One of the best parts of a wedding day is the first time a groom or a bride gets to see his or her S.O. (and soon-to-be spouse). It’s exciting, emotional, and downright electric to see the chemistry just bubble up between the two of them – and it’s absolutely something that we love to be a part of on our couple’s special day. It’s pretty much just as magical a moment as it was when they got engaged, heart rates raging, tears streaming, the most important four words a partner can ask proudly leaving their mouth, and this time, it can all be captured – since it’s not so often that the one popping the question has a photographer on hand to shoot the shocking proposition.
Photographers live for first looks and the raw emotion and vulnerability that unfolds with them, and our couples just make it look so easy. Fortunately, for the brides and grooms that do want to have a first look – and not all want them, many still appreciate and look forward to that iconic walk down the aisle to make their debut (and we’re all for that, too!) – Leonard’s Palazzo has several spots to stage the surprise encounter.
I won’t lie, now going into my fifth year of marriage, I still have regrets about not doing a first look with my husband. I’ll get over it, of course, but [first] looking at these sweet snapshots between our LP soulmates definitely maxes out my ‘missed opportunity’ mindset. In any case, here are a few of our best first look locales, prefaced, first, by some tips to really amp up the anticipation factor!
First look rulebook (if you’re so inclined):
Stay tight-lipped before the look.
We’re all for our couples staying in communication on their wedding days, nuptials are nerve-wracking, so it helps to have your partner in crime closeby to ensure you’re chill, but there’s something fun about keeping ‘shhhh’ until you see each other! Write each other notes and have your Best Man+Maid of Honor deliver the goods to your guy or girl. Or maybe even have flowers delivered to her suite or a whisky flight to his to keep each other in good, happy spirits. Heightening that anticipation will make for some epic results! Including all that first look lip-locking! 😘
Keep it to just the two of you.
Going back to that thought about a first look being ALL about the emotion and palpable energy between the soon-to-be newlyweds, we always think it’s better when the experience doesn’t involve too many extra people. No one needs to feel added pressure of having to ‘perform’ in front of their bridal party or parents, it’s enough that a photographer (sometimes two!) and videographer are shooting it in the background. You can tell your crew ALL about it when you’re getting ready for your ceremony, but as for the moment itself, just let it be you two.
Props can be [picture] perfect.
Definitely limit your first look to just you and your fiancé, but if you want to involve props, then more power to you! ((After all, in the last year alone, there have been tons of couples making the news with their cute/creative first looks – grooms in dinosaur costumes, brides in dressed-down duds, etc.)). We’ve had couples show up to their shots in matching high-top sneaks and grooms greeting their girls with balloons. Even without props, brides bring it with their gowns and their bouquets and make them work for the poses.
And again, for our couples who have been dreaming about doing first looks, we have quite a few amazing staging areas to make it happen!
Whether it’s fun and playful outside in our gardens – no peeking, pleaseee!! Or at the bottom of our winding staircase, for a bride’s stunning grand entrance – any first look is one to love at Leonard’s Palazzo!
Front page feature image courtesy of @charleseamesphoto.