From our Photographer’s Point of View series…

You’ve probably scoured the web and bridal magazines looking for the latest trends to make your wedding a great day.  The “First Look” is a newer trend that your parents will hate, and probably make your grandparents pass out.  A “First Look” is an orchestrated event before the wedding ceremony in which you see your fiancé all dressed up in their wedding attire.  (I can hear grandparents fainting.)  Why on earth would you ever want to do this?  In this post, I’ll give you a few pros and cons of having a first look.  Some wedding photographers try to lead their couples into having a first look, but the decision should be yours.  For more information on getting great photos as you get ready for your day, click here.

A beautiful bride prepares for a first look with her soon-to-be husband.

The groom is about to see his (almost) wife in her gown for the first time.

A nervous groom with a huge smile is about to see his bride for the first time in her wedding gown.

This picture is a mix of extreme happiness, a few nerves, and excitement!

The bride and groom hug and cry after seeing each other in their wedding attire.

And we all cry, and exhale…


  1. It saves time. You can take ALL of your family and formal bridal party portraits before the ceremony. This means that after the ceremony, all photos are done, so you can head straight to the reception with your guests.
  2. The first look can help with the pre-wedding jitters.
  3. It can be a very special moment between the two of you, without guests and friends watching. (Of course, I’ll be quietly snapping away if you want.)
  4. Everyone will look their best for the photos. (Think hot church with no AC!)


  1. This is the HUGE con of the first look. The “walk down the aisle” is less of a ‘special moment’ because you’ve already seen each other.  I clearly remember when I was a groom, nervously standing in front of the church, and all of my family and friends, anxiously awaiting to see my soon-to-be wife.  When the doors at the back of the church opened, and light flooded in around my bride, it was truly a magical moment.  (Cue the “ahhhhhhh” choir sound.). It is the memory I think about most when I think about my own wedding.  It was a truly amazing feeling.  (I’m not crying, you are.)  When you have a first look, you miss out on this.  For some people, this is completely acceptable, and for others, not so much.  This is why there is no correct answer…you have to decide if a first look is right for you.
  2. While having a first look does save SOME time, it really doesn’t save a ton of time.  Photos taken after the ceremony move along very quickly, especially if you provide a list of the groupings of people you want photographed.
  3. Your parents will probably have a fit…because nobody had first looks when they got married.
  4. Your grandparents will faint…there is no other way to describe it.

So, should you have a first look?

If you decide to have a first look, it’s best to do it without the bridal party present.  This is a nice quiet moment for the two of you to take a look at each other, and enjoy being together.  This will probably be the only part of your wedding day when you are alone with each other. Once the wedding starts, you become a rockstar, and everyone wants to be near you.  I hope this information helps.  There is no right answer…the decision is yours.