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Sarah
Newbie December 2021 Alberta

First look and pictures before ?

Sarah, on August 25, 2021 at 22:42 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 16
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My fiancé and I are planning a New Years Eve wedding I am so conflicted what to do about pictures. I would love to have the first look at the ceremony but do to the sun setting the same time as our evening ceremony, we are afraid there will not be good lighting! The photographer suggested doing all photos before the ceremony, would that ruin the magic ?? Does anyone have any other suggestions to fix this ? Thanks in advance

16 Comments

Latest activity by Vinod, on September 3, 2021 at 14:15
  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
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    Photos wise, we did have getting ready beforehand with the family since we knew what we were wearing (saw his outfit while shopping with the MOHs). The first look wasn't done as the ceremony timing was following right after. If the sunset follows the ceremony, take some time for yourselves with the photographer.

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  • Carmel
    Featured December 2020 Ontario
    Carmel ·
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    View quoted message
    Our first look photos were scheduled for 15 minutes. But it also included the best man doing a trick first look in a wedding dress 😆. It's all really fast! Then we did portraits for about an hour in various locations.
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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    Depends on so many factors. How fast your photographer is, if you want multiple locations, how many photos you want, etc. The best thing would be to speak with your photographer and/or coordinator/planner if you have one.
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  • Ksenija
    Newbie June 2022 Alberta
    Ksenija ·
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    Does anyone know how long first look + photos usually take?
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  • Celine
    Frequent user October 2022 Quebec
    Celine ·
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    We don’t plan to do a first look. I want my fiancé to see me for the first time walking down the aisle. We will have been together 14 years by the time we get married next summer. I want there to be an element of surprise
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  • Amanda
    Featured August 2022 British Columbia
    Amanda ·
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    I don't think first looks will ruin the magic at all. My fiance and I aren't doing first looks. My fiance wants to see me for the first time walking down the aisle. Every couple is different. If you want to do a first look and photos go for it! But like Hank said, your photographer should be able to adapt to any lighting situation. Your photographer should know what he or she is doing to get the perfect shot regardless of lighting

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  • Leah
    Curious April 2022 Ontario
    Leah ·
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    Hey Sarah! We are not doing a first look but we are getting married earlier in the day because of that reason- more time with FH and to have some hopefully great light. If the timing of the ceremony can change to accommodate an earlier start that may be your answer too. I have been part of weddings with first looks and don’t know anyone who has regretted them- if that helps!
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  • Tunisha
    Featured October 2021 Ontario
    Tunisha ·
    • Dispute
    Hello Sarah,
    It’s all up to you and what you like.

    My fiancé wants to see me walking down the aisle first. We’re starting out ceremony at 4pm and it will be outdoors in the fall time. My photographer said he will be walking with his lights. But the “darkness” shouldn’t be a problem for the photographer to not have great photos of you two.
    As I said, it’s all up to you and your fiancé. Both options are great!
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  • Jacquie
    Frequent user August 2022 Alberta
    Jacquie ·
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    We’re actually doing all of our photos before the ceremony. Because I want outdoor woodsy photos and we’re getting married downtown. Also wanted to avoid that gap between ceremony and reception. We’ve only hired a photographer for 2 hours of photography and are saving a lot of $ this way.
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  • Rayanne
    Featured June 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
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    We are doing the first look. I want that time with FH and we are walking down the aisle together. No one will be "giving me away" we can start our new life journey together hand in hand from the beginning. That is what works for us though. We want to time after ceremony with friends and family. You have to do what works best for you and fiance. Our ceremony will be in same building as our reception since it'll be Jan we didn't want any extra driving for our guests. We have everything timed so once we have ceremony we all walk down to the reception. We are going to do a horse and carriage ride for first look pictures.
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  • Daily
    Featured August 2022 Ontario
    Daily ·
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    Omg!! I was thinking the same!! I want my husband to see me the very first time as I walk down the aisle then right after the ceremony well go to the park and take pictures. But I think it’s too much work so I’ll do our first look at our backyard then go to the park to take more pictures and off we go to the ceremony. I want lots and lots of picture outside as well at our venue for the ceremony and reception.
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  • Carmel
    Featured December 2020 Ontario
    Carmel ·
    • Dispute
    We originally planned a NYE wedding (had to move it due to Ontario's second lockdown) and we were doing a first look prior to the ceremony in order to get daytime photos and do all of our wedding party and family photos before. We did not want take time away from our wedding to take photos. We had a 5:30pm ceremony (since it's an automatically later night and still tons of time to get ready before), hoping to get golden hour/newly married photos afterwards. We still pretended our new date in March was NYE (why not 😆) and it was so much more intimate and relaxed to do the first look. We're so happy we did that because looking back, when I walked down the aisle I didn't even look at my husband until more than halfway 😆 I was so distracted by everyone else there!! Mind you, maybe if we hadn't have done the first look I would have focused on him but who knows! I'm happy we had all that time for portraits etc before though - we got to enjoy some time alone during cocktail hour and then all of our time with our friends and family. We had sparklers outside after the ceremony and got some great shots right after that on our own as well, so best of both worlds, however clouds had come in so we didn't get full golden hour lighting (keep in mind you can't control the weather). Our photographers had originally suggested a quick photo session right before the ceremony as well (we scheduled a break too to warm up) if the lighting was perfect then outside - again, cloud cover. All in all, personally - our wedding day was perfect and magical and the intimacy of seeing each other privately (we debated doing our vows privately) made it that much more special, allowing us to really soak it in.
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  • Kim
    Devoted June 2022 British Columbia
    Kim ·
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    I don't think doing a first look before the ceremony would necessarily ruin the magic, but it's all your preference. I think having some daylight photos before would be nice to have in addition to the sunset/afterwards photos.


    That being said, we aren't doing a first look as I'm really bad at keeping the secret of surprises and I want to keep this one of having my fiance see me for the first time walking down the aisle. I want him to cry in front of everyone (evil laugh)
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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    I personally think a first look is much nicer and more intimate. The actual ceremony will go by in a flash and you’ll be feeling a lot of emotions so I wouldn’t worry about “ruining the magic”.
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  • Liberty
    Featured May 2022 Alberta
    Liberty ·
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    We are doing a first look but because I love the idea of my fiance seeing his bride before all the guests! I also love the idea of us getting some almost alone time together before the ceremony. It also helps with the flow of the day better if you were planning on having a longer photo time
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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
    • Dispute

    I personally am not doing photos before our ceremony to maintain the magic of seeing her in her dress for the first time down the aisle.

    If you do a first look, you're bumping up and decreasing your getting ready time so that's something to think about.

    A good photographer would be able to adapt to any reasonable lighting situation. And no ceremony I've attended, regardless of season or time of day is so dark to the point where photographers have issues.

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