Hey there, lovebirds! If you’re planning your wedding or elopement, you may have heard of the concept of the “first look.” Traditionally, you and your partner would wait until the ceremony to see each other, but as weddings have changed, many couples are choosing to do a first look for many reasons. Let’s explore those here.

What Exactly Is A First Look?

Essentially, a first look is a private moment between you and your partner before the ceremony, where you get to see each other all dressed up and ready to tie the knot. This is typically somewhere close to where you’re getting dressed but could also be coordinated at another location.

Normally, we’ll place you somewhere that looks great, have your partner come from behind you, tap you on the shoulder, and let you turn around so you can see each other while we capture the moment.

But is a first look right for you? Let’s explore the pros and cons.

Pros of Having a First Look

  1. Get rid of pre-ceremony jittersThe first look can be a great way to calm your nerves before walking down the aisle. Seeing your partner before the ceremony can help to ease any anxiety you may be feeling and remind you why you’re getting married in the first place. Then come your ceremony, you can focus on being truly present.
  2. Capture the momentIf you’re hiring a photographer or videographer, a first look can be a great way to capture your reactions to seeing each other for the first time. This can result in some truly beautiful and emotional photos and videos that you’ll cherish for years to come.
  3. Pick a unique locationWhereas during the ceremony where the location is obviously set (and often has lighting that isn’t ideal for photos), we can get creative and pick a fun spot for your first look photos. This could be in the woods, near the ocean, inside an old house, etc.
  4. More time for photosBy doing a first look, you can take some of your wedding photos before the ceremony, which can free up more time for you to enjoy your cocktail hour and reception. This is the biggest reason we recommend for couples to do a first look. Being able to capture wedding party photos and family photos prior to the ceremony, the evening of your wedding day will be a little more relaxed.
  5. Share a special momentThe first look can be a really special and intimate moment between you and your partner, where you get to share your excitement and love for each other without any distractions. If you don’t love being the center of attention and big crowds, you might prefer to see each other in a more private setting.
  6. Or do something differentThis one is a bit of a third option. By not waiting until your ceremony to see each other, you also open to possibility of doing something quite different, like helping each other get dressed and sharing that time of the day together.


Cons of Having a First Look

  1. You think it’s bad luckI suppose there are people out there who actually believe that “it’s bad luck to see each other before the ceremony” but as with all of the countless wedding traditions, take what has meaning and excites you and throw out the rest.
  2. You want it to be a surpriseThis is the most common reason why couples choose to not have a first look. If you’re someone who loves surprises, a first look may not be for you. Seeing your partner before the ceremony takes away some of the anticipation and excitement of seeing them walk down the aisle.
  3. Traditionalists may not like it.If you come from a family or cultural background where the first look is not a common practice, some of your family members may not be on board with the idea.
  4. Timing can be tricky If you’re doing a first look, you’ll need to factor in extra time for hair, makeup, and getting dressed before the ceremony. This can be a challenge if you have a tight wedding day schedule. Keep in mind though, that by forgoing pre-ceremony photos, you will have to dedicate more time in your schedule after the ceremony for photos.
  5. It may not feel as specialFor some couples, the first look can take away from the moment of walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time in front of all your loved ones. This one is purely subjective to each person.



Ultimately, whether or not you decide to do a first look is a personal decision. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons and think about what feels right for you and your partner. Remember, your wedding day is about celebrating your love and commitment to each other, taking a huge step in your relationship, so do what makes you both happy and comfortable.

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