August 23, 2019

Should you have a first look?

One of the most important questions for timeline planning: should we do a first look?

Disclaimer: I’m pro first looks. I tried to be unbiased but I failed. However, if you have no interest in a first look, I completely understand. Every person and every wedding is different! I’d say weddings I’ve shot are 50/50 with and without first looks.


  • Having a first look alleviates the time constraint after the ceremony. You can have your first look and a little quality time together, then move right into wedding party and family photos. (Side note: I had a first look for my wedding and we did all but sunset photos before the ceremony. This gave us time to be with each other after the ceremony and then we danced in straight to the food!)
  • Is your significant other reluctant to show emotion in public? It might help to seclude yourselves and have the first look with just you two and your photographer/videographer team. This was the main reason I chose to have a first look, we’re both reserved so it was nice to have this moment to ourselves.
  • You’ll get to actually see each other. That’s probably a surprising one for some of you! We’re not kidding when we say your wedding day goes by insanely fast. For me, it felt like one minute I was getting my dress on and the next we were doing the sparkler exit. I’m very thankful we had some time to ourselves during our first look. We didn’t even get sunset portraits to ourselves because my family followed us out!
  • Having a first look reduces stress. You’ll get almost all of your photos out of the way before the ceremony, which gives you time to chill and retouch makeup before you walk down the aisle. It also gives you more time with your family at the reception, and if you’re there when everyone else is eating that means you’ll get to eat with minimal interruptions!


  • The biggest con is losing the tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony.
  • If you see each other before the ceremony, you might not be as emotional when you’re walking down the aisle. This is different for everyone, but I will say that my husband and I both cried (I ugly cried UGH) when I walked down the aisle and we’d already seen each other. There’s honestly nothing like walking toward him, knowing you’re about to marry the love of your life. You could be attached at each other’s hip right up until he has to stand at the front and you’ll still feel all of that emotion as you walk toward him.
  • Those are the only cons I can thing of…

I’m obviously pro first looks. Mainly because they relieve so much stress, but also because you’ll get more time with your hunny.

One thing that I was really happy we did at my wedding was go back to our separate rooms about 30 minutes before the ceremony. Right before we each left to walk down the aisle, we read the letters we’d written each other. If you’re thinking of doing a first look, I would definitely take a short time before the ceremony to be apart.