Top 6 Reasons To Do a First Look on Your Wedding Day


March 3, 2021

As you’re planning your wedding, you’ll realize that whether or not to do a first look is a big question! There are a lot of ways in which it can affect the day, and there are arguments on both sides of it. As a wedding photography team, we are pro-first look! While it may seem more traditional to see your bride or groom for the first time while walking down the aisle, there are still a lot of really sweet reasons to have your first look be earlier in the day. Here are our top 6 reasons to do a first look before the ceremony on your wedding day! 

first look

You’re Going to Want to See Each Other Anyways 

When you’re that close to getting married, it’s likely that the love you feel for your fiancé will be through the roof! This likely means that you feel a lot of comfort when you’re around your person. On your wedding day, you’ll experience a full spectrum of emotions, and it can get to be overwhelming (in the best way!), but one thing that is likely to calm you down is being with the one that is about to be your spouse! There’s also an interesting phenomenon that occurs on the day of your wedding where you feel like you are counting down the minutes until you finally get to see your groom or bride. This will be shortened significantly if you decide to do a first look before the ceremony. 

wedding first look

It’s A Lot More Intimate

The moment where you finally get to see each other on your wedding day is one of the most beautiful and memorable moments from your day. I personally feel like I’ll never forget the look on my husband’s face when he first saw me! When you do a first look, you get to enjoy that moment between just the two of you (and a very discreet photographer) where you can take it all in and just enjoy each other for those moments. When your first look is occurring while you’re walking down the aisle, it can be hard to take in your almost spouse because you’re also thinking about all the people who are in the seats looking at you. You’ll probably find yourself gazing around to see who all is there, versus a first look where your gaze is directed at your bride or groom. Being able to have that first look be intimate between you is something that you won’t regret! 

emotional groom first look

More Time to Do Things Just the Two of You 

If your first look is during your wedding ceremony, you may be able to exchange a few quick whispered words, but before you know it that moment has passed as the ceremony truly begins. When you do a first look, you’re able to block out time for it to be just the two of you and you can do things such as; reading letters you wrote to one another, exchanging wedding day gifts, or just staring at each other! Let’s face it, you may never look as good as you do on your wedding day, so it’s not a bad idea to have an extended amount of time to take mental pictures and enjoy that special time together! Not to mention, the photos of a first look are some of the most romantic that you’ll get on your wedding day. It’s less structured and is coming out of an overflow of the love that you have for each other, which will translate beautifully in pictures! 

exchanging gifts first look

Timeline Benefits 

When you don’t do a first look, this means that a lot of your photos will need to happen after the ceremony. Of course you’re able to do pictures with the bridesmaids or groomsmen when you haven’t seen your fiancé, but family portraits, pictures with the entire bridal party, and pictures with just the bride and groom will all have to happen after the ceremony. While, of course, this isn’t the worst thing in the world, it will mean that you’ll have to miss your cocktail hour or have to start the reception later. It’s definitely a preference thing, but the cocktail hour can be a really fun part of the day too and allows for you to have unstructured time to interact with your guests and just have fun! This is the time where you’ll be so relieved that you’re finally married and ready to celebrate! Spending that time taking pictures isn’t the worst way to celebrate, but if you could also be spending that time with your new husband or wife and all of your closest family and friends, that’s a blast as well! 

funny first look

Less Pressure to Hide From Your Fiancé

When you’re waiting until the ceremony to see each other, it can create a lot of weird time if you’re in the same building. You either have to have someone on the lookout all the time or you’ll have to be shuffling in and out of rooms and not able to walk around freely. While this may seem like a small thing, it is an added stressor that isn’t completely necessary to such a big day where there are a lot of moving parts already! When you’re doing a first look earlier in the day, that either eliminates the need to hide or cuts down the time where you’ll need to be avoiding the other person. 

wedding day first look

Spend More of the Day Together!

Seeing as it’s both of your wedding days, why wouldn’t you want to spend more of the day with one another?! You’ll spend a lot of the day together either way, but when you do a first look, that will likely add a couple hours to the time where you get to hang out with each other. This also means that you can combine your bridesmaids and groomsmen which will make more of the day feel like a party! And again, it’s likely that you’ll be watching the clock to see when you will finally get to see each other anyways, so there’s no harm in moving that time up! 

As with all Wedding Wednesday posts, this is just our perspective! But all wedding days are beautiful and whatever you’d prefer for your special day is amazing! We’ll be excited to photograph each of your faces as you see each other for the first time regardless of if it’s before the ceremony or not! It’s all such an incredible moment! 

For more Wedding Wednesday tips and perspectives, click here to check out the blog!

Share this post

Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on pinterest



Hey there, and welcome to the JWP blog!  We are a photography team based in Iowa and we’re glad you’re here!  We hope you’ll enjoy viewing our most recent weddings, tips brides, and business and educational resources for photographers.  


search the site

featured posts

18 Questions to Ask your Wedding Venue

How to Create the Perfect Photo Timeline for Your Wedding Day