Should I Do A First Look?

What is a First Look?

It’s probably quite obvious, but a first look is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time before the ceremony, simple as that. If you’ve talked with a photographer or a wedding planner, chances are you’ve been asked if you would like to do a first look. So, should you? 

An argument for NOT doing a first look.

The tradition is for a groom to see his bride for the first time when she is coming down the aisle. The anticipation… the emotions… there is nothing like it. When I got married this is what my wife and I decided to do. I’m not a crier, but on that day, I was! But, if I could do it all over again, I would do a first look, and here’s why.

An argument FOR doing a first look.

There are a lot of reasons I can give you for doing a first look, but first, let me start with this. The anticipation of seeing your intended spouse is not diminished by doing a first look. From my experience, the flood of emotions are still there.  Here are five reasons to have a first look.

  1. Calm Those Nerves – A first look can calm any nerves you may have about your wedding. It’s an opportunity for you to talk, pray and refocus your attention on each other.
  2. Get Alone Time – A first look gives you alone time that you may not get the rest of the day. The rest of the day is filled with so many excited family and friends who want just a moment of your time to share in your love.
  3. Get More Photos – scheduling a first look allows for more beautiful photo opportunities. In addition to giving you some precious alone time you will also be able to have more time for family formals and wedding party photos.  You can plan, but weddings can be unpredictable.  If you schedule your ceremony too close to sunset and gets delayed it really puts time crunch on getting photos completed and you will simply get less photos.
  4. Looking Your Best – one of the best things about doing a first look is you can go ahead and do all of your wedding party and family formal photos while your hair and makeup are perfect.
  5. Give more attention to your guests.  A wedding is a celebration that brings so many family and friends together.  You will want to talk, hug and catch up with so many people at your wedding, especially during the reception where you will see most of your guests.  Having photos all done before the ceremony allows you to get the party quicker. 

I hope this gives you some insight to whether you should do a first look.  I can tell you that the wedding day flies by so quickly and your attentions will be pulled everywhere.  On my wedding day my wife and I barely got any time to even sit down to eat. (side tip: thankfully, someone packed a to-go box for us and we ate after reception was over). So, should you do a first look?  

I’d never try and talk a couple into doing a first look if they are totally against it.  In fact, if you aren’t doing a first look I have some tips on planning your wedding day to make the most of your schedule. 

Michael Newman

I believe it’s my job as a photographer to give you classic images that you will be proud the years to come! Nothing overly posed, stiff, or easily “dated” but a reflection of who you are and how you felt on your wedding day.  Looking back you will be so proud of who you are and who you have become together. 

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