February 5, 2019

Is a “First Look” the Right Choice for Your Wedding?

All Things Couples & Weddings, For Brides

Here’s a challenge to think about something a little different and non traditional. When you choose how you want your wedding day timeline to unfold, you should consider every option available to make your wedding day enjoyable from the moment your eyes open that morning until you leave the reception.  You owe it to yourself and your family and friends who have invested so much time, money, and love into your day.  Ultimately a “First Look” is not the right decision for every bride and groom.  And let me be really transparent, every wedding is beautiful, and your timeline should reflect which parts of your day are most important to you.  No one can make that decision except you, the bride and groom. But if you consider all the options and decide it’s right for you, I don’t think you will be sorry.  I can promise you that I will work just as hard to make sure you have epic and gorgeous images that you love no matter what you decide.  If you are open to considering a first look, read on to think through how a first look can impact your wedding timeline and photos.

The Dream….  Once upon a time, every bride dreamed of her groom standing at the alter with tears in his eyes. He would gasp in awe at the beauty of his beloved on the arm of her father, and photographers would capture that moment to live in the wedding album for eternity.  It is a beautiful moment, and many brides and grooms still want that moment just as I described.  However, there is an alternate and just as beautiful, (I would argue MORE authentically beautiful) option.

What IS a “First Look”?  This moment can be carefully planned in a variety of fashions to fit the vision of each bride and groom. It is built into the timeline before all other wedding party and family formals and takes 5-15 minutes. It is the ONLY way to have a private moment between just the bride and groom.  Descriptions of the various ways it can be organized listed under the photos below.  Doing a first look paves the way for a much more relaxed and enjoyable time during and after the ceremony. You can actually attend your reception in it’s entirety, mingle with guests who may have driven hours to attend your wedding, and your pictures will be beautiful on a new level. Let me explain.

You will have precious private moments together.  When you choose to enjoy a first look your first moments to see each other on your wedding day will be even more precious because expressions are unguarded. They are authentic, beautiful, and truly breathtaking. The emotion captured in the first look is always raw, and especially sentimental.  In addition, as I mentioned earlier, it will be your only opportunity to share a few minutes alone during your entire wedding day.   You will have time to share a tender moment away from everyone and the chaos of the day.  Then, when you walk down that aisle, you still have a perfect reaction because your groom already knows his bride is stunning, and he can enjoy the moment even more.

Your pictures will be fresh and beautiful, and there will be more of them. A bonus when you choose to do a first look, is that you are able to complete nearly all your important bride/groom, wedding party, and family formal photos before the ceremony. You will be able to accomplish this before your makeup is smudged from happy tears, and while your hair is freshly done.  AND because you aren’t rushing to the reception, the photos will be better and your photographer will have time to create those epic, gorgeous shots that we all love to hang on our walls. When there are fewer onlookers, everyone is more relaxed and your photos are even more beautiful.  Because the photographer has time to be creative beyond the traditional poses, your image count will be much higher, and your smiles will be genuine.  Then after your wedding, you will be able to enjoy every moment of your reception because your photos are already captured.

Here’s what Cybile had to say about doing a “First Look.”  ” I loved, loved, loved doing a first look!  It might not be a traditional route, but it’s nice to have that moment with your special person after the chaos of everything going on during your wedding day.  You can soak in the moment of just you two.  It’s nice to look back at your pictures and remember the happiness and feeling of joy that was happening at the moment.”     – Cybile

These photos are from Mikey and Cybile Peay’s first look.


There are several options for planning a first look.  1.  Groom keeps his back to the bride and she taps him on the shoulder to turn around.  2.  Groom stays facing away from the bride until she calls out to him.  3.  Groom turns to watch his bride walk down the aisle.  In all options, the moments are beautiful beyond what you can imagine.

Mikey and Cybile left their ceremony for 10-15 minutes, just long enough to capture some fun and beautiful sunset photos.


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