For Brides

3 Benefits of a First Look

March 8, 2016


Henry Clay Inn, Richmond Virginia Wedding Nicki Metcalf Photo_0499

I absolutely love First Looks! They are a newer trend amongst couples that help to eliminate wedding day jitters, allow for more portraits, and extra time with friends and family during the cocktail hour.  First Looks are such a sweet, intimate time to share between you and your significant other before the ceremony but you definitely have to make sure it’s a good fit for you all! I would never press this on anyone but it is certainly something to think about.

Henry Clay Inn, Richmond Virginia Wedding Nicki Metcalf Photo_0498

  1. Relieves Stress

There are so many wedding day jitters! I mean, I remember on my wedding day how I couldn’t stop shaking because of the adrenaline running though my body!  The excitement about the day & the future, is enough to make your nerves go into overdrive. A First Look allows you all to have a sweet moment where you can be engulfed in each other and cry without all eyes on you. This precious moment before the wedding is almost like a dose of good medicine that makes the ceremony a breeze.

Henry Clay Inn, Richmond Virginia Wedding Nicki Metcalf Photo_0500

2.   More Pictures

Doing a First Look means more pictures of you all. Seeing each other before hand is a portrait session in of itself and because you all have seen each other you can knock out the bridal party & family photos. Once the ceremony is over you may have a couple extended family pictures (for the people who weren’t there before the ceremony) but then it’s just you all! It’s nice to have two sessions because A) You get more pictures B) You have more time towards the sunset hour to get those pictures with that dreamy glow!

3.    More Time At Cocktail Hour

Everyone from Uncle Bob, to that friend who lives across the country have flown in from out of state to see you. The only time to  see them is at cocktail hour or after dinner. Doing a First Look allows more time to visit with the friends and family you haven’t seen for a while. Knocking out the images before leaves more leisurely time to mingle and catch up with loved ones. – Believe me, the day goes by quick so extra time is a plus!

Again you have to figure out what is a good fit for you and significant other. There is no “right way” or “wrong way” but there certainly are benefits to doing a First Look that one should consider!


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I see the beauty in imperfect things. As a Christ-follower, faith is central to my life, work, and connections. I am fueled by joy, known for my bubbly and sunny disposition, and always with a warm hug. Imperfect beauty inspires my love for all things vintage, abstract art, and real love stories. I love moments full of grit and emotion; life off the beaten path; stunning views along the shore; and the juxtaposition of New York grunge and laid back Cali-vibe. 

As a mother of two, I am very familiar with how quickly life’s most important moments fly by too quickly. I will calmly and seamlessly guide you through frames that will endure. I strive to capture your memories with one-of-a-kind images full of meaning. I cannot wait to connect with you! 

I bring all of these elements to my time with my couples. With over a decade of experience in the industry, I know how to gently guide you through poses that are natural and beautiful. The transition into this sentence doesn’t make sense. Throughout your day, you will feel the love from those there to celebrate
 you two. 
When I’m not photographing weddings, I enjoy long walks in the neighborhood with my husband, my kiddos Tuxie and Sunny, and my labradoodle Hokie.. Also, I am a huge dog-lover! I’m pretty sure heaven is full of dogs. I can’t wait to connect with you, and yes, your pup is always welcome here! 


FROM my journal


3 Benefits of a First Look

3 Benefits of a First Look

3 Benefits of a First Look

3 Benefits of a First Look

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