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Should I do a first look on my wedding day?

Updated: Jun 22, 2022

Full disclosure, I’m a photographer so I’m bound to be a bit biased when it comes to the question of whether or not you should do a first look. But, I am not here for my own personal satisfaction; I want you to get the most out of your wedding day! I know what you might be thinking -- seeing each other as you walk down that aisle is the only way that you can have that special moment, and a first look would take away from that. Let me tell you that nothing could be further from the truth…

So, should you do a first look? Well, that is entirely up to you, but I would be happy to help you make that decision…

Here are some pros of doing a first look:


1. Calm your nerves and enhance your excitement...

New Jersey | New York | PA | Wedding Photographer & Videographer

On your wedding day, the only person who knows exactly how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking is the person who is in the same exact position as you, the person you are going to share your life with -- your spouse-to-be. The first look is your chance to separate yourselves and enjoy a moment of privacy -- a moment to take a breath and share a few words among yourselves.

The first look gives you and your partner the chance to share in your mutual excitement and to hug-out your overwhelming nerves just before the bride walks down the aisle. What’s better than that?

2. Get your pictures out of the way and enjoy your day...

Your wedding day will be busy. You will have to greet guests, take photos, mingle, dance, and so much more. And remember, photography requires time, especially when lots of people and little children are involved! We typically recommend setting at least 60-90 minutes aside on your wedding day for group, family, and bride/groom portraits. That being said, wouldn’t you like to get your wedding pictures out of the way before the frenzy commences? Wouldn’t you prefer to ease through your portraits calmly before the tears wipe away your eyeliner, before the wind impacts your perfect curls, and before the champagne weighs-down your eyelids? Well, the traditional wedding ritual -- seeing the bride and groom for the first time as the bride walks down the aisle -- unfortunately doesn’t allow for any of the above. After all, you cannot take pictures with your partner if you cannot look at one another! However, when couples do a first look, they can finish their family, group, and self portraits right afterward. In other words, the first look allows you to get all of the must-have shots out of the way and dedicate the rest of your day to having an amazing time!

3. Enjoy the most important moment of your day in privacy...

That may have sounded a bit misleading… Put frankly, there will be no privacy on your wedding day, all eyes, lights, and cameras will be on you. However, a first look will separate you and your partner for a moment, and although your family and friends might not be too far behind, the only people who will be there with you during that special moment are the photographer and videographer who will capture it. And that is why we define the first look as an improvement to the traditional wedding ritual that enhances the sentimental nature of viewing your spouse-to-be for the first time by taking away the nerves, the noise, and the crowd of guests from your special moment.

4. Actually make it to your cocktail hour...

Cocktail hour is for signature drinks and pigs in a blanket, not for family photos. If you plan to take all your photos during cocktail hour, you will not go that that cocktail hour, and neither will your bridal party, or your family. In addition to that, if your photographer is spending the entirety of cocktail hour taking group photos, there will be little time for detailed photos of the ballroom, centerpieces, cake, sweetheart table, etc.

By doing a first look, you are giving yourself the time that is required to accomplish all of the photography goals that you have for your wedding day. You will have more time, better results, and you will be far more relaxed. A first look means that you get to enjoy your day more, and you even get to make it to your cocktail hour!



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