How do you decide whether or not you should get ready together or have a first look at your elopement? This blog post breaks down the differences between doing a first look vs getting ready together to help you decide which option is best for you!

I always ask my couples whether they are doing a first look or getting ready together as it can shape the atmosphere and set the tone for the rest of their wedding day. By the end of this blog post, I hope you feel encouraged which option feels right for you!

Make Your Own Tradition

Elopements are all about making your own traditions and throwing all of the rules out the window, but sometimes that can be scary when you’re starting with a clean slate. That’s where I come in to help you walk through the planning process and help you dream up your best elopement day. I am here to support you in bringing your vision to life!

Below you will find ideas and inspiration you can use for your elopement, but this is your reminder that you have free rein to do whatever you want. It is YOUR wedding day! If you want more intentional support, you can book with Juliana Wall Photography here

Reasons Why You Should Have a First Look for Your Elopement

1. First Looks Build Up the Anticipation

Doing a first look can build up anticipation of seeing your partner for the first time in their wedding attire. It can also mimic the excitement of a traditional wedding element by not seeing each other at first. Do you want to be surprised by what your partner is wearing or want to build up excitement? A first look might be perfect for you!

Many couples say that the anticipation is one of the best parts of the beginning of their day because they have been planning everything together up until then. 

2. There is Time to Hang Out With Others While You Get Ready

You are going to spend the rest of the day with your partner! Getting ready can be a great opportunity to celebrate with those who are getting ready with you separately. If you have family members or guests come to hang out with you and help you get ready, it can be a special bonding moment between you all. 

Where to Have Your First Look for an Elopement? 

Even if you’re staying at a private Airbnb or in a hotel room, there are ways to think outside of the box and do a first look depending on the space and other locations you’re going to. If you have family members or guests, they can help get you to the first-look location. The options are endless! As your wedding photographer, I also scout locations beforehand to help you find the perfect location. 

Reasons Why You Should Get Ready Together 

1. You are Already Together 

A lot of couples have breakfast together before their elopement, so that’s a big reason why some couples choose to get ready together too! Plus, it is more time that you’re able to spend together on your wedding day. 

2. You Can Feel More at Ease Before the Ceremony 

You can help each other do buttons, hairspray, ties, and boutonnieres, and it will give you time to relax together. Plus, you’ll feel more at ease before heading out to your ceremony location. 

Either way you go, you’ll get really adorable photos! I’ve started elopement days with first looks and getting ready together moments and every time, it’s special for each couple. 

Can you do both? Can you get ready together and have a first look? 

Yes! You can start to get ready together, and then separate for the final touches (like your wedding dress). Then, you can still do a first look after having gotten mostly ready together! This is a great option if you want to spend as much of the day together as possible while still having an element of anticipation and surprise. 

What Typically Happens With a Sunrise Elopement for Your First Look and Getting Ready

If you want to do a sunrise elopement, especially with a hike involved, this section is for you! You will most likely meet up with your elopement photographer at the trailhead or at the first location. It is likely that you will get ready together at your lodging. Then, you could do a private first look with just the two of you if you wanted to. As a photographer, if it’s important to you to got those moments professionally captured, I sometimes will do a sort of final touch-ups for getting ready at the trailhead or first location. 

Juliana Wall Photography: My Photography Approach

At the end of the day, your elopement day is YOUR day and elopements gives you the freedom to fully customize your wedding day. My approach to elopements is very different than a lot of other photographers because I focus a lot on storytelling, and there’s always a beginning, middle, and end to every elopement day that I photograph. Whether you want me to capture your getting ready photos, first look, or both, I’m here to candidly document it all. Learn more about how to work with Juliana Wall Photography here

You can check out more of my elopement photography below! For more elopement galleries, you can visit my Pinterest or Website Portfolio

Are you looking for an elopement photographer and like my photography style? I would love to capture your elopement! You can book with me here

More Resources for Planning Your Elopement

Now that you have some insight on a first look or getting ready, here are more resources to plan an all-day adventure for your elopement! Check out these blog posts to assist you in planning your DC and Virginia elopements in a way that feels authentic to you.

How to Plan an 8-Hour Washington DC Elopement

How to Plan an Awesome DC Elopement

6 Reasons Why Washington DC is an Awesome Place to Elope

10 Things You Should Know About Eloping in Virginia

How to Legally Elope in Virginia: Everything You Need to Know

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