For those of you who don’t know, a first look is a private moment for you and your fiancée to see each other before the ceremony. Some couples love that quiet time together while others want to keep it traditional. As a photographer, I’m a fan of first looks and suggest it to all my couples. However, there is something special about seeing your partner for the first time that day at the other end of the aisle.
First looks are ideal for ceremonies that take place later in the day or year. If your ceremony is at 4pm, the sun is gone by 5:30pm during the winter. Having a first look ensures that you can get photos with natural light and gives you more time for bride and groom portraits. Some photographers get all your photos done after the first look. Then you only have to take family formals and wedding party photos after the ceremony. It gives you a lot more time to spend time with your guests during cocktail hour!
This is also the perfect time to give any gifts that you may have for each other. Some couples take this time to pray or read private vows they’ve written. It’s so nice to take time out to celebrate together as a couple with no pressure from an audience. First looks can be emotional and often make amazing photographs.
If you’re set on keeping your wedding traditional, there are ways to still have a private moment without seeing each other. You can hide behind a door or around a corner and talk to each other or pray. I’ve also had couples that will give gifts without seeing each other.
First looks aren’t just for couples- you can also have a first look with a family member. It’s most common for brides to have one with their dad, but it can be done with anyone. If one of you is unsure if you want to have a first look, it’s best not to do it all. For my wedding, we kept it traditional. Jacob and I didn’t see each other until I walked down the aisle and it was a great experience!
There are so many ways a first look can be done. But what’s important is to think about what you two truly want.
*Photos were taken while second shooting for Paige Hough Photography and Leah Adkins Photography