First Look Vs No First Look

Wedding Planning

One of the most awe-inspiring moments of a wedding day is the first time you see each other.

It’s a long-lived tradition of imagining your fiancé’s expression as you walk down the aisle holding your father’s hand on your wedding day. There he is, your answered prayer, at the altar wiping a tear from his eye with a handkerchief. As you take a breath, he reaches for your hand and in front of your friends and family, you vow to love eternally. 

Although this traditional moment is one-of-a-kind, many couples wonder whether they should plan a similarly intimate First Look before the ceremony or keep things traditional, reserving the first moment together for that walk down the aisle.

What is a First Look?

A First Look is time set aside before the ceremony that allows the couple to experience an intimate first moment together on their wedding day. Although this traditionally takes place during the ceremony, many photographers recommend that a couple set aside time for a “First Look” before the official wedding activities begin.

Here’s why.

Pros of a First Look

A First Look is more intimate

One of the most adoring aspects about a First Look is that you truly get to experience your groom’s reaction with him. He is able to hold your face and whisper how beautiful you look into your ear. During this private and romantic moment, you both are able to share your thoughts and embrace freely without interruption. It’s one of the rare moments of the wedding day that you two will have alone together. 

A First Look is an opportunity for more keepsake portraits

Because the First Look is scheduled before the ceremony, we have more time for portraits. This includes time for bride and groom portraits, as well as portraits for the bridal party and your immediate families. It’s more time to share the day with your loved ones. With a First Look, you will receive about 40% more portrait images in the wedding gallery.

There are less nerves

Walking down the aisle is a big moment. Holding a First Look before you enter the official wedding ceremony gives you a calming moment to just be with each other. You won’t have to worry about an audience. You can just be present as husband and wife-to-be.

Alternatives to the First Look

Keep things traditional

If a First Look doesn’t feel right to you, then keep things traditional! It’s been that way for the longest time because it is truly beautiful.

Schedule a cocktail hour

If you decide to forego a First Look, I recommend scheduling a cocktail hour for your guests. This gives us time to photograph family formals, bridal party portraits, and couple portraits immediately following the ceremony.  These are the images that will be framed in your home and passed down in your family. Try to remember not to feel rushed to get to the reception. Enjoy the experience!

First Look vs. No First Look - bride and groom take romantic First Look photos

Create A Moment Just For the Two of You

The most important bit of information to take away from this blog post is that this decision is yours, and there is no pressure from me to chose one way or the other. Together, we will create a timeline to capture the events of the day.  I am here to celebrate and support you and your fiancé!

First Look vs. No First Look - bride and groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day

Have questions about First Look vs no First Look? Get in touch here.

Huntsville, Alabama Wedding Photographer
Lean into love.
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