the wedding together and went out for breakfast that morning. So the groom doesn't see the bride before the ceremony tradition clearly wasn't important to us. If it's something you don't feel strongly about, I would totally do the first look.
    jenna8984antoto
  • Our wedding is in the beginning of Feb - daylight ends between 4-430pm. So we decided to have a morning wedding and an early evening reception so we could get pictures around the lake.

    I would suggest going with a first look in your situation. Some couples need to have a first look in order to get their pics in and that is fine, just personally I wouldn't do it. FI and I want the excitement of seeing each other the first time when I come walking down the aisle.




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  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
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    CLI242009 said:
    Our wedding is in the beginning of Feb - daylight ends between 4-430pm. So we decided to have a morning wedding and an early evening reception so we could get pictures around the lake.

    I would suggest going with a first look in your situation. Some couples need to have a first look in order to get their pics in and that is fine, just personally I wouldn't do it. FI and I want the excitement of seeing each other the first time when I come walking down the aisle.




    Wait- so what the heck are your guests supposed to do for 6 hours between your ceremony and reception??

                                                                     

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  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
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    We definitely plan on first look and doing all photos beforehand. Hey we have to pay for cocktail hour and the hor'dorves- might as well be part of it and get to enjoy it with everyone! I also want to have fun and be relaxed and not rushing through pictures.

    Plus I find it's your wedding "day" so it kind of stinks to sit around not seeing him til 6pm. I can't wait to see him at noon and spend way more time together.

                                                                     

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  • We're doing a first look: ceremony at 4pm and reception to follow in early March (sunset just around 5pm).  My plan is to do as many photos prior to ceremony as possible (wedding party, etc).  I've been in wedding parties that did first look, and it's nice for everyone involved-----gets everyone to reception sooner to start mingling with guests and enjoying the party!~  Can't wait!
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    We did a first look and I'm sooooooo glad we did! We wanted to have time to take some fun and cool photos without inconveniencing our guests. It also gave us time to be together, have fun and get rid of the pre-wedding jitters. I highly recommend doing a first look :)
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    CLI242009 said:
    Our wedding is in the beginning of Feb - daylight ends between 4-430pm. So we decided to have a morning wedding and an early evening reception so we could get pictures around the lake.

    I would suggest going with a first look in your situation. Some couples need to have a first look in order to get their pics in and that is fine, just personally I wouldn't do it. FI and I want the excitement of seeing each other the first time when I come walking down the aisle.




    How nice of you to tie up your guests' entire day just so you can have pictures.  What do you expect them to do for the HOURS in between?  

    OP - This is NOT the way to do things.
  • Ven&Radio said:
    We did a first look and I highly recommend it. I knew the more time I spent with my husband, the calmer I would be on our wedding day.
    This!  We are doing this as well. I am suchhhh a cry baby and I want to lessen the chance that I will be sobbing through my vows. 

    Some women can handle seeing their husband for the first time walking down the aisle... I just can't.  
    image
  • CLI242009CLI242009 member
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    edited January 2014
    CLI242009 said:
    Our wedding is in the beginning of Feb - daylight ends between 4-430pm. So we decided to have a morning wedding and an early evening reception so we could get pictures around the lake.

    I would suggest going with a first look in your situation. Some couples need to have a first look in order to get their pics in and that is fine, just personally I wouldn't do it. FI and I want the excitement of seeing each other the first time when I come walking down the aisle.




    Wait- so what the heck are your guests supposed to do for 6 hours between your ceremony and reception??

    *stuck in the box*

    Ceremony is at 11am
    Cocktail hour starts at 2
    Reception starts at 3
    Dinner served at 4

    Ceremony is going to be about an hour and a half and then there's a 40-50 minute drive to the reception. I didn't mean to make it sound like there was such a big gap lol.

    I was just saying since we wanted daylight we went with an earlier wedding all together, not just ceremony. Sorry about that.

    JoanE2012 - I am not leaving my guests hanging. I wasn't able to answer till now but it was a misunderstanding. I was just trying to say that since we wanted daylight we opted to have an earlier wedding, all together, not just ceremony. Sheesh....
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  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    CLI242009 said:
    CLI242009 said:
    Our wedding is in the beginning of Feb - daylight ends between 4-430pm. So we decided to have a morning wedding and an early evening reception so we could get pictures around the lake.

    I would suggest going with a first look in your situation. Some couples need to have a first look in order to get their pics in and that is fine, just personally I wouldn't do it. FI and I want the excitement of seeing each other the first time when I come walking down the aisle.




    Wait- so what the heck are your guests supposed to do for 6 hours between your ceremony and reception??

    *stuck in the box*

    Ceremony is at 11am
    Cocktail hour starts at 2
    Reception starts at 3
    Dinner served at 4

    Ceremony is going to be about an hour and a half and then there's a 40-50 minute drive to the reception. I didn't mean to make it sound like there was such a big gap lol.

    I was just saying since we wanted daylight we went with an earlier wedding all together, not just ceremony. Sorry about that.

