Arkansas wedding photography




Why you should consider a first look for your wedding

June 24, 2020

Hi, I'm Loren.
I'm so happy you're here!
This blog is a journal about our lives, weddings we have the opportunity to photograph, and whatever else feels like it needs it's own little home on the blog! 
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I have to confess something. I have a deep love for first looks on weddings days. Which is actually pretty ironic coming from the girl that didn’t have a first look at her own wedding. That was one of the only things that my husband requested of our wedding day. I tried to talk him into a first look because as a wedding photographer I knew how awesome they can be, but seeing as he didn’t ask for much in regards to our wedding, I had to give him that moment he wanted seeing me for the first time as I walked down the aisle to him. And honestly, it was pretty special. He cried, and I felt like the most special girl in the world.

But honestly, if we had to do our wedding day over again I would STILL try to talk him into doing a first look! Why? Because they’re AWESOME.  However, not everyone is aware of how awesome they are because they get caught up in how “un-traditional” it is, or they think it will take the specialness away from the moment when the bride walks down the aisle to her groom. I get it, we want a reaction….I wanted a reaction from David and I thought about that reaction when I said yes to the dress I picked out that I thought he would love. I wanted him to be so overcome with emotion when he saw me for the first time that he bawled at the first sight of me! Oh, and he did!

Sure, some brides and grooms love traditions and want to protect what they believe will be the most special moments on their wedding day…. but what I’ve noticed that they really care about is not the tradition itself, but the incredibly special moments that come with the traditions. From what I have witnessed, those that are not interested in a first look usually think that seeing each other beforehand will take away from the special moment and assume that it will not be as emotional or as intimate as it would be if they were seeing each other for the first time when they are coming down the aisle. I completely get it! But let me shed some light on a different point of view. Everyone knows that wedding days can be a bit stressful on the bride and groom.  The whole day is focused on them, they need to look their best, be on time, questions being asked in every direction, and little by little the tension grows. The groom that was once calm and collected, hanging with the guys earlier in the day is secluded to a small room to wait for the ceremony to start…. and the gravity of what is about to happen starts to sink in along with a lot of nerves. It seems like he’s been waiting FOREVER when finally the coordinator cues him to get ready for the ceremony. With nerves and clammy hands, the groom enters the ceremony to find whole crowd of people and they’re all looking where? Right at him… like a spotlight directly on him as everyone anticipates his first reaction. This is the farthest thing from a private, intimate, special moment. Sure, it’s exciting and SO wonderful. I already admitted that walking down the aisle to my tearful groom was one of the best moments of our wedding day! But his clammy hands were enough to prove his nerves were real.
Because most couples have never experienced their wedding day before, they don’t know how nerve racking it can be. Even some of the most calm and easy-going couples can experience feeling incredible nerves and stress on their wedding day. For most couples, the nerves start kicking in right before the ceremony because all of a sudden everything becomes SO real! So when the nerves start creeping up, instead of keeping the groom in a secluded space until his time to enter the ceremony where all eyes will be on him awaiting his emotion filled reaction, what if you took him to a private place… no people, no spotlights, no expectations, no distractions…. and you let his beautiful bride, the love of his life that he has waited all day to see, call his name from behind as she slowly walks toward him. He would turn around and finally get his first look at his stunning bride. Not only would he get to see her, he could embrace her. Cry with her. Laugh with her. Be in awe of her. Kiss her… take in all of her beauty for as long as he needs, and ENJOY that moment together for as long as they wanted. In those moments of being alone together… the tears, the joy, the laughter, and hugs, the awe, and every other special moment and emotion you can imagine… their nerves start to diminish and the gravity of what is to come no longer feels overwhelming but so very exciting.
No one is around, the coordinator isn’t announcing the next thing on the timeline, and there is no pressure.  It’s just the two of you with you photographer and videographer capturing your genuine reaction, excitement. and the joy of your wedding day. This is your time to be together and to be alone… the only opportunity you will have to do this throughout the entire wedding day. When you’re ready to move on, you’ll take some romantic portraits then meet up with your best friends. Your wedding party joins you and because you still have plenty of time to spare before the ceremony you can touch up a little makeup while the boys, well, act like boys. After a few minutes the wedding party portraits begin and they are fun! Yes, I said fun! Do you know why? Because there is time to make them fun.  There aren’t any guests waiting impatiently at the reception, or the pressure to hurry up with portraits so your guests don’t want to leave before you even enter your reception. It’s just extra time to enjoy making special memories with the people you care about who have loved and supported you and are there to celebrate with you! You can even have your family arrive an hour early to the take your family portraits before the ceremony begins to save even more time after the ceremony! No body wants to miss out on their reception. Trust me, I’ve been there.
After portraits are done, the girls and guys separate and prepare for the ceremony.  The guests begin to arrive and the ushers are in place. Pretty soon it’s time for the processional music to begin and one by one, the bridesmaids make their way down to the front of the ceremony.  As the groom enters the ceremony his hands aren’t clammy out of nervousness from the spotlight being on him because this time he is just excited, ready, and proud to marry his beautiful bride that everyone else is about to get to see.  The music builds as the mother of the bride stands and all of the guests follow her lead. The groom looks down the aisle and here she comes… His best friend, his companion, his bride. She’s breathtaking, absolutely stunning. Even though he has already seen her, he cannot hold back the smile on his face and the tears of joy streaming down his cheeks. 

