10 Tips for Deciding if the First Look is for You

To First Look or Not to First Look

10 Tips for Deciding if the First Look is for You

This is often one of the first questions I ask my clients when it comes to creating their timeline and flow for their big day. The First Look is a created moment we set a side where the couple gets to see each other for the first time before walking down the aisle. Some couples love the First Look others want the traditional moment of seeing each other down the aisle for the first time. There are pros and cons of both and both create a great photographic moment. Here are 10 tips for deciding if the First Look is for you…

  • Seeing each other down the aisle is traditional, but it also means sharing the first romantic moment of your wedding day with all your family and friends watching you. Some couples may love this idea, some may want to get their tears and giggles out of the way in private.

Venue Set Up

  • What does your site venue allow? Some sites there is a very long walk way before even getting to the aisle, which means that the groom and all your guests can actually see the bride long before she gets to the aisle. We can position the groom so he doesn’t see you but this can mean missing his facial expression if he’s faced in a particular way.

  • Your site may also be wide open and hard to find a great first look spot. For a first look you don’t need much set up but a large tree or corner of a cute building or a long walkway the bride walk down to sneak up on the groom. Positioning the couple isn’t hard but if the site is wide open the couple may have an audience for their first look.

  • Are you getting ready somewhere other than your ceremony venue? If so you could do the first look at the hotel and transition together to the ceremony site versus trying to coordinate separate transportation to your venue.


  • The first look does a few things for your timeline. First it allows you to get some photos out of the way before the ceremony. Which can free up time afterward to hang with your guests. After the first look its great to get the wedding party photos out of the way and a few close family photos. You’ll still want to do the majority of your family photos afterward but a significant amount can be done before hand.

  • But a first look also pushes your photographer earlier in the day as well as the time you need to be ready by. If your favorite makeup artist can only meet you at 2pm and your ceremony is at 5pm you may not have enough time to get the first look and photos done before ceremony.

  • First looks offer a great buffer. I recommend the first look to be scheduled one and a half hours before ceremony start. This allows enough buffer incase someone is running late or you need some last minute decisions at the site.

  • You can share special pre-wedding moments together as a couple. Have a glass of champagne or a beer before you start the ceremony. Gather your bridal party and close family and enjoy a toast before the party begins. This is a great way to relax and get some cute photos.

Personal Touch

  • Are you a crier? I’m a total crier, I cried at my wedding, my friends weddings, sometimes I even cry at my client’s weddings. A first look is great to get your jitters out of the way and have a chance to touch up your make up before ceremony starts.

  • Have a first look with other special family members. First looks with dad or your favorite aunt are just as special and often bring out more emotion. People are so happy and proud on your wedding day and they can’t wait to see you in your dress.

First Look Takeaways

First looks are great to get photos out of the way before ceremony.

Excellent private moment between the couple.

Create a nice buffer to relax and breath before ceremony.

Can solve long walkway problems down the aisle.

Lose a little tradition, but create a personal touch to your big day.