5 reasons to take first look wedding photos

June 2, 2020

First look wedding photos

First look wedding photos are romantic and intimate. They give wedding couples an opportunity to spend time alone before their ceremony.

What are first look wedding photos?

First look wedding photos capture the moment the bride and groom see each other for the first time on the wedding day. It’s their first look at one another before saying their vows. This traditionally takes place a few hours before the wedding ceremony with their photographer and videographer present in a romantic, private setting.

My top reasons to take first look photos on wedding days

It creates a calm, intimate moment for the two of you

Most of your day will be spent celebrating with friends and family. The first look is a secluded moment to just be with one another. With first look photos, you’ll have the opportunity, just the two of you, to be present and feel all of the emotions. (Although you’ll want your photographer and videographer there too!)

You’ll be able to take more wedding couple photos

After the ceremony, family portraits and candid shots will fill up your photographer’s schedule. With a first look, you can take more couple photos! These are often my couples’ favorite photos, and they are always grateful to have taken these images.

First look photos can ease your nerves

Before you walk down the aisle and see your friends and family gathered, a first look gives you an opportunity to ease your nerves. You’ll get to spend time alone, take wedding photos and simply exist before the festivities begin.

First look wedding photos

You can capture raw emotions & reactions

Because a first look centers around the couple, the photographs will focus entirely on you and your reactions. You’ll treasure the images of your loving looks and genuine smiles as you embrace each other for the last time before becoming husband and wife.

You’ll have more time to socialize after the ceremony

Without a first look, you’ll have to take all of your portraits after the ceremony, losing time for true celebration and socialization. With a first look, though, you can enjoy cocktail hour with your guests and be more in the moment.

How to plan a first look

Wondering how to plan a first look? Take my advice as a wedding photographer who has photographed many first looks!

Customize your first look based on your relationship

Are you love note writers or dog lovers? Customize the first look to make it extra romantic and personal. Here are a few ideas:

  • Exchange love notes prior to the first look
  • Swap personalized gifts (get photos of that too!)
  • Have a private vow exchange
  • Hold hands between doorways, without sneaking a peek
  • Bring your dogs to the first look
  • Blindfold the groom and let the bride take off his blindfold

When to schedule a first look

Your first look should take place at two hours before the wedding ceremony. This gives you time to soak it all in and take couple portraits at a slow and relaxed pace.

First look wedding photos

How to organize a first look

There are a few ways to organize a first look. Typically, you’ll arrange for the couple, photographer and videographer to be present. The format from there is up to you! You can try the ideas listed above. When it comes to the actual first look moment, this is usually how it goes:

The groom stands facing away from the bride, and the bride walks up slowly to the groom. When the bride is ready, she can either tap the groom on his shoulder or say his name, at which point he’ll turn around and see his bride on their wedding day for the first time.

The emotions, the smiles and the laughs are one of a kind.

First look wedding photos
First look wedding photos
First look wedding photos

Look at these romantic first look wedding photos! I’ve been honored to witness some incredible love. Contact me here to plan your wedding and first look photos too!


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