A First Look: Is It Right For Us?

We all know how the classic First Look happens. Couples stare adoringly into each other's eyes, arms wrapped around one another before a beautiful landscape. Yes, there’s nothing quite like being in front of a camera at your absolute best, especially with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. So, what’s not to love? That depends who you ask. But don’t worry, we rallied up some arguments for both sides of the First Look debate, to help you decide for yourself if a First Look is right for you and your partner.


PRO: Timeless family artifacts.

On the one hand, First Look moments are incredible, timeless artifacts of not just your wedding day, but of the love you and your partner share right here, right now. Devoting camera time to just the two of you lets you preserve your love for each other in a beautiful, intimate setting. This will provide some compelling pieces for your videographer to work with in telling your story that will stay in the family for years to come.


CON: Posing for the camera.

Some people have no problem showing off in front of the camera, while others feel uncomfortable being the center of attention and being expected to “strike a pose.” If shots like these seem contrived to you, that’s ok! No reason to push yourself to pose after the First Look, especially on the morning of your wedding. If you’re looking to face your fears, however, find a company that makes you feel listened to and encourages you to have fun. At Aurora we like to let our couples sit in the moment, soak it in, and let your emotions determine what we capture (with maybe a touch of guidance.)


PRO: Relax - you’ve got those perfect shots.

The last thing you want to be thinking about on your wedding day is whether or not you're capturing enough good imagery, that's your videographers job. Doing a First Look can allow you to relax throughout the day knowing you had a fantastic portrait session before the ceremony that will stay with you forever. For us, we use your portrait sessions to get adorable cinematic sequences that will hold your wedding film together. With a First Look & portrait session done, you can really feel free to engage with your guests and your wedding party for beautifully natural candids throughout the day and on the dance floor!


CON: You want that moment at the altar.

There is something undeniably magical about seeing your fiancé for the first time on the day of your wedding, waiting for you at the opposite end of the aisle. If you’ve always dreamed of meeting eyes with your soon-to-be at the altar, then by all means! For a lot of couples, no photos are worth missing the once-in-a-lifetime feeling of that sacred moment. That being said, we have found that no matter what the reaction at the altar is JUST as breathtaking in couples that have chosen a First Look or not.


PRO: Start the day together.

Many couples say they’re glad they did a first look - if only to get their tears out of the way! Your wedding day can be an emotional whirlwind of excitement and gratitude, fun and reflection. Even if you think you’re prepared for the chaos, a First Look can serve as a special time for your and your partner to spend together the morning of the wedding. Whether that means crying till you laugh or laughing till you cry, there’s something about coming together in the morning knowing you’ll be hitched before the sun sets that can go along way to keeping you balanced and present all day long.


CON: Another thing to do?

On the other hand, there’s a lot going on the morning of your wedding, and there’s a fair chance the last thing you want to do is worry about getting ready in time for a shoot. Maybe you have a morning ritual, like meditation or a jog, that you know you need to do to start the day off right. Maybe it’s important to you that you spend the morning with your family and closest friends. Whatever you need to get energized, balanced, and excited for the day is what you should prioritize - no matter what.


So, is it right for you?

Only you and your partner can decide. If you’re on the fence try making a pros and cons list of your own, ask married friends what their take was, and browse some of our films (below) that feature a First Look to see if any of them inspire you. Most importantly, listen to your gut, and don’t judge yourself for deciding yea or nay. The most important thing you can do on your wedding day is to enjoy every passing moment. Memories will last, but you're only in the moment once. Dive in and enjoy it!

4 Tips For Beautiful Wedding Day Prep Footage

Still from video.

Still from video.

Many couples say getting ready with their best friends is one of their most cherished wedding memories.  It’s a time for you to unwind, relax, and laugh as you prepare to walk down the aisle and into married life. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to capture beautiful footage of you and your besties. Obviously you want everyone to look their best, so how can you pick a location for your bridal prep that will also serve as a great film set? We’re glad you asked.  Check out these tips below to help you find the perfect backdrop for you and your wedding party. 


1. Natural light.

First and foremost, you want a space that gets a lot of natural light.  A room with a generous number of windows won’t only create a beautiful, joyful environment, it will make your makeup artist’s job a lot easier!  It will translate beautifully on film, there’s nothing like natural light to magically illuminate a shot and create stunning movement and depth.  If a room with natural light isn’t available to you, consider taking things outside for a breather (in a shaded area, for even light) so your cinematographer can capture some moments in a new outdoor environment.  

Still from video.

Still from video.


2. Room to move.

It’s easy to underestimate just how much space people take up, especially when preparing for a wedding! Hotels are usually made for 2-4 people, so 4-8 can make for a tight space. The more open your space is, the better your videographer will be able to capture incredible moments and details, without interruption. Consolidating stuff and clearing away clutter will help make a smaller space look bigger and open up more possibilities for new angles and moving shots. Keep in mind that ample space also goes a long way in keeping everyone relaxed and comfortable with room to breathe!

Still from video.

Still from video.

Still from video.

Still from video.

3. party up, music down (just a little bit.)

Of course you want your favorite jams going in the background, but remember to keep it low. An essential part of a good film is capturing wonderful sounds in addition to beautiful footage; champagne popping, people laughing, heels clicking out the door.  Having that ambience and those little soundbites will help bring the experience to life on film, so you can relive it again and again. 

4. HIRE A GREAT WEDDING videographer.

Now, of course we would say this, but it's TRUE. You want your day documented by someone you can trust to express the spirit of you and your partner. You want someone who can adjust quickly to the given circumstances and work with whatever environment and subjects they have. A great videographer is extremely attentive to detail and is constantly looking for shots to built into a story in the editing room. During the bridal preparation, the right videographer will capture beautiful footage discreetly and professionally so you feel completely natural and at ease in front of the camera. This can set the tone for the rest of the day, so it’s important you hire someone who will help you look & feel your best.

Still from video.

Still from video.


Gathering with your friends as you prepare to take your vows is a beautiful & timeless tradition that you’ll cherish for years to come. On their search, many couples hire a videographer with the ceremony, the first dance, the cutting of the cake in mind.  But sometimes it’s the littlest moments in between that can really transport you back to the times you shared with those you love!
You can see these prep locations of our amazing couples Devin + Alyssa and Justin + Caitlin in action in their films below:

Devin + Alyssa