fern cottage wedding venue

First Look|What is it|Should we do it?|Is it right for us?|

First Look|What is it?| Should we do it?| Is it right for us?| 

Many of my couples ask me whether or not they should have a first look. If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering the same thing. In my professional opinion, I think they are an excellent idea. I love first looks! I know that they are a tad bit ‘untraditional,’ but let me take a minute to explain the benefits of a first look.

1. Your wedding day will be crazy busy! No getting around it. You have so much to do and so little time to do it in. If you have a first look, it helps to calm down the day a bit. Instead of trying to rush around to get everyone together and have pictures taken between the wedding ceremony and reception while your guests are waiting, and watching the process (yes, they like to linger, even if you think they won't)  you’ll have that time to relax and enjoy your guests and not have to worry about being late to your reception. They came (many times from far away places) to see you and your husband. They want to visit and say their congratulations and party down with you. By getting to the reception sooner, there is less down time and the party can start now that the main guests have arrived. We can do all of the main portraits before the ceremony even begins – at the very least, the bride and groom and bridal party photos. This way, your hair and makeup are still perfect, as they were just finished. If your family is coming earlier, we can do their photos beforehand, as well, or we will only have to worry about those portraits after the ceremony and not the bridal party shots.


2. A first look also gives you a very special, intimate moment with your new spouse. If you are nervous or stressed out, this will especially help to relax you, and your spouse can comfort you and let you know it will all be OK. You get to have a special intimate moment to connect and touch base and share your nervous excitement. A couple minutes to breathe. Believe me, this is hard to do after the ceremony.  During the ceremony, there are 200 eyes on you and him and you can’t fully take in the moment because everyone is staring at you. With a first look, that moment is just between you and your spouse (and your photographers, of course). Plus you get BOTH experiences. You get an intimate moment between the two of you and you STILL get that first look down the aisle...which is a completely different feel. The "Oh my Gosh, it's about to be real. Is it too late to run? moment. Juuuusssttt kidding! 

3. Even if you have a first look, your husband will be just as happy to see you walking down the aisle and you’ll still take his breath away. Don’t worry that you’ll be spoiling the moment by seeing him prior to the ceremony.


While I really like the first look on a wedding day, I shoot both. Ultimately it is up to the bride and groom to decide what is best for them, and what they are looking for out of the day. So relax, enjoy the wedding planning process and decide what's right for you and your groom 😀

Daniel & Jessica: Fern Cottage Wedding

Daniel & Jessica: Fern Cottage Wedding

While booking a senior session for next fall, I was reminded of this beautiful wedding that took place in the summer or 2016. Daniel and Jessica's wedding at Fern Cottage in Ferndale, California was one I fondly remember. I knew it would be a guaranteed good time with "amazing food" at a beautiful venue,  and it did not disappoint in any of these categories. Daniel and Jessica are a fun loving and laid back couple, and this is everything I hope for when I photograph weddings. I wish for plenty of laughter, smiles, beautiful venues, and down to earth couples with big hearts for the people in their lives.