Advice For Brides Considering First-Look Wedding Photos

Updated: Dec 17, 2018

Most photographers and even wedding planners will encourage you to do a first look on your wedding day, well what you find below might be a little different.

A first look is an intimate session before the ceremony that allows the bride and groom to see one another before the guests arrive and the busyness of the wedding day begins. Usually the bride will approach the groom from behind, tap him on the shoulder, and he will turn and see his beautiful bride in her wedding gown for the first time. It's so sweet right? I'm tearing up just thinking about my sweet couples that have done this and how emotional that experience was for them. Brides and grooms are opting for a first look for reasons that range from easing nerves to making sure they can actually get to cocktail hour. As your wedding celebration approaches, you’re probably wondering whether you want first-look wedding photos or whether you want to wait until you walk down the aisle for your big reveal. Here is the inside scoop!

So why will wedding photographers and wedding planners encourage that you do a first look?

Aside from the emotional response, many wedding pros will encourage a first look because they are considering the time and the flow of your wedding day. I know I told you this would be a little different and now I am telling you why first looks are great, just wait... Traditionally all formal portraits are taken after the ceremony, however this may leave your guests waiting for you and your spouse to arrive at the reception for an unspecified amount of time. First looks became popular because it allows for bride and groom formal portraits, family portraits, and wedding party portraits to be taken before the ceremony. This option practically eliminates the long wait time from the end of the ceremony to your announcement at the reception. Did I mention nerves? It is so common that brides and grooms feel a bit antsy and nervous on the wedding day. If you're nervous having a first look and seeing your partner is a great way to ease the feeling.

We can't forget quiet time. The first look is a great decision for couples that would like more quiet time together before the ceremony and reception. Remember its your day, so once it begins you will be the center of attention until its time for your grand exit!

I know I told you this would be a little different and now I am telling you why first looks are great, just wait...

While a first look has its' benefits and may be perfect for some couples, there are other options that sometimes get overlooked. On my wedding day, my husband and I didn't see one another for a full 24 hrs. We made the decision to stick to tradition, so we didn't have a first look session. Our choice was simple, a first look didn't fit our love story. A love story that values certain traditions and special moments. A love story that values the moment we would lock eyes as he sees his loving bride for the first time and all the raw emotion that comes with that. And this option is totally okay! There’s nothing like the groom seeing his bride for the first time when she walks down the aisle. It’s the most magical moment!

As an alternative, you can take pictures with your bride squad and you groom with his groomsmen prior to the ceremony if you're concerned about time. Will your guests wait for your announcement at the reception? Yes of course! Will any be upset, fuming mad, or ready to leave? Not at all! Your friends and family are there to support your union and many expect to wait 20-30 minutes for you to be announced into the reception.

We made the decision to stick to tradition simply because a first look didn't fit our love story.

So, is a first look for you and your fiancé?

No two love stories are the same. Your wedding journey has to speak to your relationship, connection, and love story. Something changes in you after you say your "I Do's" and I love capturing that for my couples.

It's okay to do a first look and it's okay to choose to be more traditional. The best part is, whatever you choose will speak life into your wedding celebration!

What do you think about first looks? Tell us in the comments below


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