The First Look – Why It’s Worth It

August 17, 2018

From Our Costola Brides

Your first look is an amazing part of your wedding day! Please know that we would never want any of our couples to feel pressured to go with this option. However, we do want to make sure that we share all of the benefits of a first look because there is a reason 90% of our couples do it and LOVE it!

First Looks are AWESOME. However, not everyone is aware of how awesome they are because they get caught up in how “non-traditional” it is and they immediately write it off. We can talk about those brides because I was almost one of them. I wanted a REACTION….I wanted Tony to be so surprised and overcome with joy when I walked down the aisle that he bawled at the first sight of me! Isn’t that EVERY girl’s dream? Who doesn’t want that reaction? Luckily, I was able to have the best of both worlds because Tony and I decided to share an intimate “First Look” moment on our wedding day AND he still LOST IT when I came down the aisle. He was in tears and so was everyone who was watching him!! YESSS!! I felt like a million bucks. Walking down the aisle on my wedding day was a moment that I will treasure for a lifetime!!

Now let me put a disclaimer on here before we continue…our clients are not required to do a First Look by any means! I used to feel bad for sharing this option with couples who were against it because I didn’t want to push anything on them. However, I’ve seen the benefits of a first look over and over again and so I only share this because we want the BEST for our couples!! It’s totally okay if couples choose not to share a first look! It’s just our preference to do one for many reasons…. Keep reading to find out more of the benefits of sharing your first look privately!


40% More Portraits

You’re investing a lot into your wedding photography. With a first look, you’ll receive 40% MORE portraits of the two of you… and those are the images you will decorate your first home with! (Believe me, our house is PACKED full of our portraits!) With a first look, you make the most out of this large investment and get the most for your money.

“I LOOOOOVED doing the first look, I also was hesitant at first. However, best decision ever! We actually did ALL of our formal pictures before the ceremony! That way we could do a sunset wedding ceremony, and then everyone went straight to reception while Justin and I did just a few sunset couple shots. During our first look we read very intimate vows to one another, got the crying out of the way, and then the nerves of saying I DO in front of everyone was gone, we kept the ceremony short and sweet and left the mushy gushy for the first look. I not only recommend doing the first look, but doing all of the formal pictures before!”

– Brynn Gibson

Enjoy The Surprise Freely

You actually get to have intimate time on your wedding day with your man. Most brides don’t realize that when you come down the aisle and totally SHOCK him with your gorgeousness… he can’t even tell you how amazing you look. He can’t touch you, embrace you or even SPEAK to you. You have to wait until 30 minutes later when the ceremony is over for him to react and tell you how amazing you look. And after 30 minutes of the ceremony, the reaction isn’t the same as the initial first glance.

“The emotion that we both felt was beyond what could have been offered when you have 70+ people watching you both, in my opinion at least. Even though it’s all family and friends there’s just something so nerve wracking about that. I knew during our first look that Michael and I would be able to embrace each other and be in awe of each other for as long as we wanted to be without having to then follow our structured timeline. It seemed less chaotic, more relaxed and more personal to both of us. I cherish that moment forever of how he looked at me and the anticipation I felt walking to him before he turned around, it was unreal. It was by far our favorite part of our day. Andie and Tony were amazing! It felt like Michael and I were alone which I think is important for such an emotional moment. You guys even gave us some time to be truly alone with each other which was really nice to have. Not to mention the extra perks of having double the portrait time!”

– Amber Pasqualle

Extend Your Day By Hours

A first look allows you to extend your wedding day. Normally the wedding day would start when you come down the aisle, then the ceremony would end, you would rush through portraits so that you’re not late for the introductions and then it’s reception time. With a first look, your wedding day is extended by hours! Instead of being rushed for your bridal party portraits… you actually get to enjoy them and have fun hanging out with your BEST friends on your wedding day. The WHOLE first half of our client’s wedding albums are filled with images just from this time together before the ceremony.


Your Only Alone Time

A first look allows you to be TOGETHER and alone on your wedding day. When Tony and I saw each other, not only was it intimate, it was our only time to be alone the whole day! We cried and laughed and cried some more… and then that put us in the PERFECT mood for our romantic portraits. Normally portraits are a little rushed after the family formals and it can be hard to really get back into that “lovey dovey” mode…. especially with family around! When you have just shared your first look, you’re READY to love on each other and I always capture some super sweet images during those moments!

“I always imagined that the first time my husband saw me in my wedding dress would be as I walked down the aisle to him. After a consultation with Costola and trying to work out a timeline for our evening beach wedding to get the best lighting, you recommended doing first look photos to give us plenty of time and light for couples portraits. The day of our wedding I was so glad that I listened to you and chose to do a first look; it relaxed our timeline and there was no pressure of an entire audience seeing me at the same time my husband did. The first time he saw me in my dress was just between us, you, and Tony and that made it so much more special and sweet. We were able to relax and enjoy the time and our portraits without worrying about the lighting or the attendees. I am so glad we trusted you!”

– Lauren Jones

Diminishes Nerves

You get rid of your nerves! We’d say, literally half of our couples who have decided to do a first look, the grooms were not fans of it at first. However, because they have never experienced their wedding day before, they didn’t know how nerve racking it can be. We have testimonials from so many grooms who initially weren’t a fan of the rst look… but afterwards admitted to being SO much more relaxed and ready for the ceremony!

” I eloped and still did the first look because I was SOOOOO nervous. Getting those nerves out allowed me to focus on my actual vows. Because let’s be serious you hear nothing when your standing up there and it was important for me to actually heat the commitment I was making and remember the words being spoken.”

– Brooke McNab

Costola Photography Chesapeake Bay Beach Club

Avoid Unfortunate Weather

“Shane and I did not want to do a first look originally. We wanted that first moment to be when he saw me walking down the aisle in front of all of our family and friends. The ceremony was originally planned for outside, however, Mother Nature was not working in our favor and we had to move everything inside so that our guests didn’t get soaked. About 30ish minutes before the ceremony was supposed to start, there was a break in the rain and Andie pulled me aside and asked how I would feel about doing the first look and wedding party photos before the ceremony since it may be the only break in rain we get. Tony had already talked to Shane and he said that he was okay with it as long as I was. Andie said we could do the first look in the vineyard and with the break in the clouds it would make for great pictures. I trusted her instinct and went for it. And she was 100% right. With all of it. The moment was more than I ever could have wished for and those pictures turned out to be my favorite from the entire night. Andie and Tony made it extra special for us since it originally was not in the plan and I could not thank them enough for suggesting we go for it last minute. I think it being last minute made it that much more special and raw. That moment set the tone for me for the rest of the evening. I was so much more relaxed and calm about everything. The one thing I learned from that moment was to trust the photographers and go with the flow. The pictures turn out amazing and truly capture the emotions in the moment. People tend to stage their reactions when they know what’s coming. Being caught off guard by the first look, especially at the last moment possible, completely speechless.”

– Addy Cleaveland

Comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

about costola

meet andie

At home near the sea. Ever-focused on beauty and the thrilling art of creation; found in the moments that leave me breathless and in awe. 

After 15 years of capturing couples and families during the most precious times of their lives, she can truly say that this is exactly where she is meant to be. When she isn't photographing weddings, Andie enjoys the outdoors alongside her husband, Tony and daughters, Ava & Audrey.



Modern DC Engagement

National Portrait Gallery Wedding

private estate wedding

Eastern Shore family Session


         tips for a stress free session

Portrait Sessions can be stressful, but if you arrive with a few tricks in your bag, you’ll come away with portraits that perfectly capture what family is all about.

WP to LinkedIn Auto Publish Powered By :