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first looks, and why i big puffy heart them ~ tulsa wedding photographer

I love first looks.   


I love them more than David Carrodine loved closets. #toosoon  


And long after the plague of locusts that either friends or family told you would descend upon the both of you should you see each other before the ceremony never come to pass, you’ll have beautiful, emotional, awesome photos to enjoy and show your kids and your grandkids. 

There are some people, bless their hearts, that are hell bent on keeping traditions they don’t stop to understand the origins of.  Dearest well meaning family member, the whole idea of not seeing each other before the wedding ceremony originated back in the day when marriages were arranged between families. The whole point was that just in case the bride was a morbidly grotesque ox-beast of an individual, the groom wouldn’t have a chance to run screaming for the hills until he saw the bride during the wedding ceremony.  

Too late, sucker. You’re hitched. Bring on the ox-beast babies. 

If you, the bride, would like to avoid seeing your sweet hunka hunka burnin’ love before the wedding, then rock on. I’m absolutely good with that.  But, and it’s a big but, (I blame the holidays) what makes me twitchy is when a bride wants to do a first look, and eventually gives in to whichever parent/friend/sibling/demon that feels it necessary to vomit their irrelevant opinions all over them until they no longer can handle the stress.   

Let me pause here and say something blunt.

Lean in close, stop the music, and let this sink in.   


Here goes.   


Your wedding is exactly that.




Not your mother’s, not your sister’s, not your bff’s. It’s yours. It’s one of the biggest days of your entire life, and just because someone else feels like they need to step in and live vicariously through you and wreak havoc with your nerves and your wedding, I’m sorry. Ain’t nobody got time for that. This is exactly why one of the last paragraphs in my contract states that you, the bride, are the sole decision maker at the wedding. It doesn’t matter who writes the check, it doesn’t matter what intoxicated relative tells me go take pictures of a squirrel on the balcony, it doesn’t matter what some Nazi wedding coordinator tells me to do. The final say on anything that involves me and my cameras on your wedding day is completely and totally your say. Period. Ever. Ever, ever. 


Your wedding day will go by in a heartbeat. And even if the both of you are the most laid back, calm people in the world, there’s going to be people around you flipping the heck out and in full stress mode. A first look is a few minutes for the two of you to be alone, hang out, hug, laugh, talk, and breathe. The added bonus is that you have beautiful photos of a really sweet and emotional moment between the two of you. And the big, fat cherry on top of all of that is that once you see each other, wedding party photos can be done as well as the photos of you both. And if family is present and accounted for, you can get the family formals out of the way as well. Any stragglers can be included immediately after the ceremony, and then guess what? After your ceremony you can go straight to the reception, because your photos are out of the way.   

Again, for those of you that don’t want to do a first look, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, providing it’s what you actually want and not what someone else wants for you.

But if you’re even remotely considering it, do it.   


They’re really kind of awesome.   





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