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love at first sight | indiana county, pa photographer | wedding

By February 7, 2010 5 Comments

I felt I should address this topic since I’ve been receiving SOOO many emails/phone calls regarding it…”The First Look”.

I believe in love at first sight, cheesy maybe, but I do believe it exists! After meeting with soo many wedding clients over the years, I can’t begin to count the amount of times couples have told me, “I saw her (or him) and I just knew”…..  THAT’s why I love my job. I’m not only hired to document all the events that go into a typical wedding timeline, but I also get to photograph emotions and that “I saw her and just knew” moment all over again as the Groom sees his Bride-to-be for the first time.  It’s magic….cue the cheesy music now!! LOL

I love the look on the Grooms face as he reaches up to loosen his tie because he’s so choked up with emotion, I love the tears in the Brides eyes and how she looks up to the ceiling to stop them from falling down her face. I love it all! As I’m approaching my first couple of weddings for 2010 I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about “the first look”. Traditionally, this moment happens when the doors of the back of the church open and there stands the Bride. She’s far away, there’s tons of people staring at her and it makes it difficult to have  an “OMG your so beautiful conversation” at the bottom of the isle.

As romantic as it sounds, to some people, it’s intimidating and what should be “private” moment turns into a public display. So here is what I’m offering to my current/future clients, this may not be for everyone (I understand) but for those of you who want to have a intimate and private “First look”, let me explain. There’s no right or wrong scenario here. And the I agree that there are pros and cons to either waiting until the walk down the aisle or to seeing one another beforehand. Like everything involving your wedding, this is a very personal decision, which means it weighs entirely on your individual preferences. Carefully considering each option is the best way to make the right decision. First of which is to understand WHY the Bride and Groom are kept from seeing each other—traditionally speaking:

I have a lot of Brides who cringe when I ask them if they’d like to see their Groom before the ceremony. “It’s tradition. I don’t want to jinx anything,” is a common answer. Do you know how this tradition came about? The superstition stems from the days when marriages were arranged and the groom might never have seen the bride. There was a chance that he might take one look at her and bolt – so it was often safer for them to meet for the first time at the altar!

With that said, weddings celebrate rich, time-honored tradition. Regardless of which culture, religious affiliation or country of origin the couple represents, traditional elements make their way into the wedding to one degree or another. With so many personal decisions involved in wedding planning, the results are never run of the mill, but oftentimes they’re idiosyncratic, intimate and, hopefully, incomparable. One such decision that you may agonize over is whether to see your partner before the ceremony, or to wait for your eyes to meet an the aisle. It can put you in a conundrum.

As a photographer, if you ask me what I’d prefer- I’d absolutely have to say: Do it, have that private first look. What is the one moment from your wedding day that you really want to carry in your heart and mind forever? For many, it is the moment they first lay eyes on the person they are about to marry. Why not make it personal, intimate and magical? We’d set up a special location and have the Groom waiting patiently. You walk up behind him and place your hand gently on his back so that he knows you are there, he turns around and sees how beautiful you are…and you get a genuine reaction! There’s tears, there’s hugs and there’s soooooo much love in the air. It’s beyond words. It’s love at first sight! I told you it exists!!! 🙂

If your interested, GREAT, give me a buzz and we’ll chat. If your not, well, that’s A-OK as well. As long as I get to eat a piece of cake, I’m happy either way!! Tee he he.


  • Do you know how this tradition came about? The superstition stems from the days when marriages were arranged and the groom might never have seen the bride. There was a chance that he might take one look at her and bolt – so it was often safer for them to meet for the first time at the altar!——-LOVE THIS, LOVE THIS, NEVER KNEW…..MAKES SENSE! LOVE IT!!!

  • Ben says:

    I wish i could have had the first look in private because im pretty sure i might have sworn, hard to beleive i know, at the altar in the church when i saw Amanda for the first time walking down the isle.

  • […] NAE: What is your advice for choosing a wedding photographer? JMP: Brides, you will be with your photographer longer on your wedding day than the man you’re about to marry. Make sure you “LIKE” your photographer. Hire someone you could see yourself be friends with outside of the “wedding world”. The day goes so much smoother and your photos are so much more personal when you have a photographer that you enjoy being around. Long gone are the days of a grumpy, pushy photographer…….and consider doing a first look. I talk in-depth about it here. […]

  • […] do a “first look”, (if you aren’t familiar with it, I talk a little bit about it here) just to get the jitters out of the way. As a matter of fact, I asked Josh a few moments before she […]

  • […] in Weddings For those of you Brides who are concerned that seeing each other for a “first look” will take away from the emotion of seeing you at the alter……..I’d like to beg to […]

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