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Should I Do a First Look?

We personally love First Looks.

Whether or not you should do a "first look" depends on your personal preferences and the traditions you want to follow for your wedding. A "first look" is a moment before the wedding ceremony where the couple gets to see each other for the first time in their wedding attire, typically in a private setting with their photographer/videographer capturing the moment.

Although, we LOVE first looks, there are many couples who are on the fence about doing one. So, I wanted to go over some helpful tips and pros and cons of doing them so you can make the best decision as a couple!

Disclaimer: I never ever force my couples to do a first look but I know the ones that do have not regretted it one second! I think tradition can really be replaced with REACTION.

Here are some pro’s and con’s of both options:

Option #1 | First Look


  • The first time you see each other is private and shared between you two! This is probably the only time all day you’ll get alone time!

  • You both will look your freshest! Hair, make-up; the works.

  • The nerves of seeing each other for the first time will be gone and then you can simply look forward to and enjoy your ceremony with your family and friends.

  • You get so many more portraits! When things run late it’s almost always the bride and groom getting the short end of the straw, causing them to run out time for portraits. This ensures we get a ton!

  • You can schedule all wedding party photos before the ceremony, so afterwards all the formal images left to take are family photos and then you’ll be able to head to your reception quickly instead of having your guests wait for a longer period of time.

  • You get to go to your cocktail hour! And isn’t that the best food anyway?!

  • Your bridal party and family ALSO get to go to cocktail hour instead of taking all the formal pictures. They’ll love you for this.

  • This is a great trial run of walking around and moving in your dress before you have to do it in front of everyone at your ceremony!

  • Timelines seem to be way less stressful when everything is done before the ceremony!


  • Seeing each other before the ceremony goes against tradition.

Option #2 | No First Look

You do not see each other before the ceremony and the first time you see each other is when walking down the aisle.


  • You get to keep up with tradition.

  • If you are wanting to have a cocktail hour for guests only that you do not want to attend between the ceremony and reception, taking the bulk of your images after the ceremony will allow your guests to mingle and enjoy drinks while you’re getting your pictures taken.


  • If the ceremony begins late, or family photos run longer than expected, then it’s always the bride and groom photo time that gets cut short.

  • The photo time after the ceremony will take longer so guests will have approximately an hour and a half to two hour break from when the ceremony ends and the reception begins (this can be a pro or con depending if you want to entertain your guests during this time or not!)

Ultimately, the decision to have a first look should reflect your personal preferences and what you envision for your wedding day. Talk to your partner, your photographer, and your wedding planner (if you have one) to weigh the pros and cons and make the choice that feels right for you as a couple.


Katlyn Geiger

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