A first look is when the couple sets a private time to see each other before the ceremony, usually followed by couple portraits, as well as the wedding party and family photos. A common question we hear is, should we do a first look? There’s no right or wrong answer to that question – there’s pros and cons to each. It’s really a matter of preference – as long as you feel comfortable in your decision that’s all that matters!
Why We Should Do a First Look
- You’ll get to see each other before the ceremony. This could help calm any nerves or stress before the ceremony.
- If you’re worried about crying at the ceremony, you can get that out of the way beforehand.
- You can have fun at cocktail hour with your guests.
- You can enjoy the moment with privacy.
- You’ll have more time together to let the emotions sink in rather than jumping right into the ceremony.
- You will most likely have more time for photos together since you can plan the first part of the day however you’d like, it may be possible to add multiple locations for photos as well.
- If it’s a winter wedding and you’re worried about it getting dark early, you can plan a first look for earlier in the day to ensure that you’ll have enough daylight.
Why We Shouldn’t Do a First Look
- If anything runs a little behind for the first look, we can lose time and be on a strict schedule to make it to the ceremony. There are a lot of moving parts in the morning – hair, make up, flowers, for example.
- You will need to wake up earlier and be ready earlier, which means you’ll be wearing your dress and suit for a longer period.
- Many of your guests, especially family, are excited to see your reaction at the ceremony.
- Depending on where we go for photos, your dress may get a little dirty or wet for the ceremony, especially if we’re in winter or spring.
- You’ll most likely need to have your make up and hair touched up before the ceremony.
- Tradition – some people believe it’s bad luck to see each other before the ceremony. Also, you won’t actually be married in your wedding portraits it will be more staged.
- The first look can feel a little forced, and awkward to some, where as the ceremony is in the moment and natural.
We strongly believe that a first look should be personal decision – don’t base it on what you hear you should and shouldn’t do. For ourselves, we never did a first look just because it just doesn’t fit with us. We’re much better in natural interactions, and we were much more relaxed and ready for photos once the ceremony was done. Truly think about what works for you, and don’t get caught up in what works best for photos, because we are able to work with whichever situation to create beautiful images.