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  • Writer's pictureKrystal Shuhyta

First Look Wedding Photos: Creating your Wedding Day Timeline for a First Look

If you've recently gotten engaged and found your way here, first can I just say Congratulations! After 2020, I think we have all learned to take a step back and celebrate every single moment. Planning a wedding is exciting, but there is something really special about just being engaged. I hope you and your fiancé are taking time to celebrate every moment.

Before I dive in and gush about how much I love first look wedding photos before a ceremony, in case we haven't met yet, I am Krystal (the boss lady behind Fly Free Photos). I'm one of those crazy people who works with their spouse. Together, we make up Fly Free Photography: a Calgary wedding photographer and wedding videographer team. If you are currently planning a wedding in Calgary, Canmore, Banff, or beyond - make sure to check out our packages here and when you are ready to save the date (or have wedding photography questions!) get in touch here.

Groom looks at bride during first look wedding photos

Planning your First Look Wedding Photos

You don't really need to over plan these first look moments. Emotions will be raw and powerful, and that's honestly the main reason we love it so much. Okay, in case your Type A inner bride that is holding back a scream right now, let me explain. Hire a wedding photographer who you really connect with. Choose someone who's style you love so you know you won't have any hesitations or doubts on the day of. There is nothing worse! If you feel like Fly Free Photos might be the right fit, we would be thrilled if you contacted us here.

Your photographer will guide you through when to place your hand on your fiancé's shoulder (before the big reveal!), pose ideas and even location options. Of course, you can always let us know in advance if there are a few shots you want to make sure to get! Sometimes, couples will add us to their Pinterest board to get an idea of what they are thinking as well. Although we have done this before, it's always nice to feel inspired by your ideas as well!

Rocky Mountain elopement first look wedding photos where bride is behind groom
Rocky Mountain elopement first look wedding photos where bride is behind groom
Groom turns to see bride during first look wedding photos in Banff Alberta and smiles
Groom turns to see bride during first look wedding photos in Banff Alberta and smiles

Creating Your Wedding Day Timeline for a First Look

Another one of the (many) reasons why I love first look wedding photos, is having the ability to completely customize your wedding day timeline around you and your priorities. When you choose to have a traditional wedding ceremony, you have to take your traditional wedding couple portraits, wedding party photos, and any family portraits between the ceremony and reception. Often times, this is a little annoying for your guests, but worse than that YOU end up missing your own cocktail hour.

Groom checks out bride during first look wedding photos in Alberta

Instead, having a first look means that you can spend fifteen mintues or three hours taking wedding photos together. If you want multiple locations, you got it! You can have your family and wedding party meet you before the ceremony to get those photos done as well if you want. Then, after the ceremony, you can head straight to cocktail hour WITH the rest of your guests so you don't miss a second of the adventure.

Another perk? Depending on the time of year, you can plan your ceremony for what we photographers call "golden hour" - about an hour before the sun sets. Golden hour is named after the most dreamy photos taken when the natural outdoor lighting is soft. If you are getting married in the summer, you don't have to worry about sweating in your dress either!

groom looks at bride during first look wedding photos

Being Present on Your Wedding Day

I can guarantee your first look is going to be a really special moment on your wedding day. Often, there is almost no time for "just the two of you" to really take in the day together and just be. I've mentioned before that I think every couple should have a first look before the wedding. It gets any nervous jitters out (and they will come)! I firmly believe you should be one hundred percent present on your wedding day. The last thing you want to do during your ceremony is feel all the emotions and then have a hard time focusing on your vows!

bride approaching groom before first look wedding photos in Calgary

Exchanging Letters at Your First Look

Like I mentioned above, there will be EMOTION. Luckily, that's one of my favorite parts about being a Calgary wedding photographer. I love to capture every minute of it. If you want to make your first look extra special and intimate, consider exchanging letters during your first look. Often, couples love the idea of personalized vows but feel a bit of stage fright reading them out loud in front of all of their family and friends. Reading these personal notes to one another is a great way to have a special moment with your significant other before you walk down the aisle.

bride and groom exchanging letters during first look wedding photos in Calgary

If you are currently planning your wedding and are looking for a photographer and/or videographer, please don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to be considered. You can read more about us here, or check out our elopement and wedding photography packages here. We are more than happy to help our wedding couples with the planning and logistics so don't feel you have to have everything figured out before you reach out either. We are more than happy to provide you with the wedding photography experience you are dreaming of!

bride hugs groom from behind on their Calgary wedding day before the ceremony

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