Is a First Look Right For You?

We’ve all come across the photos of a bride and groom seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day. There are usually a few tears, lots of giggling, and so much embracing! It’s a lovely moment, especially when it’s captured on camera. But here’s the flip side: not everyone wants this first look on their wedding day. First looks may not be suitable for every couple, so I’m here to help you decide if you should incorporate into your timeline. So is a first look right for you?

Is a First Look Right For You?

What is a first look?

A first look is a private moment shared between a couple when they see each other for the first time before their ceremony. This moment is usually photographed at a secluded location or room away from family and friends. I love first looks for couples so they can have an intimate moment with each other before being thrust into the spotlight at their ceremony and reception—a moment for them to relax and enjoy being together for a little bit longer. A time to show off the carefully chosen wedding dress and the well-fitted suit all captured on camera to also enjoy reliving again later.

Is a First Look Right For You?

Why would you want a first look?

A first look is a great way to get all the wedding day jitters out of the way, gain confidence, and have time for some great photos before the ceremony. If you’re nervous about being in front of the camera, this can be an excellent opportunity for a practice run with your photographer. It also allows you to share those special moments with your significant other before sharing them with everyone else as you walk down the aisle at your ceremony. Here are some reasons to consider a first look:

  •  A Winter Ceremony or Ceremony is close to sunset, which usually doesn’t give enough time for portraits after the ceremony. Doing a first look allows plenty of time to capture portraits before the ceremony.
  •  Some couples utilize the time to read letters or give a special gift to one another and see their reactions face to face.
  •  It means more photos before the Ceremony, including family formals and bridal party. Allowing you, your family, and the bridal party to attend part of the cocktail hour and spend more time with guests.
  •  This time also works well if you plan on having your dog at the ceremony and want to take photos with him beforehand. This will allow him to leave with a handler/friend right after the ceremony has concluded.

A first look doesn’t mean there won’t be any surprises during the actual ceremony – there is still a sweet intensity as you see each other again coming down the aisle. Sharing this time with guests and each other adds to the overall moments.

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Who should do it?

You and your fiance are the only ones can only decide whether to do a first look or not! Do you want to get the party started before your guests arrive? Do you want to savor the initial moment with just your partner?

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If all this has left you wondering, is a first look right for you?—and where exactly that falls on the spectrum between “yes” and “no”—I can help! We will discuss your options in detail when planning your photo timeline.

Planning for your First Look!

If you’re still on the fence about doing a first look, here are some things to consider:

  • Talk to your fiancé! They are an essential part of this whole process. Your partner should understand why it’s important for you to have time alone before moving forward with the wedding day with everyone else. It’s not just because you’re excited about seeing them again, but also because it helps calm any nerves that might come up when all eyes are on both of you.
  • Talk to your photographer and your wedding planner. You’ll want to ensure that they plan for it in the timeline ahead of time.
  • The location of your first look is important too. You’ll want to choose an area that will allow you plenty of space and privacy without interruption.
  • Decide if you will write letters to read or exchange gifts during this time.
  • Plan for the first look to take 10-15 minutes, and taking a few more posed photos afterwards.
  • Talk to other couples who have done it! Everyone has their unique story, so listen carefully when they share theirs—you might learn something new that could change your mind or add another positive factor into making this choice.

Is a First Look Right For You?

As First Looks become more popular even at traditional weddings, the most important point to remember is that it’s your wedding—and your decision. There are no rules about how you should do things, and if it feels right for you, then do it! So, is a first look right for you? Let me know in the comments!

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// Branding + Website by Amber Crudup Branding co

Branding + Website by Amber Crudup Branding co







Emotion-driven, love-centered wedding photography for the adventurous, down to earth couple.


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