Should You Encourage the First Look?

One of the first questions wedding photographers ask of their brides and grooms – “Are you seeing each other before the ceremony?”

A few years back, the answer was almost always a definitive ‘no’ – but over the past few years a new trend of ‘first looks’ has taken over the wedding industry. We decided to ask around and find out from not only photographers but also brides, why this is so popular. We asked a handful of past brides one question – “Why did you/didn’t you choose to see your spouse before your wedding ceremony?”

 Wedding Photography, Wedding First Look

Photo by Kevin + Stephanie

“I didn’t but I wish we had. We wanted to keep with tradition. However, I’ve had multiple friends have that moment captured away from everyone with just the photographer. The pictures are so special. Plus, your makeup was just done, so their pictures are perfect.” – Mindy W.

“We loved our first look! It was in the ceremony room and the photographers were the only other people around. I still walked down the aisle to Matt waiting at the altar, so to me, it was the best of both options (and those are some of my favorite photos from the day). We then finished the rest of our photos before the wedding and didn’t have to miss any of the party. Also, I didn’t feel that walking down the aisle during the ceremony was any less special because we’d seen each other earlier that day–it’s still an incredible moment!” – Julie K.

“I saw my husband prior to the ceremony. I wanted plenty of time for photos so I wasn’t stressed and I wanted that private time since we were going to be around people all day. I also wanted to spend time with my future husband and not wait until 5pm or so and rush through the day.” – Katie M.


The feedback was clear – having a ‘first look’ is a must for many reasons! So as a photographer, what role do you have in making this happen? We all know the day goes much smoother when the bride and groom have a ‘first look’ – so here are a few tips to try and sway them into doing a first look.

  1. Private Time: When you stop and think about it, seeing your soon-to-be spouse in front of hundreds of people is a little odd. Why not have a private, intimate moment on your wedding day – and spend a little time together before the chaos begins?
  2. Calm your nerves: Seeing your soon-to-be spouse prior to the ceremony can do wonders for a nervous nelly. Walking down the aisle will still be special, memorable and slightly nerve-wrecking – with all of those eyes on you – so eliminate one factor by seeing your groom privately before the ceremony.
  3. Enjoy your pictures: Seeing one another before a ceremony can alleviate a big time crunch when it comes to pictures. You’ll have more time to spend with your bridal party and wedding guests by getting as many pictures out of the way before the ceremony, then the real party can begin!

Do you encourage your brides to have a ‘first look’?  Tell us why in the comments below!



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