From a photographer’s point of view, we love it when couples do a first look because it makes our job easier. However your wedding day isn’t about doing what’s good for your photographer, it’s about doing what is right for you. A few of our past couples were kind enough to give us a few thoughts about their experience doing a first look with KGM Expressions. If you are curious what it might be like or a little unsure if a first look is for you, hopefully you can get a better idea from the experiences below.
Lauren & Chris
Doing a first look was hands down one of the best decisions we made for our wedding. Looking back, there were so many benefits for both us AND our guests.
Let me start off by saying, I am a super emotional person (I would cry at even a stranger’s wedding). One of my biggest concerns was that being caught up in the moment with my father by my side, my husband-to-be at the end of the aisle, and over 200 eyeballs on me would make me lose it. I was worried that I wouldn’t make it down the aisle- not to mention all the “ugly cry” photos we would get! Doing a private first look gave us the opportunity to make that first moment OURS. Walking down the staircase toward my groom I had butterflies, but not nerves. I was solely focused on him in that moment- not whether or not I would trip, the flowers being wrong, or who didn’t RSVP. When he turned around to see me we were both giddy and emotional. It was like all the stress of the day was instantly lifted and I was on Cloud 9. I will always remember it as a sweet, intimate moment that we didn’t have to share with anyone else. And I should add, walking down the aisle wasn’t any less special. I still had the same butterflies and if anything seeing him the first time built more anticipation and excitement to see him again at the end of that aisle.
The other HUGE benefit to taking our photos before the ceremony was that we got to join our guests and enjoy our cocktail hour, (my favorite part of the party)! Our guests didn’t have to wait around for hours while we took photos, so the event didn’t lose momentum. We were able to work through most of our personal “thank yous” before the cocktail hour was over so that we could relax and enjoy the entire reception. Everything overall just flowed really nicely. I am a huge advocate for the first look. From my experience, I truly believe it made for a less stressful day for both us and our guests. Every time we attend a wedding with a long break between the ceremony and reception we are reminded of it.
Jessica & Adam
Adam and I decided to do a first look because we knew that pictures were one of the most important elements of our wedding. We knew they would help us remember our day and a first look gave us more time for that. I knew that just seeing my future husband would ease my nerves and we could have a few moments to ourselves and take it in that we were getting married. It was such a special moment walking towards Adam in the court yard. It was one of the most special moments of our day. I still remember us taking it all in and how we felt.
When I got to the church, I was still excited to see him at the end of the aisle. Even though we saw each other before the ceremony, we took separate cars so it would almost be like we didn’t see each other at all. There is nothing more special than to see your future husband standing there waiting for you to walk towards him and the first look gave me the chance to do it twice in one day. I didn’t have any concerns or hesitations about having a first look, I always knew from the beginning that’s what I wanted. We were also able to enjoy the cocktail hour with our guests. I would do it all over again, maybe to even put more time aside for pictures and spending some alone time before the ceremony.
Amanda & Shayne
When we first began to discuss our wedding day and things both of us had wanted, Shayne felt very strongly about not seeing me until I walked down the aisle. After meeting with Kim and Ray for the first time, they gave us more information about what to expect during the first look experience. After we picked a date and time for our wedding to take place, we decided that a first look was right for us.
This was the best decision we ever made! Ray and Kim found the best spot for us to see each other for the first time and it was perfect! Shayne waited in our venues reception room while I snuck up behind him. There was no one else around, except of course for Kim and Ray who were there to capture the expressions on our faces and that special moment between us. It was so wonderful to have that chance to focus on just the two of us with no one else around. After that, we had tons of time to take so many other wonderful pictures together. When it came time to walk down the aisle, I still felt every emotion you could imagine experiencing on your wedding day. Having the first look calmed my nerves a lot and I was able to just focus on how happy I was in that walk down the aisle.
If had a chance to do it differently, I most definitely would not. Having a first look was wonderful and gave us so much time to take such amazing pictures. An added bonus was that we were able to enjoy most of our cocktail hour with our guests since the majority of our family pictures were taken earlier. Shayne and I highly recommend having a first look on your wedding day. Kim and Ray make the experience so special and your pictures will be amazing! You definitely won’t regret your decision!
Lindsey & Andrew
We decided to do a first look with KGM Expressions to allow us more time after the ceremony to enjoy our guests and cocktail hour. We also wanted our bridal party to get the pictures done first so they too could enjoy the cocktail hour. The first look was very exciting and intimate since it was just us (and Kim & Ray too of course lol). I still got the rush of emotion when walking down the aisle because it was overwhelming to have all our family/friends there and my dad walk me down the aisle. There was so many different emotions going on when walking down the aisle and it happened so fast. So, looking back I’m glad we did the first look because it gave us an additional special moment that day together alone. And that day you get no alone time lol. We were suppose to have 5 minutes to ourselves right after the ceremony but it didn’t happen and our families followed us into the back. So, I felt it gave us an extra moment to our selves before all the festivities. I was concerned that the moment walking down the aisle would not be as special but I think it was still surreal walking with my dad and being in that moment.
Bridget & Jon
We decided to do a first look mostly so that we could have more time to hang out with our guests during the cocktail hour. I am so glad that we did for a couple of reasons-
1. Walking down the aisle was really emotional for me and I think it would have been even more so if we had not done a first look. Our first look was a really sweet moment that was one of my favorites from the day and it did not take anything away from walking down the aisle.
2. Being able to do all of our photos ahead of time really allowed us to be present during our event. I was really happy to be able to spend that time with all of our family and friends.
3. Spending that time together before the wedding was a really nice way to have some fairly low-key time for just the two of us.
I would definitely recommend a first look for people who are hesitant- it was a great choice for us!
Brandi & Travis
During our wedding planning, there were so many decisions that became a “family affair.” Between choosing the vendors and finalizing the details, the intimate moments between my husband and I were few, and we could not think of a more special way to have our “alone” time than before the wedding ceremony. Had it been up to my husband, he always envisioned seeing his wife on his wedding day go down the aisle, but he said because he loves me, it was just as special. To me, I still was excited walking down the aisle as now was our presentation in front of family and friends, yet it was my husband only who got to see me exclusively without the distraction of an audience or a ceremony script. Our experience was similar to our engagement shoot in that as time went on with our photos, we felt more comfortable, so I am extremely grateful we “loosened up” before we got “down to business” in the ceremony. We were able to take our time with each other before doing the standard bridal party poses, and that was quite the relief. I would recommend a first look to every couple. Some traditions are meant to be broken, and I’m glad we did the sneak-peak with Kim and Ray.