The Pros & Cons of a First Look!

November 15, 2022

This subject is something that I always ask my couples – do you plan on doing a first look? You may not realize that deciding whether or not to do a first look has a pretty big impact on your entire day! A first look is something that I always recommend to my couples but it may not be for you! Whatever you decide, we will make sure to create a seamless timeline to help things go smoothly! Here are a few pros and cons of doing a first look!


  1. 40% more time for portraits! Your wedding photography is a big investment. When my clients do a first look, they receive 40% more portraits of the two of you! With the first look, you get the most out of your investment and get the most for your money! This also means you can get almost all your portraits done before the wedding so you can freely enjoy yourselves after the ceremony! I will steal y’all away from the reception for a few sunset portraits but other than that, you can party! I always recommend doing full bridal party, family, and the majority of your portraits pre-ceremony and I will make sure that your timeline allows for these photos in a seamless way. (Psst. This means you can enjoy a cocktail at cocktail hour or get in on those yum passed hors d’oeuvres!)
  2. Enjoy the surprise freely! When you do a first look for just the two of you, it makes it such an intimate moment. I always recommend it just be the two of you during the first look so you can freely share your feelings and emotions without family and bridal party watching. This is the only time the two of you will really have alone for the entire day till its all over, so I want you to enjoy it and soak in all the goodness of the day! When you wait to see each other at the aisle, you can’t talk until 30 minutes later! You can’t talk about how wonderful the both of you look and embrace each other fully.
  3. Diminish Nerves! Most of the time, it takes a bit to get the groom on board to do a first look but 100% of them say how happy they are they did it after! You don’t realize how nerve-wracking a wedding day can be until you are in it. Seeing your person helps melt away those stressed feelings and helps you to really enjoy your wedding day. It doesn’t ruin the feelings you will feel walking down the aisle – in fact, I would say it makes those feelings so much more!
Let me introduce you to Eric. Kim and Eric got married June 2022 and shared a sweet first look prior to their ceremony. They both showed emotion and happiness during that time and had so much fun with portraits after! As Kim was walking down the aisle, he still felt those wonderful feelings and emotions, and she did too!


  1. Your family and friends won’t be a part of the first time you see each other. First looks are private and a time for the two of you so family and friends usually are not part of it. If you want your family part of seeing each other for the first time, a first look may not be for you.
  2. You will have to start the day a little earlier. To allow for extra time for portraits, you will have to start the day about an hour earlier for the first look.
  3. You may feel anxious about reacting a certain way. I know you’ve seen the images of the groom absolutely balling at the first look. This can put a lot of pressure if your groom feels like he has to act a certain way during the first look. In reality, I would say only about 25% of my grooms actually react this way – and that’s OK! Not every groom is outwardly emotional and with all the nerves, it can be hard to show their emotions in the way you would expect. Enjoy your amazing day and try not to put any expectations on him.

A little of both!

You can have your cake and eat it too! Here are some additional options for first looks on your wedding day!

  1. Share the first look without your veil. This is something I recommend to all my brides during their first look. I always recommend saving putting on your veil right before the ceremony as it adds that extra bridal look to your day. (Don’t worry, we will totally get those epic veil shots after!!) Makes it easier for all those portraits pre-ceremony too so you don’t have another layer of fabric to carry!
  2. Share a family first look! I love when my brides do first looks with their dads, brothers, bridesmaids or anyone that is important to them! For a lot of those important people, this is when it feels real to them! If you decided to scrap the bride-groom first look, we can make sure we get some portraits of just you and your family done prior to your ceremony.
  3. Do a first touch. Many of my couples who decide against a first look, decide to do a first touch with private vows or a prayer together. This is such an intimate moment for the two of you and can help diminish those nerves while staying in tradition!

Whatever you decide to do, make it your decision! This is your day and can go however you decide. I know there are so many things that go into the wedding so make sure this is something that is what you both want!


Read more tips about your wedding day here! : It’s all in the Detail, Where do I get ready on my wedding day?

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