Get your tissues ready, because first looks slay me every time. I’m not just talking about weepy brides utterly melting when they first lay eyes on their dapper grooms either. Those reunions and intimate moments before the fanfare elicit such pure, overwhelmed emotion between couples that I have to compose myself behind the camera!

And while some cling to the tradition of waiting until the ceremony doors open to lock eyes, there’s truly something magical about capitalising on those pre-wedding hours for artful first looks, private vow exchanges and romantic portraits. So if you ask me, foregoing the suspense leads to amplified joy, deeper connections and dramatically better photographs documenting your journey into “I dos”.

But coordinating a slew of romantic first meetings that wow without feeling contrived is no simple feat. Like any worthwhile endeavour, success requires thoughtful vision, planning and embracing those spur-of-the-moment wild cards unique to every couple.

Choose A Site With Symbolism

Simply reuniting in a hotel hallway or random field near the venue lacks that visceral punch I aim for. But identify a location rife with personal meaning, and we've set the stage for waterworks once the reveal happens. The childhood playground where you first held hands. Your favourite pub booth where he proposed. That scenic outlook snuggled under sunset skies on early dates.

When couples step into nostalgic, emotionally-charged settings they share before embracing, the weight of the moment compounds intensely. I still get misty eyed envisioning a first look I captured under the flickering streetlamp where a couple shared their first teenage kiss. As my bride approached soundlessly from behind and tapped his shoulder, the sight of her radiant smile amidst that familiar glow utterly overwhelmed the groom. He shook with sobs while holding her tight - and I victoriously sniffed back my own tears!

Having personalized history surrounding you makes an impactful difference. So take time selecting a symbolic site that'll dial up the feelings tenfold. Because I swear these "first look" reunions now elicit greater awe and emotional release than the ceremonies!

Trade Heartfelt Personal Vows

Beyond your official “I dos,” consider writing intimate personal vows just for each other during this private window too. The raw authenticity shining through customs words crafted straight from your hearts gets me every time. I’ll position myself discreetly to allow space while still capturing intense reactions in those unguarded moments.

Sometimes I’ll suggest heading to an epic location after the reveal too for a quick mini vow session if you’re up for more adventure. I once shot a couple beneath a stunning waterfall in the Lake District National Park. As crashing waters thundered behind where they clung together, they took turns promising to support each other’s wildest dreams. Epic backdrops matching the scale of your love make for remarkable scenes! Just maybe write words on paper rather than phones if we’re getting sprayed!

Ultimately this time belongs to you two alone. But my responsibility is documenting emotional performances worthy of Oscars and BAFTAs! So lean into the anticipated weight of the coming vows, embrace like your lives depend on it, and let souls meet without reservations. And don’t worry - I’ll be stealthily snapping away to bottle up all the goosebumps, tears and tension beautifully cracking wide open in your new shared world. No pressure though, right?!