Timeless, high quality imagery for kind-hearted couples who desire a warm, boutique experience honoring their life-long commitment and legacy.

 Based in Columbus, Ohio and serving state-wide

First Looks to Consider on Your Wedding Day

Ohio Wedding Photographer | Ashleigh Grzybowski Photography

Deciding to include or not include first looks is a personal choice. I always tell my couples that choosing to have (or not have) first look(s) is completely up to each couple and their wishes. As an Ohio Wedding Photographer, I don’t force any couple into having a first look. That is not my role…but it is my role to educate couples on how having or not having first looks will impact the wedding timeline.

Parent First Looks

Each new marriage celebrated on a wedding day is a family legacy of marriages and families. The bride and groom should be the focus on their wedding day. They are coming together to begin a life together and build a legacy. With that, both sets of parents are transitioning into a new phase of parenthood where their child is creating their own family unit. This is an incredibly happy transition and a little bittersweet as well for parents. Setting intentional time apart during a wedding day to connect with your parents is a wonderful way to honor them and their devotion to the support they have given you through out all the years.

Typical parent first looks are:

  • Bride and Father of Bride
  • Groom and Mother of Groom

When it comes to first looks with family there is no set of rules that need to be followed. Plan it as it is fitting for your family. This could look like a bride’s first look with dad and brothers while mom watches the first look. The Mother of the Bride typically helps the bride get into her dress but there can still be time planned for mom and daughter to connect in the bridal suite without other distractions.

Bride hugging her dad during their first look in Cincinnati, Ohio taken by Ohio Wedding Photographer Ashleigh Grzybowski
Groom hugging mom during their first look at The Westin in Columbus, Ohio taken by Ohio Wedding Photographer Ashleigh Grzybowski

Bride & Groom First Look

I begin understanding my couple’s thoughts on a bride and groom first look during the inquiry process. This might seem early since couples are still in the beginning of planning their wedding. After several seasons of photographing weddings, I have learned how much a first look impacts wedding planning, timeline, photography coverage and delivering a gallery couples love. A great example are wedding ceremonies planned after 3pm. Generally speaking, when a ceremony is planned to start after 3pm, a first look is needed in order to photograph portraits in outdoor locations.

My role as an Ohio Wedding Photographer is to educate my couples on how a bride and groom first look will (or will not) impact the flow of their wedding day. Below is a high level guide.

Bride & Groom First Look:

  • Provides a private setting to see each other for the first time and have time to talk with each other. This helps reduces nerves and creates intentional time to spend together on your wedding day.
  • Timeline: A first look gives flexibility to have all or the majority of portraits done prior to the ceremony. With portraits done prior to the ceremony, the bride and groom can attend cocktail hour with guests.
    • Inclement Weather: One of the biggest timeline benefits of a first look is if it is forecasted to rain on the wedding day. A first look allows us a lot of flexibility to adjust portrait time as needed based on rain. It typically doesn’t rain all day so we can be ready react to the weather day of.
  • Most Frequent Question from Brides: Does this mean my groom won’t have a reaction when I walk down the aisle?
    • From my experience, the groom has a similar or even greater reaction when he sees his bride for the second time walking down the aisle. Nerves aren’t as high which allows the couple to focus on each other and not the nerves.

No Bride & Groom First Look:

  • Couple will see each other for the grand moment in the aisle in front of guests.
  • Timeline: All portraits involving the couple together will take place after the ceremony. These include family, wedding party and couple portraits. I recommend a 90 minute cocktail hour and 30 minutes of sunset portraits when there is no bride and groom first look.
  • Most Frequent Questions from Brides: What portraits can we do before the ceremony?
    • When there is no first look, I plan bridal portraits, groom portraits, bride+bridesmaids and groom+groomsmen portraits before the ceremony.
Bride and Groom talking at first look in Columbus, Ohio taken by Ohio Wedding Photographer Ashleigh Grzybowski

Ashleigh Grzybowski is a Wedding Photographer based in Columbus, Ohio and serving couples across Ohio.  Ashleigh specializes in producing timeless, high quality imagery for kind-hearted couples who desire a warm, boutique experience honoring their life-long commitment and legacy.

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