Often, I find that most couples are on the fence about deciding if they want to experience a first look or not. Maybe they don’t want to go the untraditional route or are afraid of losing that emotional aisle-walk moment.
However, before you decide, let’s uncover the pros and cons behind this heartfelt experience. Let’s explore what a first look even is, then dive into how they can be a pro or con on your wedding day!
As a professional wedding photographer, I’ve had the privilege of capturing numerous first-look moments, as well as traditional aisle moments!! Today, I want to share my insights so you can make the best decision for YOU both on your wedding day!
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “First look”, it’s completely understandable. You basically need a degree for some of the wedding planning lingo! 😉 If you don’t believe me, here’s a whole guide on wedding planning terminology! 🤣
A First Look on your wedding day is an intimate and private moment between you and your fiance’, before your ceremony!!
It’s the perfect time to calm nerves, especially for an individual who doesn’t enjoy being the center of attention. The First Look takes place away from the eyes of your guests, providing you both the opportunity to share raw emotions, anticipation, and excitement.
It allows time for you and your fiance’ to connect before the hustle and bustle of your wedding day. It can set the tone for your joyous and memorable celebration.
I’m definitely not here to convince you to have a first look. I simply want you both to feel informed so you can make the decision together on what suits your wedding day and goals best!
Let’s address these concerns together:
To be completely honest, this is one of the biggest misconceptions that my couples have! I can assure you that this is a myth!
A First Look allows you to savor the moment your partner sees you and gives you an additional opportunity to share a profoundly emotional experience during the ceremony.
It doesn’t take away from the aisle moment; rather, it adds depth and intensity to the love you’ll be professing in front of your loved ones.
It truly takes away a ton of stress when it comes to walking down the aisle as well!
When walking down the aisle, doing your best to be in the moment and take it all in is so important because there is so much to take in all at once!!
It’s essential to remember that your wedding day is a celebration of your love story, and there are no hard and fast rules.
Embrace the traditions that feel right for you, but also make room for personal touches that will make your day uniquely yours.
If you feel strongly about embracing the tradition of waiting to walk down the aisle to see each other, then definitely 100% do that!!
A First Look can set the tone for a stress-free wedding day. By sharing this private moment early on, you both get a chance to connect and calm those butterflies in your stomachs.
Not only will you feel better, but it also eases up the pressure of sticking strictly to your wedding timeline, allowing you to be present every moment of your special day.
If you have a first look, most couples only have to capture family portraits and possibly a handful of bride & groom photos after the ceremony.
Without a first look, you’d need to go through family portraits, groom and groomsmen, bride and bridesmaids, full bridal party, bride and groom portraits, and THEN you could head to the reception!
It’s the difference between about 45 minutes to 1 hr and 45 minutes.
This is definitely something to consider if you’re getting married in the winter months when the sun goes down earlier in the day! You’ll want to ensure you have enough sunlight for your bride and groom portraits, so you may need to have an earlier ceremony if you don’t want to do a first look.
Opting for a First Look ensures that your hair, makeup, and flowers are as fresh as possible because we KNOW you want to look your very best!
You’ll have time to freshen up before the ceremony, making sure you look flawless throughout the entire event. Your bride and groom photos will be photographed right after your first look.
Because of this, you will be looking breathtaking in your portraits and will have privacy from all of your guests!!
One of the most beautiful aspects of a First Look is the opportunity to exchange intimate vows or heartfelt letters to each other.
It’s a chance to express your love and commitment privately, creating a cherished memory that you’ll both treasure forever. If you are more introverted or have a difficult time sharing your emotions in public, this is a great opportunity to share your intimate vows.
I personally had a first look, and to this day, that was my favorite memory of my wedding day. It was a moment of seeing your person, hugging them tight, and knowing that everything was going to be absolutely perfect because you were marrying your best friend.
Having the security of seeing your fiance’ brings a sense of calm and peace!!
Weddings are all about celebrating with family and friends that have come a long way to support and show their love to you both!!
Having a First Look allows you to spend quality time with your loved ones during the cocktail hour and reception, without sacrificing precious dinner time for greetings and hugs.
You’ll actually get a chance to eat the delicious food that you chose for your special day before chatting and dancing the night away!!
By having a First Look, you ensure that your guests get to celebrate with you for an extended period. They’ll appreciate the extra time to be with you on this special day, creating a more joyful and memorable experience for everyone.
Contrary to the misconception that First Looks take away from the emotion of the aisle moment, they actually create profoundly emotional and intimate photos.
Your First Look allows your photographer to capture the raw emotions between just the two of you, providing a different kind of magic and romance.
Witnessing each other’s reactions to seeing one another in your wedding attire can be a sweet experience. I know many individuals find it easier to truly give an authentic and emotional response without the additional pressure of others looking on.
Your photographers use this time to capture your bride and groom photos as well! This results in truly joyful, romantic images because you’re not exhausted from your wedding day and anxious to get to the party with your friends and family!!
You’ll have so many more amazing photos together, and be able to spend so much more time with your guests!
Steve and Peyton’s first look was truly moving! They intentionally planned their day around having private moments together from a first look, to a foot-washing ceremony, and ultimately eating their dinner privately together.
Their private First Look and vows were absolutely breathtaking and filled with so much genuine emotion.
As Peyton made her way down the aisle towards Steve, everyone present could feel the love and excitement in the air. They had saved their first kiss for their ceremony, and their First Look didn’t take away from this momentous occasion. Instead, it enhanced it, making it even more unforgettable.
I can’t pick a favorite on Steve & Peyton’s wedding day!!! Their private first look and vows were absolutely breathtaking and emotional – but so was her walk down the aisle!!
I really loved the Jim and Pam moments when Steve “clicked” his invisible camera to save that memory!!! SO CUTE!!!! <3 😭😍🙌
“I am SO glad we had a first look. It’s one of my favorite memories from the day. It was intimate and such a special moment we both got to share together. It also only made the walk down the aisle even sweeter in my opinion.”Peyton
“I had a first look with my dad and it was special. I didn’t with my Fiance’ because I wanted a walking down the aisle moment where he hadn’t seen my dress etc. We did make sure that our photographer got time with just us and sunset photos instead of first look. I’m glad we didn’t do a first look ”Mandy
As a professional wedding photographer, I’ve witnessed the most tear-filled first looks AND heart-warming aisle moments!!
While it’s essential to consider both the pros and cons of having a First Look, remember that it’s your day, and there’s no right or wrong way to celebrate your special day!!
Embrace the traditions that resonate with you, but also allow yourselves to create moments that truly represent you as a couple.
So, beautiful couples, whether you choose to have a First Look or not, remember that your wedding day will be absolutely perfect because you’re marrying the love of your life!! !!
Share your concerns, excitement, or experiences in the comments below. Let’s keep the conversation going and make your dream wedding day one to remember! 😍😁
If you’re still looking for your wedding photographer, Let’s chat!!
We’re wedding photographers serving all of beautiful Florida & Georgia! Devoted to inspiring confidence in you, we love creating natural, romantic moments so you walk away with photos that genuinely reflect the love you share!!
I'm a Tampa wedding photographer, married to my best friend for 10 years, home-schooling mama, entrepreneur and devoted to inspiring confidence in YOU!!