First look : Should a couple see each other before the ceremony?

First look is a trend and it’s here to stay. Many couples decide to capture that private moment of seeing each other for the first time before they walk down the aisle… However, there are many reasons why this may not be the best option for every couple. Need help deciding what would be better for you? Below are some of my thoughts and suggestions that may help you decide whether you want to do a first look or not.

***The most important thing to keep in mind – do what makes you most comfortable! My job as a photographer is to provide you with information and let you make the decision that feels right for both of you!

If you decide to do a first look here is what you can expect:

1. You may have to start your day earlier.

T i p: work with me (or your photographer) to figure out the best timeline. You may need to wake up bright and early and get your hair and make up done earlier than you may planned originally.


2. You will get to see each other privately for the first time! It often takes the pressure off on a very busy day. No hundred pairs of eyes staring at you and no guest taking pictures with their iPhones and iPads (iPad? Seriously? Friends don’t let friends take pictures with their iPads… just saying ;)

T i p: work with me (or your photographer) on picking the spot for the first look. There is always a risk that guests may see you if you decide to leave your room so you have to be ok with that. Some people are not and that’s ok too. Choose whatever feels comfortable for you!


3. You may get emotional and cry when you see each other but then you will have time to freshen up before the ceremony.

T i p: make sure you have your emergency make-up kit :)

first_look_collage24. You buy yourself some daylight for those beautiful natural light portraits!

T i p: Light enables photographers to capture your magic. If you decide to have an evening ceremony then I highly recommend doing the first look, especially if you want natural light portraits.

5. You will have more time for portraits.

T i p: you can plan to do your portraits right after the first look and can also do pictures with the bridal party before the ceremony. This way you can just do family portraits right after the ceremony and then relax and enjoy your cocktail hour with your guests.

w_front26. If you decide to go to a different location for a first look/portraits before the ceremony then your dress may get dirty.

T i p: some brides don’t mind it but some do. But if you are ok with that then make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

20141003-first_look57. Well-planned first look can help to make your portrait pictures more laid back.

T i p: avoid trying to do all of your portraits, bridal party and family shots during cocktail hour (it’s doable but not the best idea for many reasons).

Still not sure if you want to do a first look? There are also a few more options to consider:

Hybrid first look. You don’t actually get to see each other… How does that work? You can do it in many different ways: have the door or corner separating you two or you can have your eyes closed, you can also be holding hands, reading notes from/to each other, talking, etc. This can be very special moment too and we can do it in the privacy of your room.

Day before wedding OR Post-wedding photo shoot. If you really want to get creative and have tons of unique pictures of just two of you together then you may consider this option. You can just schedule this photo shoot on a different day, dress up and get adventurous! You may wear your wedding attire or maybe something different yet very nice (read: excuse to get another beautiful dress ;)

Trash the dress. This option is not for everyone. BUT if you are a fearless and adventurous bride then maybe this could be an awesome thing to do! We can venture out to the beach, woods, gardens, city streets, abandoned buildings, etc. and take awesome pictures while trashing that dress! Possibilities are endless! We just have to make sure that we are safe and plan this out very well.

Oh man… that’s a lot of information!! :) I really hope this was helpful! Please feel free to talk to me (or your photographer) to brainstorm some ideas!

Happy Wedding Planning!


Leave a reply