Tips & Tricks

Should We Have a First Look?

What is a First Look?

It’s a private moment where the bride and groom get to see each other prior to the ceremony. It’s often captured by their photographer, and family and the bridal party will look on from a distance. Sometimes, they even join in for photos after the “big reveal”.

Are you trying to decide if you should have a First Look on your wedding day or not? Answer these 5 questions below to decide.

Q1. Do you have time to kill between your ceremony and reception?

Answer: Yes.

If you have multiple hours between your ceremony and reception, then you should NOT have a First Look. Instead, use the time in between for photos. Don’t worry about what your guests are going to do. They will either stop home or at their hotel if they are from out of town to change, or find a local bar to stop by and have a drink. Use the time that you have in between to take your formal photos with family and bridal party. 

Answer: No.

If you are already rushed between ceremony and reception or if both are at the same place, you can save time and enjoy your cocktail hour by having a First Look.


Photographer: Brian Hatton Photography

Q2. Are you traditional?

Answer: Yes.

Traditionally, the groom does not see the bride until she is walking down the aisle. If you want to keep this sense of tradition, opt out of a First Look.

Answer: No.

If traditions are the least of your concerns, then a First Look could be a good option for you!

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Photographer - Rod Jovanelly, The Pros

Q3. Do you want to join in your cocktail hour?

Answer: Yes.

Formal photos are usually taken during cocktail hour. If you opt to not have a First Look,they will be done during cocktail hour and most likely, you will not have time to join in the fun. 

Answer: No.

If you want to remain unseen until your formal introduction into the reception, then you can take your formal photos during cocktail hour and not have to worry about having a First Look!

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Photographer: Brian Hatton Photography

Q4. Do you want to do all of your formal photos before the ceremony?

Answer: Yes.

If you want to get all of your photos out of the way early, then having a First Look is the way to go. Once that takes place, you can have the rest of your formal photos with your family and bridal party and not have to worry about not seeing each other before the ceremony to get those group shots together.

Answer: No.

Again, if you have time to kill or you just don’t want to see your future hubby until the ceremony, then don’t choose to have a First Look. 

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Photographer: Kevin Kelley Photography

Q5. Is your ceremony time late in the day and after Daylight Savings Time ends?

Answer: Yes.

If your ceremony is scheduled for late afternoon or early evening in the months of November, December, January or February, then you might want to have a First Look to optimize the use of the daylight in your photos

Answer: No.

If you’re having a daytime wedding, then you might not have enough time in the morning for a First Look and you don’t have to worry about it getting dark out anyway!

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Photographer: Jessica Osber