“First Look” Wedding Photos – Trend or Tradition…

“First Look” Wedding Photos – Trend or Tradition

Recently during a planning session with a new couple, when discussing the ceremony and reception timing, the issue of the “First Look” came up. They both asked me what that was. When I explained it, one was fore, and one was against it. They are still deciding…..

I want to tell you that there is no right or wrong decision. Every couple is different and I believe that your wedding should be a reflection of your character, personality and style.

Are you going to do a “First Look”? It’s one of the questions couples have to decide early on in the planning process as it will affect the flow of your day. It’s also a decision your photographer and/or videographer will need to know, as they have to plan accordingly to get all the formal pictures that you have requested of them.

What is a First Look? It’s a specially arranged moment when the couple sees each other for the first time before the ceremony, away from your wedding guests. Your photographer and/or videographer will be there to capture the “moment”. It can be a special time for you to calm your nerves before the ceremony and enjoy that OMG moment privately, and take images of you two together before you exchange your wedding vows among family and friends.

Tradition states that the couple does not see each other before the ceremony. Many couples choose to maintain this tradition because they believe it builds up the moment before the walk down the aisle. Other couples recognize the benefits of seeing each other before the ceremony – pre-ceremony portrait shots allow you more time to enjoy celebrating with your guests during cocktail hour and reception.

There are some cultures and religions where couples see each other before the ceremony as part of the wedding celebration; for example, Ketubah signings, tea and garland ceremonies.

Whether you choose to have a “First Look” or not, there will still be that special moment when your eyes meet down the aisle and you feel all the emotions that committing yourselves in marriage to each other brings.

A well planned First Look will:

  •  Add another special moment to your wedding day
  •  Allow you to enjoy a playful and romantic time alone together
  • Cut picture taking time down after the ceremony, as you will be able to take some portrait shots during this time
  •  Allow you to enjoy more of your cocktail hour and reception



You also need to consider the time of day/year of your wedding. If you want a sunset ceremony and haven’t done a “First Look” and pre-ceremony portraits, it may very well be too dark outside by the end of the ceremony to do your formals.

Remember that this is your day and you should make this decision together. If you are more traditional, would you regret not having the big entrance at the ceremony? Or, do you like having a special “First Look” moment captured? Be honest and agree together!

No matter what you decide, each and every time your eyes meet on your wedding day (and hopefully ever after!) you will be filled with love for each other!

Happy Planning!




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