Hi, Love! My name is Cathy Durig. Most days you can find me chasing my naked nugget around the house, hoping to persuade him clothes are essentially "good". I'm a full-time mama who loves to photographing pretty people, with pretty things, in pretty locations.


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5 Reasons To Choose a First Look



1. The photos taken during a first look capture such an intimate moment between the bride and groom. There are no guests, no vendors (except my second shooter and I, who are off in the distance), it’s just the bride and her man-to-be.

Why do a First Look?

2. The groom’s reaction is typically a little more candid and real. Here me out 🙂 As a bride walks down the aisle… there are so many things that are about to happen during that moment. Yes, the groom sees his bride for the first time… but he’s also about to say his vows to the one person he loves above everything… in front of his closest family and friends. That’s a ton of pressure and emotion swirling around all in one moment. I’m not saying that that is bad thing, but I feel it takes away from his reaction just a tad when looking at how gorgeous his bride is. Also, when a groom is in front of his family and friends, sometimes I feel like they try harder to compose themselves then actually let their emotions shine through. When it’s just him and his bride, the emotion is real, raw, and 100% evident he is excited to see his bride for the first time.

Why do a First Look?

3. For the bride, a first look means she is flawless! Yes, brides are gorgeous all the time… but with a first look… no curl is out of place, no mascara has run, and no wrinkles have found their way onto her dress… she is gorgeous AND flawless. And here’s an added bonus for my lovely brides… after the first look, they get to run in and touch up once more prior to walking down the aisle. This isn’t important to some, but as someone who did have a first look at their wedding… I knew having that extra time to beauty up a bit more meant a lot to me! Cause I did not wake up like this 😉

Why do a First Look?

4. Probably one of the most important reasons why I recommend couples have a first look is because of the photos… or additional photos I should say. Whether my bride choose to have a first look or not, we will always plan time for couple portraits. HOWEVER, and I say this from experience, but sometimes a schedule might not go according to plan (insert surprised gasp here). Maybe your mom added some family group photos that weren’t on our original list, or maybe the ceremony started later due to weather, or maybe family photos fell behind because we lost grandma only to find her later at the bar (true story). When a schedule changes or is delayed, we need to cut time from somewhere else, which typically means it comes from the bride & groom portraits. My goal as a professional and a photographer is to ensure you get the best photos possible, and having a first look ensures that. I can work fast, but I can’t perform miracles. If our time together is somehow cut to 10 minutes, then you’re receive 10 minutes worth of really good photos. But imagine for a second if you had 30 minutes, or 45 minutes of really good wedding portrait photos? Yeah, you got me 🙂

Why do a First Look?

5. Lastly, and probably my favorite reason for doing a first look… the versatility of your portfolio. The first look location chosen, is typically not the same spot I choose for bride & groom portraits post ceremony. So, why does this matter to my couple… because they get an array of photos with different back drops to choose from. Their portfolio is added with portraits from two or three different locations depending upon the amount of time allotted together. Also, the lighting is usually different. Fortunately for some of my couples who chose to do a first look, their bride and groom portraits after the ceremony had grey clouds vs earlier where their was a ton of sun for pretty backlit photos.

Again, I NEVER pressure my couples into choosing one option over another, but if asked, I explain the numerous benefits of having a first look vs not. And for my brides who have done a first, I have never had one bride regret it. Below are Samantha’s thoughts as to her first look experience shared between her and Max:

“One of the first and best decisions we made during our wedding planning process was to hire Cathy to be our amazing photographer. When she initially asked me if we wanted to do a “first look,” I hadn’t really thought about it before and was unsure. But once Cathy explained it, I was sold! It was truly a beautiful, private moment captured without the distraction of our wedding guests. I personally am so glad we shared this moment together before the ceremony, and looking back, wouldn’t have had it any other way!”