When I have my initial meeting with couples to see how I can work with them with styling or floral design, a lot of them have the same request. They ask me how I can help them get the most out of their wedding day and not miss a moment. I love it when I hear that couples are so excited about their day that they don’t want to miss anything, because that was the most important factor when I was planning my own wedding!
When my (now) husband, Magnus, and I were planning our wedding I told him that I really wanted to do our photos before the ceremony. I wanted to do a ‘first look’ and because Magnus is the most chilled out person of all time he had no problem with it, but there was a reason why having our photos beforehand was really important to me. If you aren't familiar with the concept of a first look, it is quite simple! Basically, you and your partner see each other for the first time before the ceremony and it is captured by a photographer. There are many ways you can coordinate a first look (chat to your photographer or check Pinterest for ideas!) but we set it up so Magnus was waiting with his back turned to the way I was going to enter. I walked up and simply tapped him on the shoulder to let him know I was there!
Instead of me telling you why it was so important to me to have the first look, I have decided to interview Magnus to see if having our photos before the ceremony achieved what I wanted it to. The interview starts below one of my favourite photos of us!
So, we kinda broke tradition and did our photos before our ceremony. What did you think when I suggested it?
I was happy to! We've never really been a traditional couple so I liked the idea of getting the photos done before the ceremony as I knew it would allow us more time after the ceremony. Knowing that we'd be taking photos without leaving our friends and family hanging would mean that we could truly be ourselves, rather than under the pressure of having to get back to a ceremony or after the raw emotions the ceremony would no doubt bring forth. It gave more time for the photos themselves as well and allowed us to choose locations that were really special to us rather than close to the venue. There's no negative, really.
How did you feel at the ceremony when I walked down the aisle having already hung out with me for a few hours that day?
I don't have anything to compare it to, but it was still like seeing you for the first time again! It just all became so real when you walked down the aisle, even though I'd seen you literally minutes earlier! With the crowd and the venue looking so spectacular your arrival still became like its own self-contained event, rather than the next step in the process. It was so special.
What was your favourite part of our pre-ceremony photoshoot?
Probably hanging out at Bobèche just the two of us! It's become a pretty important place for us over the years, a place we often go to just the two of us for a few quiet drinks and a bite to eat. This time we both looked spectacular, but we still had the great chats we always do.
What was the biggest positive about having our photos already out of the way before the ceremony started?
The biggest positive was being able to go straight from the ceremony into celebrating with our family and friends. There was no downtime, just good vibes and happiness with nothing else to be ticked off the "to-do" list.
Well, I think Magnus said it perfectly (it helps that his job is a writer - he always sounds so good!) and having our photos before the ceremony achieved everything I wanted it to! If time is something you are worried about, or you have a special photo location that isn't very close to your venue, I would recommend considering doing your photos before the ceremony. The first look is still super special and it lets you do more of what you want!
If you still aren't sold on the idea, that is fine - it is your wedding do what YOU want! I will leave you with this photo of Magnus and I chilling before the ceremony at our favourite bar, Bobèche. It was a really special moment where we got to be alone (our photographer Steve Wise was like a ninja getting the photos here - we didn't even notice him!) and there was no rush for us to do anything except spend time together.