What is a First Look and Should I do One?

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Disclaimer: we absolutely LOVEEE first looks! It’s seriously one of our favorite things to capture (and was also one of our favorite things captured on our own wedding!). But that being said, we know a first look isn’t for everyone. To help those on the fence, we’ve written up a few points on those considering doing a first look.

Ok, what the heck is a first look?

If everyone and their moms are asking you if you’re doing a first look, and you’ve got no clue what that is, we can sum it up for you! A first look is a moment (sometime before the ceremony) where the bride and groom see each other for the first time. Traditionally, the groom first sees his bride when she walks down the aisle. So a first look is when a couple decides to share this moment before the ceremony — either just between them (and their photographer/videographer) or sometimes with their close friends/bridesmaids/groomsmen present.

Why should I do one?

This part is completely up to you! But common reasons to have a first look include the following:

1. It can calm the nerves.

For some brides, the pressure of walking down the aisle and seeing your soon-to-be husband for the first time can wrack up A LOT of nerves. And unless you’re having a small and intimate wedding, all eyes are typically on the bride (which can add to the nerves factor). This was actually a reason Charles and I chose to do a first look beforehand - I was nervous! Choosing to see each other before the ceremony begins can help calm any nerves, so that you can truly enjoy the moment where you first see each other (uninterrupted, no distractions, just you and your boo).

2. It allows you to be PRESENT at the ceremony.

This goes hand in hand with point #1, but it’s worth it to point out that when you’re not as nervous, you can walk down that aisle confidently and SOAK IN EVERY MOMENT of your gorgeous day. Any added pressures will be gone, and you’ll be able to be fully present at your ceremony - and enjoy every freaking minute of your awesome day.

3. More opportunity for GORGEOUS, emotion-filled photos

Seeing bae for the first time during a first look can produce so many teary, emotion-filled photos that will make you CRY when you look back on them. While these reaction shots can be pretty awesome too if you decide to go the traditional route (of not seeing each other until the bride walks down the aisle), you’ll find that you get more photos when you do a first look. That’s because you’ll have more time together (and don’t have to move on to your vows). So while you and bae have this moment, we’re off to the side clicking away and capturing all the feels and emotions exchanged between you two.

4. Get some QT in with the bae before the rush of activities.

As we mentioned in point #4, you still get those awesome reaction shots if you choose to forgo the first look, but you’ll quickly find that you’re going from one thing to the next. First looks let you have a moment together after seeing each other for the first time, instead of heading straight into vows/speeches/the rest of the ceremony/greeting family, and more. Wedding days are JAM PACKED, guys. And while each and every moment is beautiful, it’s always nice to sneak in this quality time with one another and soak up the fact that YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED. Think about your timeline for a sec. There is so much time with family and friends, and celebrating and partying — but not as much time of just the two of you. A first look is a wonderful opportunity to do that.