First Looks on Wedding Day

First Look on your Wedding Day

Should you do it or not?

What is a first look?  “First look” is where you set a special time before your wedding ceremony for the bride and groom to see each other for the first time in all their wedding attire.

The standard arguments are about time and when to get photos.  Because I STRONGLY believe the day is about the marriage and not about a photo shoot, I really try to not sway my couples one way or another.  It really is up to them!   I would say about 50% of my couples do a first look.  Below are the standard arguments between the two but the real reason for this post is able to be told through the images.

Walking down the aisle takes, at most, 30 seconds and then you’ve moved into the process of the ceremony.  That means that your groom had the amount of time to take in the view and process what he is feeling before having to move on to listening to the officiant so he can participate in the ceremony.  A recent first look I photographed spoke volumes to my heart as I went through the photographs afterward.  I looked at the time stamps and they had a full 10 minutes of just enjoying those very first moments together.  He looked at her face, her dress, walked around her to take in the full view.  She then shared a private journal with him containing words of love meant just for him.

Then came the silent embrace.  The embrace that brought tears to my eyes as I looked closer and realized that there were tears streaming down his face as he held is bride, knowing the enormity of the love she has for him.  How much more sweet, intimate and poignant of a moment can you get?  And….they could each enjoy and savor those moments together.

So take a look at the images and imagine yourself in their shoes.  Is this something you would like to share with your love?  Leave a comment below to share with us your thoughts.

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General Factors to consider regarding “First Looks”


  • The first time you see each other is private and shared just between you two (and me with my quiet, ninja-like camera)
  • You both will look your freshest!
  • The nerves of seeing each other for the first time will be gone and then you can simply look forward to and enjoy your ceremony
  • Helps to ensure that there is enough time for the most important photos (the ones of you two!)
  • You can schedule all wedding party photos before the ceremony, so afterwards all the formal images left to take are family photos and then you’ll be able to head to your reception quickly instead of having your guests wait for a longer period of time.
  • This is a great trial run of walking around and moving in your dress before you have to do it in front of everyone at your ceremony!


  • Seeing each other before the ceremony goes against tradition –
  • Did you know this tradition stems from the times of arranged marriages?  I’m betting that YOU chose  your future spouse!

Option #2 | Bride & Groom Photos after the wedding ceremony

  •      You do not see each other before the ceremony and the first time you see each other is when the bride is walking down the aisle.


  • You get to keep up with tradition
  • If you are wanting to have a cocktail hour for guests between the ceremony and reception, taking the bulk of your images after the ceremony will allow your guests to mingle and enjoy drinks while you’re getting your pictures taken.


  • If the ceremony begins late, or family photos run longer than expected, then it’s always the bride and groom photo time that gets cut short.

  • The photo time after the ceremony will take longer so guests will have approximately an hour and a half to two hour break from when the ceremony ends to when the reception begins (this can be a pro or con depending if you want to entertain your guests during this time or not!)


Be confident that your memories will be captured perfectly


Fine Art Wedding Photography