Ireland & International Wedding and Portrait Photographer


So, are you planning to have a first look?

Oonagh & Colin`s wedding at Johnstown Estate

Although a relatively new feature of weddings in Ireland, “the first look” is rapidly gaining popularity. This takes place before the wedding ceremony, and can be a first look at the bride by her dad, or by her soon-to-be spouse. For the purpose of this blog, we will focus on the first look by the groom at his beautiful bride.

This is a very private activity between the couple who are tying the knot, whereby they get to see each other without the gazes of their guests. For those few moments, they are only in the company of each other. They get to give each other their undivided attention, possibly the only opportunity to do this for the rest of the day! This special event is witnessed by one other person…. the man/woman holding the camera!

In this short space of time, their trusted photographer will get to capture the look of amazement on the couples’ faces when they first set eyes on each other. Immense efforts are put into preparing for the big day; brides and grooms alike are often getting ready for their wedding from the early hours of the morning (and the days/weeks/months before that!) to ensure they look their best for their special day. Such efforts warrant a sneak preview for the person they have chosen to spend the rest of their life with, an intimate ‘alone moment’ before the extended wedding congregation get to see the couple in all their glory.

Wedding at the Martinstown House - wedding photographer Kildare

After the ceremony has finished, the newlyweds get caught up in the magnificent whirlwind of the day, greeting their family members and friends, posing for photographs, dining and dancing, with maybe some drinkies along the way! The day quickly evaporates and the time the happy couple get to spend with just each other becomes non-existent. This makes ‘the first look’ even more special, as this cherished time slot belongs to nobody only the newlyweds. It’s a special memory they can hold forever, and should be photographed with this in mind. A good photographer will know all the tricks and hacks to ensure these memories are recorded appropriately, forever to be treasured by the happy couple.

Like everything in life, there are pros and cons associated with ‘the first look’. On the positive side, it’s a special moment captured between the two people getting married. Emotions may run more freely, without worrying about those tears of joy escaping in front of all of the guests. Most stereotypical males (and some females!) will not be comfortable shedding a tear in front of their bridal party, families, friends, in-laws etc. ‘The first look’ will allow for this to happen, without judgement. It allows a sort of ‘emotional freedom’ between the couple, which can be captured and revisited afterwards. Consequently, wedding-day nerves can be alleviated.

Also, for couples who are choosing to get married during the winter months, as the first look photos are taken before the ceremony begins, this can enable their photographer to capture more pictures before the natural light of the day fades. However, the ‘the first look’ requires organisation and strict time-keeping before the ceremony; this can be stressful for some people. An already busy morning may need to run to tighter deadlines in order to ensure there is enough time to schedule in this photo shoot; those 20-30 minutes before the ceremony are quite precious, and it is recommended to do this at least one hour prior to the start of the wedding service. This will give the bride a chance to disappear before the guests start to arrive, the only person to get the special sneak-peak is the groom!

Wedding at the Wright Anglers Rest in Dublin

Whether you choose a first look or not, remember your wedding day is about you and your partner getting married. Some may opt for tradition and wait to have their first glimpse of their partner when walking down the aisle, and that’s fine too. There is no right or wrong way, just be happy with your own choices.

Remember the wedding is your day, so choose your way. Whatever choice you make, your photographer will ensure the most magical aspects of your day are snapped….

Hope you will find this article helpful and If you would like to arrange a complimentary consultation or just need some advice feel free to contact me. I would be delighted to help you in any way I can!

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