First look on the Benbow Inn lawn in Garberville, California

Stabilizing The Space Time Continuum… Or All the First Look Feels

Fact: your wedding day is going to be incredible. All of your favorite people will convene in one fantastic location to celebrate your brilliant selves and all that has brought you to this very moment. Your wedding day will also inevitably involve a small degree of overwhelm. Even the most laid back, low key couples aren’t accustomed to this much time in the spotlight.

Now this is the part where I tell you about a supremely boring but necessary component of wedding planning: time management.

1. Goodbye Timeline Tetris

A first look eliminates timeline Tetris. A chorus of planning angels will herald your decision to opt for a first look. Seeing each other before the ceremony has a beautiful waterfall effect in that doing so also allows you to schedule formal family photos before the ceremony. This means that when your ceremony is complete, you can pass GO and move directly to the party.

Bride and groom seated together at Oyster Beach elopement

2. Family Formals Won’t Feature Sobbing Family Members

Wedding vows are emotional. Your family is emotional. You do not come from a family of beautiful cryers. Don’t worry, ugly crying is the best. Think of it as face confetti. However, what this means for group photos lined up after your ceremony is that you will chance the tear streaked, red faced vibe or allow time for your family to freshen up… further cutting into cocktail hour.

3. You Want to Enjoy Cocktail Hour

Yes. Yes, you do. There are only so many hours in this magical day. Family formals can take up to an hour depending on how many groups and combinations are involved… and how many family members have already headed for the bar. Herding cats has nothing on Uncle Harold when he’s after a dirty martini.

4. People Have Traveled Through Time and Space for This Day

Basically. Your people are here for you. Why not arrange your schedule in a fashion that optimizes the time you have to spend with them. Trust me when I say this truly is the rarest of days and this cosmic convergence of people and place will not happen again. Make the most of it!

Bride with blue hair holds a strawberry picked from the garden at the Lost Whale Inn during her redwood coast wedding.

5. You Want Stunning Portraits with a Comfortable Time Commitment

I prefer to divide wedding day portrait sessions into half. We’ll do an easy 30 minute session once you’re ready for your wedding mode reveal. I recommend that your first look be done privately – minus the gallery of well meaning onlookers. Save this time to breathe together before the tsunami of love and admiration crashes ashore.

As the sun begins to set, we’ll go out past the party lights again for a second golden hour session. No, you don’t want to sleep on the California light if you are so fortunate. Bring your champagne and high five to the sounds of the evening and an incredible party.

Sectioning your wedding portraits creates a much more relaxed experience as you won’t feel rushed or overwhelmed by events.

A quick note…

While a first look definitely streamlines your day, it is not the only way to sequence things. I’m here for whatever decision makes your heart happy – remember this is your wedding and your joy is my prime directive. Part of my job is to zero in on the components of your day that may feel nebulous and clarify all outcomes. I’ve got you.

Have questions about your wedding day timeline? Get in touch!