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Is a First Look Right For You?

First looks have taken the wedding world by storm in the past few years. If you aren’t familiar with the term, it’s a new way to see your fiance before the wedding ceremony begins. It usually only includes the couple, the photographer, and the videographer. The goal is to capture the raw emotion of the couple seeing each other for the first time, away from family and friends.

Is it right for you?

Here are some pros and cons:


  • They can ease the nerves of an anxious bride or groom. Seeing your partner can reassure you that this day is not a dream and that it is actually happening.
  • The pictures are absolutely adorable.
  • It might be the only time the couple gets to relax together on the crazy and hectic day.
  • If your wedding is in the fall or winter months then incorporating a first look can really help with your wedding portraits. The sun can go down as early at 5:00 p.m., therefore, a first look would be a great way to get that natural light before it goes away.
  • You can enjoy your cocktail hour more! Less picture to take = more time to party.
  • Even if your wedding is not in winter months it can allow for more portraits to be taken before the ceremony, allowing for either a shorter cocktail hour or more time for family portraits.
  • It is undoubtedly full of emotion. Some have a hard time showing emotion in front of large groups of people, so a more intimate occasion could make it more comfortable.


  • First looks are not traditional. It might be hard convincing mom or dad that this is what you want to do. If you are more traditional it is totally okay to not do a first look!
  • Vendors can often try to talk you into a first look because it makes more sense on the timeline. Stay true to what you and your fiance want to do.
  • A groom seeing the bride walk down the aisle is one of the most special things in the world. A first look won’t take this away completely but it will be different.
  • Having a first look can mean that you have to rush your hair and makeup or start getting ready earlier.

Want to do a First Look? Keep These Things in Mind:

  • Try to tell your photographer as soon as possible. First looks are usually not in the most “ideal” part of the day. They may have to find a nice shaded location due to lighting.
  • Tell your wedding planner/ day-of-coordinator as soon as possible. If you are on the fence about it, tell your planner to put it on the timeline anyway. It is more practical to take a first look away then to add one the day of.
  • Your bridal party is going to want to watch the emotional moment. Now if you want them to, that is more than okay. If not, don’t be afraid to tell them that.
  • Book your hair and makeup artist for 2-3 hours earlier than you originally planned. You want to make sure the day has little to no stress. Nothing adds stress like having to rush through getting ready!!