A couple of years ago I helped to photograph the wonderful wedding of Annika and Adam in Sweden and I was really taken with the First Look Photo Session that they had. This wasn't about anything more than the need to make the most of the natural light for beautiful photographs.
It struck me over last winter that in the UK we have winter weddings, with the ceremony at 2pm or later, and the only way we can create couple portraits is using the flash or video light.
But what if you were to have a First Look Photo Session? The positives of doing this, aside from having the chance to create beautiful photographs during the available light of the daytime, you also get to wear your dress for longer, and you get a private moment together before you get swamped by all the guests, a private moment to enjoy the beauty of each other all dressed up, and a private moment to prepare for the solemnity of the wedding ceremony together.
Why do people not do First Look Photo Sessions? Mainly it seems to be that brides don't want to see the groom because it's tradition not to. But do you know where the tradition started from? In the past when marriages were arranged the groom wouldn't get to see his bride until after the vows, and many times he would discover he had been married off to the uglier sister, or worse still, the bride was who she was supposed to be but she was a very unattractive version of what the groom had seen in the painting he had been sent!
So if you think that tradition stops you from having a First Look Photo Session on your wedding day, think again! It's actually a lovely way of making sure your winter wedding still gives you the chance to have beautiful photographs and you can enjoy that private moment of wonder at seeing each other before the ceremony.
One final thing - if you're worried that the groom will turn up, well, a First Look Photo Session makes it pretty clear he's going to be there!