    JoanE2012 - I am not leaving my guests hanging. I wasn't able to answer till now but it was a misunderstanding. I was just trying to say that since we wanted daylight we opted to have an earlier wedding, all together, not just ceremony. Sheesh....
    Well you said you were having an "early evening" reception.  I don't consider 2pm early evening.  I am happy to hear your timeline though...it sounds much better.  Will your venue accept the guests who may arrive 30 minutes before the start of cocktail hour?
  • CLI242009 said:
    CLI242009 said:
    Our wedding is in the beginning of Feb - daylight ends between 4-430pm. So we decided to have a morning wedding and an early evening reception so we could get pictures around the lake.

    I would suggest going with a first look in your situation. Some couples need to have a first look in order to get their pics in and that is fine, just personally I wouldn't do it. FI and I want the excitement of seeing each other the first time when I come walking down the aisle.




    Wait- so what the heck are your guests supposed to do for 6 hours between your ceremony and reception??

    *stuck in the box*

    Ceremony is at 11am
    Cocktail hour starts at 2
    Reception starts at 3
    Dinner served at 4

    Ceremony is going to be about an hour and a half and then there's a 40-50 minute drive to the reception. I didn't mean to make it sound like there was such a big gap lol.

    I was just saying since we wanted daylight we went with an earlier wedding all together, not just ceremony. Sorry about that.

    JoanE2012 - I am not leaving my guests hanging. I wasn't able to answer till now but it was a misunderstanding. I was just trying to say that since we wanted daylight we opted to have an earlier wedding, all together, not just ceremony. Sheesh....
    Well you said you were having an "early evening" reception.  I don't consider 2pm early evening.  I am happy to hear your timeline though...it sounds much better.  Will your venue accept the guests who may arrive 30 minutes before the start of cocktail hour?

    *stuck in the box again!!! ARRG*

    When I first moved to NY to be with my FI, neither did I haha. I was used to having dinner 6-8pm, dinner over here, in the area we live in, is normal at 4-5pm. So technically it's not an early dinner start time just an early reception start time. Sorry I didn't clarify or explain more =(

    Yes my venue is completely fine with accepting guests before the cocktail hour start time. They are planning to have the cocktail hour room ready by 1pm for the just in case early birds that by chance arrive between 1:30-2pm. The cocktail food won't be coming out till 2 for cocktail hour but there will be a hosted bar so they can at least get something to drink.

    The only problem I'm having is with my FI's side of the family, the ladies specifically, they are not happy with how early they have to get up to start getting ready >.> So I have them putting up a fight about that...blah
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  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
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    @cli242009 thanks for clarifying :) 
    Similar with me, ceremony is at 2:30pm and cocktail hour starts at 3pm so we are starting first look and bridal party photos around noon which means all of us starting to get ready around 8-9am. Kinda stinks but whatever. It all ends by 8pm so it's not like getting up early and staying up til midnight lol 

                                                                     

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  • @jenna8984 - 8-9 isn't terrible! I had to be AT the brides house at 5:30 am to start hair and make up for the last wedding I was in! :(
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
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    @ashleynicole1218 holy crap what bride would want to do that to themselves?!?! I am a morning person, I get up at 5:30 to work out and that even sounds ridiculous to me hahah 

                                                                     

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  • Tradition vs. smoothing out pre-wedding jitters. Hmmmm. We just decided on a photographer and he suggested doing a first look as well. We have some time to decide but I am leaning towards it. But my FI is soooo traditional so it might be a tough one. Thanks for sharing this, great thread.
    dixo4035
  • @jenna8984 - 8-9 isn't terrible! I had to be AT the brides house at 5:30 am to start hair and make up for the last wedding I was in! :(
    I had it worse....Got up at 4:00am It had been snowing the night before so I wanted to make sure i gave myself extra time to actually WAKE UP instead of wake up, grab bags and head right out the door. Had to pick up my sis at her hotel and then MoH (who stayed at my apt with me), myself and sister drove to the getting ready location >.> Hair appt started at 6:30am.

    Oh and my stylist was messaging and emailing me at 10pm the night before. In the end the day was perfect!
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  • @jenna8984 and @cli242009

    My issue was the fact that I was the bridesmaid and the first one to get hair done. If I was the bride and I wanted to get up super early, that's my choice. But when the bride required us get ready at her place (and pay for the services) and my start time is 5:30 in the morning (for a 3pm ceremony) , I was not a happy camper. I certainly learned from this experience, and couldn't care less where my ladies get ready, and if they want to use my make up and hair team, I'll make sure I have enough staffed so that no one has to be getting worked on 10 hours before my ceremony.
  • Oh wow....yeah that is ridiculous!!! We got ready that early because the ceremony was at 11am....holy crap that is so ridiculous!!!! that means everyone in the bridal party had to be "ready" literally all day???!!! wtf o.O i wouldn't be a happy camper either. *repeatedly saying wtf in my head right now*
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