A first look photo session is becoming more and more popular at weddings. If you're not familiar with the term, basically a first look is where you choose to see each other for the first time before your ceremony, and usually most couples will choose to do a photo session at the same time to capture those all important first reactions.

There are loads of pros and cons to having a first look, so we asked two Irish wedding photographers for their expert view on the subject.

 

The dilemma: Should I have a first look photo session

In favour of a first look: Katie Kavanagh of katiekav.com

Katie Kavanagh

“I've been a long time fan of a first look, ever since I read about them in America. I even had one myself.

It’s a great way to have a special moment together before the madness of the wedding day begins. If you're in any way an anxious person, it goes a long way to calm the nerves before the ceremony and reduce any tension you might feel.

And it’s a great way to get your wedding portraits done earlier than usual, meaning you're not missing out on that quality drinks reception time.

If you’re having a ceremony late in the day, some couples take their bridal party and family photographs earlier on, so they’re really able to relax later on.

If you’re getting married in winter, where the days are shorter, it’s a great chance to get beautiful portraits while there is still natural light available.”

 

 

Against having a first look: Tanya Colclough of eden-photography.com

Tanya Colclough

"There is something about the romanticism and tradition of seeing your bride or groom for the first time at the top of the aisle.

I know from mine and other couples’ experience; it was the part of the day that they looked forward to most. It adds a certain sense of emotion to the ceremony and includes all your friends and family in a very touching moment between the two of you.

The idea of a first look has become more common, but I have only photographed two first looks in over 250 weddings. It's not something I discourage my couples from doing, but I think they prefer the tradition of waiting to see each other.

For a first look, you must remember that you aren’t actually married and when you look back on your wedding photographs, I think that can be a deciding factor.

Also logistically, it can make things a little more complicated. You need to be ready earlier, especially if guests are staying close by and you don't want to risk being seen before the ceremony.

A ‘first touch’ can be a lovely compromise; it gives you both a special moment together, yet also keeps the nod to tradition."

Looking for more information about first look photo sessions? Check out these three reasons why you might want one!