There’s nothing like seeing your partner for the first time on your wedding day. Photographing that joy and love during the first look is one of my favorite parts of being an elopement photographer. The key to a perfect first look? Planning out what you envision. Does time of day make a difference? Where will it happen? When it comes to how to plan a first look for your elopement, there are so many ways to make it your own. Here are my favorite tips.
What is a “first look”?
A “first look” is a more modern wedding ritual where you see each other for the very first time on your wedding day, in your outfits, and before the “walking down the aisle” moment. It’s a beautiful, quiet moment before the ceremony to take in your partner in all their beauty.
Why couples love a first look
During elopements, a first look allows couples to capture that magical moment when they first see each other all dressed up. It’s an emotional and special moment that is totally worth planning to make sure you get some amazing reaction photos.
How to plan a first look for your elopement – even if you’re getting ready together!
Most couples think eloping means they won’t be able to have any kind of “first look” photos – but that’s not true at all! I’m a pro at being the unofficial bridesmaid and groomswoman and I’ve helped most of my couples button up dresses and pin boutonnieres. I’m still mastering the whole tie-a-tie thing, but I’m a pro at holding the phone while you YouTube it. 😉
Planning a first look during an elopement does take a little bit of creativity, especially if you’re getting ready together. Here are my favorite tips:
- Get ready in the same place – until you get dressed: One partner leaves and gets dressed in private. The you have the first look before we leave for the ceremony location. There are so many unique ways to get ready together before your elopement which you can read about here.
- Arrive separately: If your location is accessible by car, plan to get ready separately and arrive on your own. One of you takes the car, another takes an Uber. If you’re staying in Waikiki, I can always give one of you a ride!
- If you’re arriving together…: You can still have a first look! Plan your first look at your hotel or Airbnb, or ride together and then change when you get to your ceremony location.
Want more elopement tips? I’m always sharing the goods over on IG @chelseastratso. Follow along to help plan along for your wedding day!