Let me start off by saying that I am NOT here to sway you in one direction. I can’t tell you how many photographers really try to push couples towards doing a first look, but I am not going to be that photographer. This is a super important moment during your day and it should only be EXACTLY what you want that moment to be!!

Deciding whether or not you’re going to do a first look affects the whole schedule of the day, so it should be up there as one of the first things you decide on. Do what feels RIGHT for you and your boo! To help you out, here are some of the pros and cons I’ve seen to both doing a first look and not doing one:

Pros to doing a first look

- A special, intimate time with just the two of you, without hundreds of eyes on you

- Extra photos of you two

- More time for family + bridal party photos

- It doesn’t take away from the aisle walk (I’ve seen grooms get just as emotional when they see their bride walking down the aisle as they did during the first look)

- More time to enjoy cocktail hour

Cons to doing a first look

- You may feel like you’re missing out on the aisle walk and that special moment where you see each other for the first time right before you get married.

- It isn’t “traditional”

- You don’t get to share that moment with your family and friends

If you decide to do a first look, here are some tips to make the most of this moment:

Limit the number of people. I suggest you, your boo, me ;) and your videographer if you have one. Mom may really want to witness this, and that’s totally fine, but it may not be the time to invite extended family because it will quickly become less intimate.

Give yourself time. No one wants to feel rushed during this super special moment. You want to give yourself time so you can truly soak it all in and enjoy each other. It’s also a great time to snap photos of the two of you after.

Allow time after for touch ups. If you’re seeing each other for the first time, chances are there are going to be kisses, embraces, and a few tears. Account for this in your timeline and use the additional moments before your ceremony to dry your eyes, reapply lipstick, and for grooms, change your undershirt (trust me, having an extra tee for beneath your suit shirt is clutch to feeling fresh!).

Use this time for formal photos. Get those family and bridal party photos DONE so that after the ceremony, I can steal ya away to grab any photos we may have forgotten before the ceremony, and then you can enjoy your cocktail hour!

Alternatives to a first look with your fiance:

- First look with dad and/or brothers and/or other important people in your life

- First touch or time to pray with your partner without seeing each other