The First Look is a tradition in the USA that hasn’t really taken off here in the UK. As I understand it, in the States, it’s common for the bride and groom to meet before the ceremony and this moment is a ‘must have’ for wedding photographers on the other side of the pond. Here it’s quite rare, I can only remember a couple of weddings over the last twenty years when this has happened. The vast major of my wedding photography is unposed and journalistic in style so it’s not something I would stage or set up. When it’s organised by the bride and groom though, I am more than happy to document this moment for the couple.
It must be a very different experience for the groom than for the bride. I always find it a lovely moment in church when the groom sees his bride for the first time. Traditionally of course he will have no idea what the dress looks like but nearly always the bride will know exactly what the suit will look like so I guess it’s not so much of a surprise for her.
The reason I love this photograph is of course because of the expression on Christopher’s face. It was photographed at their Herons Farm wedding towards the end of the summer last year. It was an outdoor ceremony and the couple met just around the corner near the riding stables at the farm whilst the guests were gathered on the lawn by the cottage. Chris’s back was to his bride until she got near and called out his name. He turned around and I’ll hope you agree that the expression says it all really, his beautiful bride ready for the wedding ceremony. In many years time, this image will become a treasured moment for them I hope.