Wedding Wednesday with Em Series | Lynchburg Wedding Photographer
This month of October I am sharing tips on one of my favorite parts of the wedding day: First Looks! Last week we talked all about the reasons to share a first look but I know I have some skeptical brides with questions on their mind… I’m sure you’ve heard the myths!!! Well today I am sharing my experiences that debunk these myths!!
My hope is that these topics make you think about what’s important to you on your wedding day! I am all for a first look but my goal isn’t to force anyone into making a decision. I want to inform couples who are newly engaged so that they can plan for the day they’ve always imagined! So let’s dive into 5 myths about first look!!
PS: You don’t want to miss the most popular ones number 4 & 5!!
If you missed last week’s post on the 10 reasons why you should share a first look, check out that post here:
Myth #1 I have to wake up early and I’m not a morning person
I know what you are thinking… I’m not a morning person and I’ll have to wake up early. So technically speaking yes you will have to wake up earlier than some days BUT honestly you will probably wake up early anyways!! It’s going to feel like Christmas morning (remember that feeling when you were little??)!! The butterflies, anticipation, excitement, joy, etc. will help you make it past the “earlier” wake up call I promise. Sip on your favorite coffee drink, crank up the bridal suite playlist, and start this day bright and early so that you can relax and enjoy being pampered!
A first look extends your day meaning you get to enjoy the day to the fullest with your girls and have a relaxed timeline. Hair and makeup can be done early so you can fit in all your portraits before the ceremony! Which means you have more time wearing your beautiful gown and feeling like a princess (which is what every bride wants right??). So even though you may lose out on 1-2 hours of sleep, I think it would be worth it to trade in that time for time with your husband and best friends on your best day ever!
PS: Some timelines in the summer months you won’t need to wake up really early? It may not affect your sleep schedule at all!
Myth #2 Your family & guests will have “FOMO”
(Fear Of Missing Out)
So doesn’t a first look take away the opportunity for our friends and family to see my groom’s reaction?? The answer is not always yes…
Your groom is going to react the same way when you walk down the aisle with or without a first look! Sharing a first look keeps his first genuine reaction private for just you as his bride to witness. If he doesn’t normally cry, he will most likely not cry in front of 200+ eyes staring at him waiting on him to react. Sharing a first look gives him a private moment to “let down his guard” and share his true emotions deep down.
Once the big reveal of his beautiful bride is over he can focus on having fun and when you walk down the aisle to him, he doesn’t have to impress anyone with a reaction because it’s already happened so he can relax!! Most of the time this relaxed state provides the best opportunity for him cry again out of pure joy to marry you! He’s already gotten to hold you and tell you how beautiful you are! So this moment at the alter is all about your vows and sharing this moment with your family and friends.
Your guests will love seeing your first look photos on the blog and watching it happen in your wedding video but no one says they have to see it live. Remember the day is not about your friends and family is about you two!
Myth #3 My dress will get dirty before the ceremony
Technically speaking this is a possibility. However in my 4+ years of experience this has yet to disrupt the wedding day. We keep this in mind when choosing portrait locations as well! If the weather is bad we stay in covered areas to prevent the dress from getting muddy or wet. The trick is to find 1-2 locations for the first look and your portraits and limit the amount of movement so this doesn’t happen!! If the fabric underneath gets some things on it no one would ever even see it!
If something did happen to the dress for some reason beyond our control, this is where the “rest and retouch” part of your timeline comes in handy. Every wedding day we stop photos 45 minutes before the ceremony so that our couple and the bridal party can touch up any hair & make up, use the restroom, hydrate, and prepare for this ceremony. During this time if anything were to happen during portraits we have plenty of time to use my wedding day emergency kit to address any issues. Thankfully we haven’t had to do this in any of our weddings!!
Myth #4 It’s bad Luck
Ok let’s talk about this one…. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
A successful marriage is built on much more than luck.
Can I get an Amen?!
This usually comes from older generations where things were more traditional, weddings were in churches only, no dancing, cake & mints were the dessert, etc. Parents, family, and sometimes friends will encourage you to not share a first look and give this reason and use this as the excuse but is that what YOU want? Or what THEY want? And before I continue, I know you are probably thinking “Uh Emily, you are a hypocrite by pushing your own opinion on me too”.
To this I will say please know that I consider it my job to educate my brides with all my knowledge of photography and lighting to produce a final gallery you are proud to show off to the world! Often times the first look timeline provides an easier stress free approach to achieving this which is a huge reason I’m a fan!! But I also did a first look on my wedding day! I remember the feeling I had and James & I just celebrated 5 years together and they have been the LUCKIEST years of my life so far. So for me it’s a personal and professional preference and I want you to have all the facts so you can make your decision.
So basically what I’m saying is, don’t let anyone tell you what you want to do for your wedding day. It is both your decisions and you should not let the opinions of your parents, friends, or photographer 😉 push you into anything.
Myth #5 Ruins the aisle moment
This honestly puts a lot of pressure on the groom if you think about it. The expectation to perform in front of all of your friends and family is a lot! Your groom is already going to experience lots of emotions on the wedding day as well as constantly be bombarded by vendors, family, and guests. Putting this kind of pressure on the groom can cause a reaction that you may not like… I have seen where some grooms are so nervous they don’t even look at the bride coming down the aisle because they see the 200+ eyes on him!!
Most guys are very shy with their emotions. I know for James, he does not open up to other people very easily. By sharing a first look with just me it provided the moment for him to be vulnerable with his emotions so he was able to enjoy my grand entrance to our ceremony.
This is truly the biggest myth because if you’re almost husband is typically emotional then he will be emotional no matter when he sees you. If he will be emotional at your first look, he will most likely be even more emotional when you come down the aisle. Either way the first look will not take away from how he feels about you in your beautiful gown! He will love seeing you no matter what timeline you choose but please don’t think that a first look will ruin that 2nd moment you share with friends and family!
PS: Chad & Garrett are the perfect example of this! They bawled their eyes out both times seeing their bride and their relaxed timeline schedules gave them multiple opportunities to create memories with their brides on their wedding day! Check out their wedding days here:
BONUS Myth: The light is best only after the ceremony
This was too big a myth for me to leave out!! Photographers understand this more than couples will but guys…not all light and venues are created equal. By this I mean, the “best light” at one venue may be entirely different at another! This even changes through the year as seasons change.
Think of venues in a downtown setting. The golden hour glow will be different in the city with tall building blocking the sun than it would on an open field overlooking mountains. So the best light may not be in the 1-2 hours before sunset window. A first look ensures that no matter what venue you choose, you are able to have 2-3 sets of portraits in the best most photogenic light!
James and I have invested in amazing education from Katelyn James to find the good light no matter the time of day or location so we can navigate any location. However, don’t believe the myth that the only time for good light for photos is after the ceremony because that may not be the case!
So to recap, here are the 5 First Look Myths (& a bonus myth!) we debunked today:
I have to wake up early and I’m not a morning person
Your family & guests will have “FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out)
My dress will get dirty before the ceremony
It’s bad Luck
Ruins the aisle moment
BONUS: The light is best only after the ceremony
If you have any questions about your wedding day timeline and whether a first look is right for you please DM me on Instagram! I would love to connect and hear all about your wedding day! Next week I will be sharing how to make your first look unique!! So stay tuned for that post!
Until next time,
Learn more about our services here!
Hey there, I’m Emily! James, and I are a husband and wife wedding photography team based in Lynchburg, Virginia. We specialize in weddings and engagements and serve Virginia, DC Area, South Carolina, and beyond!
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