Planning a wedding timeline can be stressful when you have so many things planned into an 8-hour time frame.  When meeting with your wedding photographer you most likely will be asked if you would like to do a First Look or opt to wait.  Many of you might know what that is and others will ask “What is that?”.   A first look is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time prior to the ceremony. A lot of couples choose not to do it because of their tradition and family expectations; they want their weddings more traditional, they want to have the moment when the bride walks down the aisle and sees the groom for the first time, and that’s totally fine. If that’s your decision and you feel good about it, that’s all it matters because in the end, it is your special day and only you know what you want.

The First Look

However, if you’re unsure about it, I really want to stress the benefits of doing a first look.  I want you to consider all your options and their pros and cons so that you make your decision with confidence, because once you do it, it’s done, you can’t get it back. There are so many beneficial reasons to do it than not.

The First Look 2 The First Look 3

Both myself and my second photographer step back and let the raw emotions happen between our bride & groom.  This groom was absolutely overwhelmed with how beautiful his bride was and those sweet moments are now preserved forever.

The First Look 4 The First Look 5



Each and every one of us is different and just like we are different, there will be different ways in which a bride and/or groom will react when they see each other.  That’s the beauty of being an individual.  Some will cry, some will laugh and some will just quietly revel in the moment.  There is no right or wrong way to react.  The thing to remember is that this is your special moment and it is just between the two of you…and of course your photographers hiding in the bushes.  haha.

I’m sure there are more reasons why you should do a first look on your wedding day, but here are three of the most important ones:

  1. You Won’t Miss Out On Cocktail Hour – if you choose not see each other before the ceremony, the only bridal party photos you can get are the bride with her bridesmaids and the groom with his groomsmen. When you look at your wedding album or photos to hang on your living room wall, the most important ones are probably the ones of the bride and groom together. Doing a first look 30 minutes to an hour before the ceremony will free up some time for bride + groom portraits and once you’re done, you can enjoy your cocktail hour without having to worry about missing out on mingling with your lovely guests, as a result, I can get more candid photos as well.
  2. Options and Control  – First looks can be done anywhere.  You have the option to choose the backdrop/scenery and lighting.  You can also determine the energy around you, whether you want to make it very intimate, just the two of you, or you can have the bridal party surround you, which can be very energetic and cheerful, as opposed to seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony, where you have no control over lighting and everything else around you.
  3. Time  – You will have much more time to really soak in this special moment that you’ve been waiting for so long. And to be able to take the time and say to each other “OMG, we’re getting married!”, it’s priceless; you won’t get the chance to do this during the ceremony.

The First Look 5 The First Look 6 The First Look 7

The eyes say it all!!  So many beautiful moments to capture and look back on to and enjoy.

The First Look 8


OH…there is another big benefit to doing a First Look.  If you are having an evening wedding in the late fall or winter, I would strongly urge you to consider going this route.  Yes, we can take photos in any kind of light and even create our own, but those natural light moments are so very beautiful.

The First Look is something that you will want to talk over amongst yourselves and feel good about.  Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer about the pros and cons.  Consider what is most important to you so that no matter what your decision is, it will be the one that you are happy with.

Thank you for stopping by!


The First Look | FAQ’s

January 2, 2014

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I'm Lisa! Brand, commercial & portrait photographer based in Greenville, SC. Take a moment and browse the blog as well as my portfolio.  
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