Sara & Nick


5 Reasons to do a First Look


Should you do a first look in your wedding video.

Many couples are unsure whether to do a First Look, which is taking a moment to see each other before the ceremony. Having filmed weddings for over 10 years, we have to say, “Yes, you should definitely do a First Look!”  Here’s why:

  1. You will be moved – We often hear that one person is more “traditional” and wants to save the moment for the ceremony when they first see their partner coming down the aisle. Although this sounds reasonable, I have never filmed a bride or a groom who wasn’t swept up in the gravity and emotion of the moment when the bride comes down the aisle. It’s just too big.  You’re a human and you’ll be moved whether you do the First Look or not.
  1. Enjoying the moment – There are a lot of distractions during a wedding ceremony: the logistics of getting everyone down the aisle, thinking about your vows, is the right music playing? Where do I stand? etc.  A First Look allows you to breathe and truly take in the moment properly. You have the freedom to talk and share the emotion of seeing your partner in all their wedding-day splendor for the first time.
  1. Better photos and video – Time is a precious resource at a wedding. The closer you get to ceremony the more things become rushed. Doing a First Look before the ceremony means we can get all of the major bridal party and bride-groom photos and video done and out of the way early. Without a First Look we have to fit virtually everything in during cocktail hour: family photos, group shots, bridal party photos. And finally, if there’s time, we get to film the couple together while staff and family members ask you questions and you stress over: Is everything in the reception getting setup right? Do we have enough time to bustle the dress? etc. etc. And believe me, that added stress affects your composure in the photos and video. Whereas, if 70% of the photos and video are already done, it leaves us with lots of time to just get a few creative sunset shots, have some fun and possibly even get you to the cocktail hour, if you so desire. Some of our best wedding videos are the ones when we’ve had ample time to film the bride and groom before the ceremony.
  1. Great photo and video opportunity – The First Look itself is also just a great video and photo op. We are all about personalizing your wedding as much as possible. For video that often means creating a narrative and hearing your words, which we like to do by having couples read a card to each other or by using their personal vows. The First Look serves as a great visual scene for the audio narrative to cover, helping carry the story forward. We also like to mic the groom before the First Look and sometimes the raw emotion of what you say during the moment is truly priceless.
  1. Time of year – Lastly, if you are having a wedding during the Fall or Winter after the time change, it’s almost imperative that you do a First Look because the daylight fades so quickly.  There’s nothing worse than running out of time because there’s not light left or being forced to film in some poorly lit interior, especially when we have all this great light here in San Diego.

We understand that a First Look isn’t for everyone and some schedules just don’t allow for it.  Of course, we still manage to create lots of great wedding videos without them.  One option for those who are dead set against a full First Look is the “sorta kinda First Look,” the “quasi First Look,” if you will.  This is where you torture yourselves by not actually seeing each other, but instead, through the careful orchestration of your photographer and videographer, hold hands around a corner or wear a blind fold and only talk to each other about your excitement, all the while wondering about how great your partner looks. Obviously, we’re not huge fans of this and selfishly prefer the real thing. However, it can actually be much more charming than we make it sound as demonstrated in Kelley & Mar’s endearing scene at the beginning of their wedding highlights video.

Hopefully we’ve provided at least a few compelling reasons to at least consider the benefits of a First Look. After all, we’ve never heard of anyone ever regretting it.