4 Reasons I Recommend a First Look

Tips for Brides

Jan 6, 2016

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Whether or not to take first look photos is a very personal decision that can only be made by the couple, but as a professional wedding photographer, I highly recommend it! The “first look” is an option to see each other for the first time before the ceremony and have that special moment photographed. Then we’ll take couples portraits, and depending on your preferences, wedding party and immediate family portraits as well. In this way, we complete almost all of the group photos before the ceremony so that you can attend cocktail hour and enjoy the rest of the day.

first look wedding photography

first look wedding photographycodman estate wedding first look

There are several reasons why couples choose not to do the first look, and I’d like to address a few of those first.

Common first look concerns

  1. It’s against tradition and/or bad luck. The tradition of not seeing the bride before walking down the aisle actually stems from ancient times when the marriage was arranged and the groom was going to see her for the first time, ever! So this is a pretty outdated tradition.
  2. It takes away from the magic of one partner seeing the other partner. This is simply not true. Your partner will be just as emotional seeing you walk down the aisle if you’ve already seen each other, if not more so! These are two completely different events, and both will be incredibly special no matter what!

first look wedding photography

Now for some reasons why I think first look photos are a no-brainer.

First Look Benefits

  1. Share this special moment in private- and get to actually enjoy it! Think about it- if the first time you see each other is walking down the aisle, you are sharing that moment with 200 guests and you don’t have any time to cherish it, say anything, kiss or hug. If you do a first look you’ll be alone to really enjoy that moment, your partner can tell you how beautiful you look, you can kiss and hug and just enjoy it- all while it’s captured forever on film!
  2. Have plenty of time for photographs. I need at a minimum an hour in between the ceremony and reception to complete all the bride and groom and family photos. More time is preferred. Even with an hour, we can’t get as creative with couples photos. If you do a first look, we will have plenty of time to get almost all the photos out of the way before the ceremony, and then we can take a few additional shots between the ceremony and reception. This allows for a ton of options, and we can get really creative with it! Also, this will alleviate stress for the rest of the day.
  3. It might be the only option for daylight photos, depending on the time of year. Check what time the sun is going to set! Depending on the time of year and the time of your ceremony, it might be dark afterward and the only time to get daylight photos will be beforehand.
  4. Enjoy cocktail hour with guests. If we get all the photos out of the way before the ceremony, you can go straight to the party after the ceremony, and don’t have to keep your guests waiting! You can even enjoy those hors d’oeuvres you chose.

BONUS positive- extend your day together! It’s simple math that doing a first look = you get to spend additional time with your partner, never mind additional time with friends and family during cocktail hour. And isn’t that what the day is for?

Hopefully, these points will help you decide on the best plan of action for your wedding day! Click here to contact me and see if your date is available.
  1. Faith says:

    At first I was opposed to first looks, bad luck to see the bride. Then when I learned it started when brides were bartered and their dads were afraid the groom would run, I realized it’s time for a change!

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