Wedding Planning Tips: Should I Do A First Look: Pro’s And Con’s



First thing first: WHAT THE HECK IS A FIRST LOOK? 

A first look is a fairly recent wedding tradition that has started taking the wedding industry by storm in the last decade. In a nutshell a first look is an intimate moment before you walk down the aisle at your wedding. It’s typically a beautiful and emotional private moment between the couple. 

I am a firm believer that this decision is should be solely based on the preferences and needs of the couple as a unit (not a choice made by the planner, photographer, or venue- I said what I said). This being said, I wanted to provide you with pro’s and con’s of a first look so you can make an informed decision on what works best for you two.  

groom standing away from his bride to be waiting to see her for the first time during their first look

HERE ARE SOME Pro's of doing a first look:

  • More time for photos: Doing a first look can allow for more time to take photos before the ceremony, which can be especially helpful if you have a tight schedule or if your wedding is taking place during a time of day with limited lighting.
  • Relieves nerves: Seeing each other beforehand can help relieve some of the anxiety and nerves you may be feeling leading up to the ceremony. It can be a comforting moment to see your partner and feel more at ease.
  • More time together: With a first look, you’ll have more time to spend together on your wedding day. Without one, you may not see your partner until the ceremony begins, and then you’ll be separated for much of the rest of the day.
  • Intimate moment: Having a first look can provide a special and intimate moment between you and your partner before the chaos of the wedding day begins.
  • Better lighting: Depending on the location and time of day of your wedding, a first look can provide better lighting for your photos than waiting until after the ceremony.
groom crying and bride smiling after they see each other for the first time during their first look

HERE ARE SOME CON's of doing a first look:

  • Traditional values: Some couples may feel that seeing each other before the ceremony goes against traditional values, and prefer to wait until the ceremony to have that moment.
  • Loss of excitement: Some couples may worry that having a first look will take away from the excitement and anticipation of seeing each other for the first time during the ceremony. (This is not always the case though (so peep the images at the bottom of this post)
  • Added expense: Depending on your photographer or videographer, there may be an added cost for capturing the first look moment.
  • Time constraints: Depending on your wedding timeline, adding in a first look may make the day feel more rushed and compressed.
  • Less dramatic entrance: If you have always dreamed of having a dramatic entrance down the aisle, a first look may take away from that moment.

Worried that the first look will take away the emotions at the aisle?

groom crying when he sees the bride walking down the aisle.
groom crying when he sees the bride walking down the aisle.
groom, bride, and father of the bride who is handing the bride to her new husband for the first time.

Ultimately, the decision to do a first look or not should be based on what feels right for you and your partner. Consider the pros and cons and discuss your options with your photographer and wedding planner to help make an informed decision.

bride and groom's processional with all guests throwing flower petals at them


Ceremony: Beaches, Ocho Rio, Jamaica

Photography: Maddness Photography

If you are looking for a photographer in the Tampa, St. Pete, Sarasota, Orlando Area, or World Wide for your family, wedding or event, we would love to hear from you! 

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