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The First Look: Everything You Need To Know

Before I jump into pros and cons of a first look, what are we even talking about right now? Let me give you the rundown…what is a first look on your wedding day? A first look is when a couple chooses to see each other on their wedding day before their ceremony. It’s a private & romantic time between the couple before all the wedding craziness begins!

Don’t freak out, that unique and special moment when your groom sees you walking down the aisle is still so special with a first look! Many of my couples say it’s extra special to have 2 of those classic moments together during their wedding…one at the first look and the second as the bride walks down the aisle.

After helping countless amounts of brides over the past 10 years plan their wedding around photos, I’ve realized that a first look isn’t for everyone, but I want to help you make the best decision for YOUR wedding day. Let’s look at some pros & cons before you decide…


  1. You get to see each other before the ceremony! It calms your nerves, stress, and jitters about seeing each other. It gives you a sense of peace to be more calm & present during the ceremony.
  2. PRIVACY. Need I say more? 😉 The first look moment is just between the two of you and I get to capture your precious moments! No family, friends, bridal party cheering, or cell phones snapping away. Nobody’s eyes on you and it gives you a chance to soak up the precious quiet moments between the two of you before you say I DO.
  3. It gives you more time to complete the majority of your ‘posed’ photos with family & bridal party before the ceremony. That way, you get to spend time with your guests during cocktail hour and not taking all those photos after the ceremony!
  4. You’re in control of the timeline! You can start as early as you want to allow for family, bridal party, and posed photos before the ceremony and not be rushed. Usually if we do photos after the ceremony, we are on a tight timeline because of cocktail hour/dinner being served!
  5. You can go anywhere for the first look photos! We can adventure around and have various backgrounds…it’s all up to you!


  1. If you choose to do a first look, you’ll need to get ready a bit earlier and be in your dress longer then you would if you just put it on 30min before the ceremony.
  2. Your dress may get a little dirty on the bottom as we walk around for the first look & family photos before the ceremony. Let’s be real, anywhere outside will be impossible to keep your dress pristine. But trust me when I say I’ll do everything in my power to keep it as clean as possible. But if this makes you nervous, maybe a first look isn’t for you!
  3. A first look is not ‘traditional’! So if you it’s importaint for you to stick to tradition and not see each other before the ceremony, go with your gut!
  4. You do lose that special time at the altar. Although even with a first look, your time seeing each other as you walk down the aisle will be so special, it won’t be the FIRST time you’ve seen each other that day.

Still can’t decide?

After reading the pros and cons if you still can’t decide on what you should do for your wedding, consider these ideas to ‘meet in the middle’.

  1. Don’t wear the whole ‘look’ during your first look. For example, if you are wearing a vail, don’t put it on till you walk down the aisle! That way it’s an extra surprise and a little different then your first look.
  2. Take a moment to hold hands around a corner or door without actually seeing each other. You can take this moment to pray with each other, read a note to each other, or simply just be and soak in the moment before all the craziness.

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