What is a “First Look”?

More and more couples are choosing to do a first look – but what does this mean? A first look is when a couple see each other, all dressed up and ready for the wedding but BEFORE the ceremony. While there are multiple ways to do this usually it takes place in a secluded location and is just the bride and groom (no spectators) and their photographer. Some people find this an excellent option while others feel it flies in the face of tradition! So is a first look right for you? Lets consider the pros and cons!

A groom has his back turned before he sees his bride for the first look coming through the door behind him

wedding day first look

Why do a First Look?

Here are just a few reasons people choose to do a First Look!

  • PRIVACY – Once you start that walk down the aisle a wedding day is filled with people you love who want to love on you, congratulate you, hug you and photograph you. And that’s a beautiful thing. But it also means very little alone time with this person you just committed your life to. A first look gives you just a few minutes alone before hand, to see each other, exchange a few special words and really be able to look at how gorgeous/handsome your soon to be spouse looks on this special day!
  • YOU LOOK YOUR BEST – you bought the expensive dress, got the fancy suit, had your hair and makeup done and this moment before the chaos starts you look nearly perfect. And you did it for your bride/groom – so they should be the first to see! Here in Florida the heat can do a real number on a wedding party as the day goes on but every location has its challenges – heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, etc.
  • TIME – this is probably the number one reason more couples are choosing First Looks. By seeing each other before the wedding you allow time for wedding photos BEFORE the ceremony. While family pictures are traditionally still done after the ceremony this allows so many photos to be done already that you might actually make it to your cocktail hour! This is especially helpful if you have a large wedding party. Once you have said your I Do’s – you want to celebrate – having more photos done beforehand just gets you to the party faster and who doesn’t love that?


Why keep it Traditional?

So if the First Look has all these benefits why doesn’t everybody do it? Here are a few reasons to keep it traditional.

  • TRADITION – sometimes tradition is important to us, whether it be the things you do on a holiday every year or the fact that you want the first look of your bride/groom to happen as part your of wedding ceremony – in the same way it did for your parents, grandparents and great grandparents.
  • WITNESSES – privacy is a beautiful thing and while you look forward to a life time of private moments with your spouse you invited all of your loved ones to witness this special moment and day. You dont care if they see you cry or laugh or just share a stare of adoration – thats what they are there to witness!
  • SPONTANEITY – no matter how private and beautiful a first look is staged to be it is in fact staged, controlled. Usually a groom waits somewhere for a tap on the shoulder or someone to give him the go to turn around and the expectation is that he will see his bride and she will be lovely and he should react accordingly. When a bride walks down an aisle towards the man she is about to marry – the enormity of that is just real. Having all eyes on you as you walk towards the decision of a lifetime and locking eyes with that person you are committing too…that is genuine emotion at its finest.

As the photographer…

It is my privilege and honor to be a part of your day. Logistically speaking First Looks are often easier. But I have no personal feelings towards your decision. I am thankful to get to be there for each and every moment of your wedding and it is my goal to capture moments of love and emotion and spontaneity both posed and candid throughout the entirety of your day. So whether you decide to do a First Look or wait for the ceremony I look forward to capturing the moment when your eyes lock and you see each other first time on your big day.