February 16, 2024

Do You Want a First Look?

For Brides


Your wedding day is a whirlwind of emotions, and one of the most anticipated moments is the first time you see your person on that big day. How do you know if you want a first look? Traditionally, couples wait until the ceremony to share this magical moment, but there’s a growing trend that challenges this tradition—the “First Look.” This involves couples seeing each other before the ceremony, capturing that intimate, private moment.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to having a first look. And that’s with EVERY part of your wedding! Make it your own. Create a day that you will soak up and bask in! Include only what is important and meaningful to you as a couple. Nothing more, nothing less. Do nothing out of obligation, and realize that you can include anything meaningful on your big day – bridal party brunch, confetti exit, coffee with your mom before getting ready, making flower crowns with your bridesmaids, getting ready together instead of separately… truly make your day YOURS.

With that, the goal of this post is to discuss first looks to help you make an informed decision on if you want to include one in your big day or not.

Why some couples DO want a first look:

  • Connection:
    Experiencing the first look privately allows you to share a genuine, intimate moment just the two of you. It’s not so much about the reaction as it is about having the space to be alone and share your excitement before the ceremony. The absence of onlookers can create a more emotional and authentic connection, letting you express your feelings freely.
  • Calm Nerves:
    For some, the pre-ceremony jitters can be overwhelming. You know when you’re feeling overwhelmed and you just need to be with your person, receive a hug, and take a deep breath? This is something beautiful about a first look. You have this private moment with your person to just be prior to being around all your friends and family to celebrate. A moment to embrace, talk, exchange love notes, pray, exchange private vows… however you want it to look. On this same note, sometimes the guy is nervous to have all eyes on him to see “how is he reacting” and that can feel like a lot of pressure. A private first look can alleviate this and allow for that intimate time instead.
  • Maximize Time at the Reception:
    By getting more photos in before the ceremony, you can join the festivities sooner, maximizing your time to celebrate with friends and family during the reception. For some couples, once the ceremony is over, they want to be a part of everything with their guests instead of taking more photos.
  • Extended Photography Time:
    Let me start by saying, never make the decision to have a first look because a vendor pressured you to. That is never ok. Your photo and video team is there to capture YOUR day! This is a pro that comes with having a first look, but should not be a primary reason. Having a First Look allows you to take advantage of natural light and have more time for pre-ceremony photos. This can result in a wider variety of shots and a more relaxed pace.

Why some couples don’t:

  • Traditional Aesthetic:
    For couples who value tradition or nostalgia, seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony holds sentimental value. The surprise element can add an extra layer of magic to the moment. Some couples dream of this moment
  • Pressure to be “Picture Perfect”:
    Some couples worry about the pressure to have a perfect, picturesque reaction during the first look. The fear of not living up to expectations may overshadow the genuine emotions they want to share.
    Here’s the truth: your day is NOT about having “picture perfect” reactions. That’s dumb.
    Your day is about each other and the commitment you are making. Focus on that. Live in the moment. The goal is to have a photo and video team who will capture the moments of your day as you soak it up so you can look back at it later.


Ultimately, the decision to have a first look on your wedding day is a personal one. Consider your values, the atmosphere you want to create, and how you envision the first moment you see each other. Discuss your feelings together, and if needed, consult with your photographer and/or wedding planner for an outside perspective. Whether you choose the traditional route or decide to include a first look, remember that your wedding day is about celebrating your unique love story… so make it YOURS.

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