Planning on a first look photo?
About half of our couples choose to do a first look photo. This is when the bride and groom have not seen each other in their wedding clothes. After spending hours getting hair and makeup to perfection, and putting on the dress, some brides want to capture the grooms expressions as he looks at his bride!
This is perfect for the bride that has her hair and make-up professionally done, and a groom that shows his emotions. If the bride is planning to wear a nicer dress than normal, and/or doing the normal hair style and make-up, it is not going to elicit the reaction to capture. If the groom holds in his emotions, that will not make a great photo either. So you both need to discuss this!
Many of our elopements are destination elopements and may also be just the couple. So the question is how can they arrive separately. Some suggestions are Uber, if staying on the peninsula for a downtown elopement, then there are bike taxis, your hotel may run a shuttle, or you can get creative. I had one couple place a sheet between the front and back seat so they wouldn't see each other, and the bride rode in the back while the groom drove!
However, if plan to arrive together, and want to stage a "before the ceremony" photo, we can do that...
If you are arriving separately, we can set up the first look in a couple of ways.
The first is a staged first look. The groom will arrive before the bride. We will pull him away from the guests, and set him in a scenic location, facing the opposite way from the direction of the bride's entrance. I will signal the bride to walk up to the groom. He will be standing with back to bride, as she is walking up until she taps his shoulder to turn around. After the moment is captured, I will take the groom back to the ceremony, and he will get in place, and the bride will be signaled to walk in, or be escorted into the ceremony. Or the bride and groom can walk together into the ceremony.
Another option is the traditional walking into the ceremony and the groom seeing the bride for the first time in her dress looking beautiful. In this case, we will get the groom and guests set up. Then I will signal the bride to walk in while taking photos of her entrance. The officiant will have the groom turn to face the bride when she is in clear sight, and we will capture the look on his face!
We can do this either way you want. However, if doing a first look, I think the private first look makes better photos. You can see more example of first look photos on our photo website.