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Pros & Cons of a First Look

Have you been contemplating doing a first look at your wedding? Would you prefer to do a first look or do you like the idea of seeing each other for the first time when walking down the aisle?

What is a first look?

A first look is when a couple sees each other on their wedding day before their wedding ceremony. It is a private moment for the couple, away from the eyes of family and friends. This moment is generally photographed and makes for adorable and emotional photos later!

There is always a decision that must be made for the day of your wedding and that is if you want to do a first look or not. Do you want to go with the newer tradition of first looks or would you prefer to stick with timeless traditions such as seeing each other for the first time while walking down the aisle?

Let’s go over some of the pros and cons of doing a first look! It might help with your decision..


You can get many photos done before the ceremony

Taking photos can be a long process on your wedding day. If you chose to go with a first look, you can actually get a lot of the photos done before the wedding. You have already seen each other so you can do all couple portraits and bridal party photos before the ceremony even begins. doing a first look and taking photos beforehand means that you can spend the wedding reception having fun and mingle with your guests instead of with your photographer.

You can have an intimate moment by yourselves before the ceremony

Seeing each other for the first time on your wedding day can be extremely raw and emotional. When you do a first look, it is generally just the couple and the photographer. After you do the first look and the photographer is done taking photos, there is always time for a moment alone. This is special because there isn’t much alone time during the wedding as you are trying to host your guests.

First looks make for great photos

The photos that you will get from your first look are sure to be some of your favorite! The photographer gets to capture both of your faces when you see each other on your wedding day for the very first time. They will capture the rawest emotions and you will forever get to cherish those photos. You can look back at the first look photos for years to come and always remember the love that the two of you shared in that moment.


You have to be ready earlier

When you are planning on doing a first look, you have to get ready earlier so that you have time to do the first look and then take photos after. All of this needs to be done well before the ceremony so that you are all hidden from your guests before they arrive. You also need time between photos and the ceremony to freshen up and get ready for go time. Generally, photographers allot 30 minutes for the first look so that the couple can spend some time together after and do couple portraits. They then allot about one hour to get all other photos in before the ceremony that they can. That means you have to be ready at least 2 hours before your ceremony.

Lighting may be harsh

Depending on the time of day and the time of year, the lighting may be harsh if you take photos before the ceremony. Lighting means everything in photography and if you choose to do a first look in the early afternoon during the summer, the lighting may be harsh and difficult to work with. This means that some of your photos may not turn out as perfect as you may have wanted. A photographer always does their best to find the best area and use the lighting to their advantage however it could be difficult.

You lose the aisle element of surprise

When you do a first look, you lose the element of surprise of walking down the aisle and having your partner see you for the first time alongside all your family and friends. Your partner won’t have as great of an at the altar reaction because they will have already seen you when you did the first look. This is a moment you may miss if you choose to go with a first look.

Whichever way you choose to go, make sure that you and your partner are on the same page as a couple and that what you choose will work for you! Everybody wants different things out of their wedding day and if a first look will help calm your nerves, then by all means do it! You get to create your own timeline and story!

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