What is a first look? Is it for you?

There has been a bit of a change in tradition lately.  Believe it or not, brides and grooms are opting to see each other before their ceremony. [insert white faced, open mouthed emoticon here]  Now, this is not for everyone for sure.  But that is the beauty of your wedding day, it is your wedding day.  You should plan it how you and your fiance most want to enjoy it.  I do not pressure my couples either way.  I just think everyone should be aware of the option and consider if it is a good fit for them or not.  So let’s take a look at the pros and cons.


There are a few ways to incorporate a First Look into your day.

  1. You can have your First Look and have some time allotted for just bride and groom portraits before the ceremony.  Bridal Party and other photos will still be done after the ceremony but may not require as much time.
  2. You can have your First Look and time for ALL of the photos including bridal party and family photos before the ceremony.
  3. You can have your First Look then go right into the ceremony without having portraits done.  You would then still have portraits done after the ceremony.


  • One of the biggest reasons couples choose a first look is because they do not want to miss their cocktail hour or any minute of the reception for photos.  They want to get their photos done before the ceremony and just go about the rest of their day with their friends and family.
  • One of my favorite reasons to do it is to help calm nerves.  Every time I witness a First Look, the bride and groom seem so relaxed after.  They have even said, “Phew, I feel better now.”
  • You will get to have a moment to yourselves, react how you feel in your heart when you first see each other.  This is a quiet time when you can just be with each other.
  • It often helps timelines.  I have yet to see a timeline that having a First Look has hurt.



  • Tradition!  This is the biggest hurdle for many to overcome.  Many just can’t bring themselves to do it even if they can see the pros and understand how it could be beneficial.
  • The worry that the moment when first seeing each other at the alter will somehow fall short and be less magical.


No matter what your final choice is, let it be yours and own it.  As I said before I do not push.  I do love First Looks, but I completely respect the wishes of my couples.  You shouldn’t have regrets about your day.

A post worth reading next: Couples share their experience with The First Look

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Welcome to my blog! I love sharing images from weddings and sessions with you all. Grab a cup of coffee or kill some time between commitments while enjoying some beautiful people!

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