If you've decided to have a first look photo session, it's probably one of the big moments you've been waiting for when the morning of your wedding finally comes.
It's an emotional moment for most couples, and a chance to take in the enormity of what you're about to do, as well as the first chance you get to see each other all dolled up to the nines.
One of the big benefits of doing a first look photo session is, of course, the beautiful wedding portraits you get to take away from it. Those first reaction snaps are priceless!
To make the most of the first look photo session, take note of these big mistakes many couples make - and then just enjoy the moment! You might not get another second alone all day, so savour it all.
1. Having others there to watch
It's totally up to you, of course, but one of the big benefits of doing a first look photo session is that it's a moment for just the two of you (and your photographer and videographer). If you wanted it to be public, why not wait until all your guests arrive and have the big reveal be at your ceremony? The whole point of it is you get to have a private moment.
Of course, your family and wedding party may want to watch the first look happen, but let them know in advance you'd to be alone. If you have a particularly stubborn loved one - often a parent - who insists they watch, let your photographer be the bearer of bad news.
2. Not trusting your photographer - or keeping them in the loop
A good photographer will be able to pick out the perfect first look photo spot a mile away, so don't exclude them when you're thinking about your first look.
You might have a great plan for a secluded corner, but actually your photographer might find the lighting hard to work with, or a cluttered background might ruin the shot.
Trust your photographer knows what they're talking about, even if their vision isn't quite the same as yours - you can probably find a middle ground if you explain what you're looking for from your first look.
If you don't have a specific vision for your first look, ask for their advice and help on the idea, and also the logistics.
3. Not planning the first look moment
You don't want to be worrying about those logistics in the moment so make sure you've figured out things like timing and positioning, so when the time comes, you can focus on what's important: seeing your other half for the first time.
Being hyper aware of those details, or the fact there's a camera or two in the room, may bring out some camera shyness, which will keep you from fully enjoying and experiencing the moment.
If you're prone to camera shyness anyway, having your photographer shoot from a bigger distance than they will be for the rest of the day, may be a good idea. The less crowded you feel, the more relaxed you will be.
4. Not leaving enough time
A big part of the planning is also in making sure you've got your first look in your schedule of events for the day. Double check with your photographer how long they recommend to leave for a first look, and block out the time accordingly.
Doing a first look is supposed to help calm your nerves and relax you before the big ceremony. The last thing you want is to feel rushed or like you don't have enough time to enjoy the moment as well as get the photos you've planned. Worst case scenario for planning the time in is that you have a little leftover for those last minute makeup touch-ups or a few extra family photos.
5. Forgetting tissues
Speaking of happy tears - even if you're not a big crier, it's worth having a few tissues close by, just in case.
Seeing your other half for the first time on the day of your wedding is a big deal, and you might be surprised by how emotional it is. No harm having a hanky at the ready!