Why a first look?

Why should I do a first look?

So. Many. Reasons! Let me preface this by saying that I don’t require my brides to do a first look. It’s no secret I love one, but if the desire of my bride’s heart is that traditional first look when coming down the aisle, then that’s totally up to her! I typically have one bride a year who does not do a first look. About half of my couples start their wedding planning process with no first look in mind. Then they change their minds after learning all the facts! It’s my job as a photographer to educate and empower my clients to know and understand why a first look is beneficial!

When you do a first look, you get to see each other for the first time in your own intimate environment. When I execute a first look, I make it a point to make sure it’s just the bride and the groom alone with the photographer and videographer. I respectfully ask that no family or bridal party members are hanging around. When you see each other for the first time coming down the aisle, there’s a big room full of a ton of people! During a first look, you have the freedom to hug, kiss, cry, laugh, and soak in all that JOY of seeing each other all dolled up for your wedding. No one is going to interrupt you until you’re ready to move on to portraits. That kind of joy can’t help but spill over into the portraits that follow. When you see each other for the first time during the ceremony, it’s a good 30 minutes before you have the freedom to be alone together. Getting those first look jitters out of the way alone is much more relaxing. After that, you’ll get to spend the next few hours before your ceremony with your closest friends and family!

Your wedding day is more relaxed and you actually get to spend your day with your soon-to-be spouse! When you choose a first look, the portrait time is generally able to be done with more variety and less complaints. Let’s face it, nobody wants to spend forever taking pictures when they’re ready to go eat, drink, and dance! The bridal party especially loves a first look. You can even get more variety on bridal party portraits because you’re less rushed.

You’ll get to your reception faster and your guests are more likely to stick around for more of the festivities. They’ll even be more likely to stay through the send off or end! Couples who don’t do a first look generally need to allow 90 minutes from ceremony end time to reception introduction time to capture all the pictures you deserve. The longer guests are left waiting for the newlyweds to be introduced, the less likely they are to stick around. Couples who do a first look generally take about 30 minutes to themselves for sunset portraits in that stunning golden hour light. Others sneak away during the reception for these. This makes for TWO sets of time for portraits of the two of you, resulting in more photos! Which leads me to…

You’ll get MORE portraits of the two of you guys together. Most brides LOVE having so much variety in their portraits. These are the images that will decorate your home, that you’ll show your kids and grandkids one day. These are the images that will leave your legacy of your love for one another. Plus, you’re going to be feeling like royalty all dressed up, so you may as well get as many good pictures as you can! Also, you’ll be all warmed up from the first set, to feel great during the second set!

Ultimately you get to decide what’s best for you! Can a wedding day be shot beautifully without a first look? Of course! But now you know all my favorite reasons to do one so you can make that decision knowing your options 🙂

Love + Blessings,


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