Did anyone have an evening ceremony and NOT do a First Look? Show me your pics!

posted 4 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
488 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

My FH is completely against a first look, and I thought about the same predicament, so we scheduled the wedding so we would still have enough daylight to get pictures, so I can’t speak from experience, but there are many recaps on here with nighttime pictures that are absolutely breathtaking. I would talk about it wih your photographer and make sure they’re comfortable with not having natural sunlight

Post # 4
3852 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We didn’t do a first look. We did the ceremony starting at 4:30. We did individual shots before the ceremony – him and his family, him and the GM, me and my family, me and BM’s, et. to shorten the amount of time we’d need for pictures after the ceremony. It took us about 40 minutes during cocktail hour for pictures. Then the photographer grabbed us at the end of dinner to do a few more couple shots since the sunset light was good. That was about 20 minutes. 

Post # 5
3672 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Fanciful:  Our ceremony started at 4:00 and we didn’t do a first look, neither of us wanted it. No pro-pictures yet but here are some guest photos, I think the light was perfect for both the ceremony and for pictures. I have nothing from my photographers so I can’t show you how our couple shoot went but we weren’t really chasing the light and had an hour to do all the pictures we wanted. I think a first look would have ruined the emotional aspect of me walking down and him removing my veil. Our firts kiss was the first kiss we got that day and I would never change how special it was (the third picture is me wiping his tears after he lifted my veil). 

Post # 6
5801 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Fanciful:  If you’re not open to doing a first look, you just have to be okay with pretty standard formals. Now, family formals are always going to be pretty standard – but you’ll also have to be okay with standard and limited amount of bride/groom and bridal party photos. Most likely you’re going to be doing them inside somewhere (because you’ll have no light outside), and unless you’re in a swanky hotel lobby with tons of furniture and accents – you just won’t have much vareity. Being outside means you’re changing backgrounds, able to move around, and just get more variety. 

There is a huge differene between not doing a first look and having a ceremony time that allows plenty of light afterwards for photos, and one that will be dark. A candlelight ceremony means it will be night, and dark. The best thing you can do is discuss it with your photographer and get their opinion. The same thing I just told you is what I’d tell any client of mine planning a late ceremony. 


The pictures posted really aren’t relevent, because their ceremony was still during daylight – albeit not full sun. The OP is dealing with candlelight, which means it will be totally black night outside. Different ballgame. 

Post # 7
2451 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

We had no first look, because we had a traditional wedding. Our ceremony was around 6:30pm, so it wasn’t quite the candlelit ceremony you’re looking for, but it was perfect for magic hour. We had a brief spell of late afternoon sunlight for our first photos together and then the sun started setting. 

Post # 8
406 posts
Helper bee

If you are indeed getting married in March and having an evening ceremony then of course you’ll have no natural light at all. Your photos don’t need to be horrid at all. But you do need to hire a photographer who is very proficient using flash and can do so quickly and with a sense of creativity. That is normally not something lower end photographers are equipped for/ skilled in. Of all the bad fails I see, bad use of flash is the most common. have you hired a photographer yet? 

Post # 10
1242 posts
Bumble bee

My daughter is having her ceremony at 6pm in January and the venue is dark inside also.  I was completely worried until we spoke to the photographer.  He assured us it will be fine.  He went into some detail about the type of lighting he has and that he had shot weddings in the same venue before.  As someone mentioned previously, he is definitely not a lower end photographer though.  Photography was one of her priorities from the beginning.

Post # 11
1558 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Our ceremony started at 6:30 and we didn’t do a first look either =) So glad we didn’t too!

Post # 12
693 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Legare Waring House

We’ll be having a 6pm ceremony, no first look, so commenting to follow!

Post # 13
349 posts
Helper bee

My daughter was insistent that her ceremony be in the evening with lots of candlelight, so it is set for this December 20th, one day before the shortest day of the year!  By the time the ceremony begins at 6:00 p.m., it will be completely dark.  She is equally insistent that there will be no first look, as is her groom.  We’ll do as many photos before as possible, including her formal bridals, but anything with the bride and groom together must wait.  Our photographer assures us that we can complete family formals within 30 minutes after the ceremony, and from viewing her portfolio, she handles lighting well.  She is planning to do some photos of them together at our reception venue prior to them entering the room.  In fact, we met with the venue yesterday to plan how we will get them in there with the photog, yet keep them out of sight from the guests until they are announced.  I think it’s going to work well, and hope your logistics come together as easily! 

Post # 14
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

If you’re talking about having zero sunlight than none of these photos are relevant to your predicament. As a photographer I don’t understand people’s objections to first looks, but if that’s not something that can be changed at all, then you really need to find a photographer who is extremely competent in a no light scenario. Be very up front with them about the timeline. Flash requires a lot more time to set up than shooting in natural light.

Post # 16
4527 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@atlbride2013:   Your dress is divine!!!  You look like royalty!!  

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