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Should I Do A First Look? First Look Tips For Your Wedding Day

May 10, 2023

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should I do a first look

One of the most frequently asked questions by couples planning their wedding is, “Should I do a first look?” This modern trend has gained popularity in recent years, with many couples opting to see each other before the ceremony in a private, intimate setting. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why you should consider a first look, as well as tips for making it a memorable and emotional experience. So, if you’re asking yourself, “Should I do a first look?” keep reading to discover why this might be the perfect addition to your wedding day.

should I do a first look

The Benefits of a first look

A first look offers numerous advantages that can enhance your wedding day experience. Here are some of the most compelling reasons to consider incorporating this special moment into your timeline:

  • Emotional connection: A first look allows you and your partner to share a private, emotional moment away from the eyes of your guests. This intimate encounter can help calm nerves and create a deeper connection between you before the ceremony.
  • Time management: By opting for a first look, you can take advantage of the additional time before the ceremony to capture your couple’s portraits. This means more time to spend with your guests during the cocktail hour and reception.
  • Better photos: The natural, candid reactions captured during a first look often result in some of the most cherished images from your wedding day. Your photographer will have more time and flexibility to capture these emotional moments without the constraints of a tight schedule.
  • Relaxed atmosphere: A first look allows you to enjoy a quiet moment together before the excitement of the day unfolds. This can help you feel more relaxed and present during your ceremony and reception.

should I do a first lookPlanning your first look

If you’ve decided that a first look is right for you, it’s essential to plan it carefully to ensure it goes smoothly. Here are some tips for making your first look a moment to remember:

  • Choose a location: Pick a private, quiet spot with beautiful surroundings for your first look. This could be a secluded garden, a picturesque courtyard, or a serene beach. Consult with your photographer to find the ideal location that offers a stunning backdrop and sufficient privacy.
  • Schedule enough time: Allocate at least 30 minutes for your first look to ensure you have ample time to enjoy the moment, take photos, and touch up makeup and hair before the ceremony. Your photographer will be able to advise you on the best time of day for optimal lighting.
  • Coordinate with your photographer: Communicate your vision and expectations to your photographer so they can capture the emotions and reactions during your first look. Discuss any specific shots or angles you’d like, and trust their expertise to guide you through the process.
  • Keep it personal: Consider writing a heartfelt letter to exchange during your first look, or incorporate a special ritual, like reciting your vows privately. These personal touches will make the experience even more meaningful.

First look alternatives

If you’re still unsure about whether a first look is right for you, consider some alternative options that still allow for a special pre-ceremony moment while preserving the tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony. Some popular alternatives include:

  • A first touch: You and your partner can stand on either side of a door or a partition, holding hands and exchanging a few words without actually seeing each other.
  • Exchanging gifts or letters: You can still share a sentimental moment by exchanging gifts or heartfelt letters before the ceremony, either in person with a barrier between you or through your wedding party members.
  • A family first look: Include your parents or siblings in a pre-ceremony reveal, creating a touching moment that includes your loved ones.

should I do a first look

Preparing for your first look

To make your first look experience even more memorable and seamless, it’s essential to prepare beforehand. Here are some tips to help you get ready for this special moment:

  • Communicate with your wedding party: Make sure your wedding party is aware of your plans for a first look, so they can help facilitate the process and ensure everything runs smoothly.
  • Plan your attire: Consider the type of attire you and your partner will wear during the first look. Will you be fully dressed in your wedding attire, or will you opt for a more casual outfit and change later? Discuss your preferences and coordinate with your photographer to ensure they capture the look you desire.
  • Hair and makeup: Schedule your hair and makeup appointments with enough time to be ready. Keep in mind that you may need a touch-up afterward, so allocate time for that as well.
  • Consider the weather: If it is outdoors, have a backup plan in case of inclement weather. Discuss this possibility with your photographer and venue to ensure a seamless transition if needed.

Capturing the first look

Your photographer will play a significant role in capturing the emotions and reactions during your first look. Here are some tips to ensure you get the best possible images:

  • Trust your photographer: Choose a photographer whose style and approach align with your vision. Trust their expertise and guidance when it comes to capturing the first look.
  • Be present in the moment: Focus on your partner and the emotions you’re experiencing during the first look. Try not to worry about the camera and allow your photographer to capture the genuine, candid moments.
  • Be open to direction: Your photographer may provide gentle direction or suggestions to help create the perfect shots. Be open to their guidance and trust their creative instincts.


The decision to have a first look on your wedding day is a personal one that should be based on your individual preferences and priorities. The benefits of a first look are numerous, and with proper planning, it can become a cherished and unforgettable part of your wedding experience. If you’re still unsure whether a first look is right for you, consider some of the alternative options discussed in this blog post. Ultimately, the most important thing is to create a wedding day that reflects your unique love story and feels true to you as a couple.

If you found this blog post helpful and are looking for a dedicated wedding photographer to capture your special day, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to provide exceptional service and create stunning images that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. Contact me today to discuss your wedding photography needs, and let’s create something magical together.


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Hi there! Welcome to my blog about all things photography. Stay a while and say hello!

Learn more



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