Before we move on, let me put a disclaimer here… LBP couples are in no way required to have a first look on their wedding day! It’s totally okay if a couple chooses to forego a first look on their wedding day, and I would never pressure them into something they did not want to do! However, I have seen the benefits of a first look over and over again and so I only share this because I want the very best for my couples and I believe a first look has so many incredible factors to it that most couples do not fully understand. It’s just my preference for many reasons… Keep reading to find out more about the benefits!

Couples who choose to have a first look on their wedding day:

Extend Their Day By Hours!

Choosing a first look for your wedding day allows you to extend your day by hours! Normally the wedding would start when you come down the aisle. Then the ceremony would end, you would rush through all your family, wedding party, and bride/groom portraits so that you’re not leaving your guests waiting, all the while stressing that it’s taking too long. *I speak from experience here*  With a first look, it gives you the opportunity to slow down so you can enjoy your wedding day, stress free, for even longer! Instead of being rushed for your wedding party portraits… you actually get to enjoy them and have fun hanging out with your best friends on your wedding day. Instead of only getting a handful of bride groom portraits because you had to rush through them, *hello, it’s me and my experience again* you get to enjoy your extra time alone together to marvel in the fact that YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED!! Wedding days already feel like a whirlwind, so why not slow it down a bit and extend your day so you can actually enjoy the little moments you’ll want to remember throughout your entire day?

Receive More Portraits = Smarter Investment!

It’s no secret that wedding photography and videography is a hefty investment. So why wouldn’t you want to get the most out of your investment? When you choose to have a first look, you can expect to receive even more portraits (like 40% more!) of the two of you. And THOSE are the images you will want to print and decorate your home with! Those are the images you dream of seeing as you scroll through your beautiful wedding gallery! With a first look, you make the most out of this large investment by gaining even more portraits and getting the most for your money.

Get More Time Together!

Until you have experienced your wedding day, you really will not fully understand how quickly it goes by and how little time you will get with your significant other. You think in your mind that your wedding day is about the two of you and sure, it most definitely is! But you will not have but more than five minutes of alone time throughout the entire day. A first look allows you to be TOGETHER for SO much more time on your wedding day. Not only will your first look be sweet and intimate, it will be one of your only opportunities to have time to be alone together the entire day! You can cry and laugh and cry some more… and then it will put you in the PERFECT mood to move right into your romantic bride/groom portraits. Without a first look bride/groom portraits can be a little rushed after the family formals and it can be hard to really get back into that “lovey dovey” mode…. especially with family around and a room full of guests waiting on you because they’re ready to eat! When you have just shared your first look, you’re ready to love on each other, savor those moments alone together, and I always capture some of the sweetest images during those moments!

Make Special Moments, Even More Special!

We’ve already established that most couples don’t want a first look because they believe it will take away from the specialness of the groom seeing his bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle to him. But most brides don’t realize that when you come down the aisle and he sees you for the first time, you are completely SHOCKING him with your gorgeousness! And sure, that is what you hope for! But then you get to the end of the aisle and he can’t even tell you how amazing you look. He can’t touch you, embrace you or even tell you how beautiful you look. You both have to wait at least 30 minutes until the ceremony is over for him to react and tell you how amazing you look. And after 30 minutes of the ceremony, of repeating vows and doing all the ceremony things, the initial reaction he had at his first glance of you wears off and has lost its impact. He will still think you’re beautiful and will still tell you have amazing you look, but the enthusiasm and genuine reaction will not be the same as 30 minutes prior. At a first look, you get all the real, raw, genuine emotion and reaction in that very moment you take his breath away – making that special moment of him seeing you for the first time, even more special.

Again, LBP couples are in no way required to have a first look on their wedding day! It’s totally okay if a couple chooses to forego a first look and I would NEVER pressure them into something they did not want to do! However, I hope you have read why I believe a first look is beneficial and considered whether you would benefit from choosing to add this special moment to your own wedding day!



welome to my blog

I'm Loren and I'm so happy you're here! This blog a journal about our lives, weddings we have the opportunity to photograph, and whatever else feels like it needs it's own little home on the blog! 

Learn more


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WEDDING details checklist 

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You spend hours carefully selecting each small detail of your day from your earrings, shoes, clutch, and even which perfume you plan on wearing. Selecting the right details for your wedding is the perfect way to not only set the tone of your day but will allow your wedding gallery to feel like it came right out of
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