Do I need/want a first look?

Updated: Aug 22, 2020

You may or may not have heard of the First Look. Many brides and grooms have been opting to see each other before the official ceremony, having their "First Look" in a more secluded area. There are many reasons people have been choosing to do a first look. Here are some pros and cons to the First Look and the traditional ceremony first look.

Having a First Look

You have a set time and location to see each other for the first time in your wedding attire. Generally the groom is facing away and the bride comes to tap him on the shoulder or turn him around and then you have a lovely moment taking each other in.


  • The first time you see each other is private and shared just between you two (and your photographers and videographers, but we can be pretty stealthy).

  • You both will look your freshest!

  • The nerves of seeing each other for the first time will be gone and then you can simply look forward to enjoying your ceremony. (But walking down the aisle will still be a special butterflies filled moment for sure!)

  • Helps to ensure that there is enough time for the most important photos (the ones of you two!)

  • You can schedule all wedding party photos before the ceremony, so afterwards all the formal images left to take are family photos and then you’ll be able to head to your reception quickly instead of having your guests wait for a longer period of time. Some people even squeeze their family portraits in too depending on the time of day and how far ahead the first look is.

  • You may have a chance to join your guests at cocktail hour!

  • This is a great trial run of walking around and moving in your dress before you have to do it in front of everyone at your ceremony!

  • You will still feel all the rush of excitement and energy when you see each other walking down the aisle, it won't diminish that feeling!


  • Seeing each other before the ceremony goes against tradition.

  • Depending on time of day the light may not be as great as it will be after the ceremony for your bride and groom portraits. (12-1 the sun is super high in the sky, it's doable but not always the most flattering for portraits).

No First Look

You do not see each other before the ceremony and the first time you see each other is when the bride is walking down the aisle.


  • You get to keep up with tradition.

  • If you are wanting to have a cocktail hour for guests between the ceremony and reception, taking the bulk of your images after the ceremony will allow your guests to mingle and enjoy drinks while you’re getting your pictures taken.

  • The light could potentially be better.


  • If the ceremony begins late, or family photos run longer than expected, then it’s always the bride and groom photo time that gets cut short.

  • The photo time after the ceremony will take longer so guests will have approximately an hour and a half to two hour break from when the ceremony ends to when the reception begins (this can be a pro or con depending if you want to entertain your guests during this time or not!)

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