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To Have A First Look Or Not Have A First Look?


– Saves time in the evening!
Doing a first look means you can be present at your cocktail hour and enjoy more time with your guests.
– Eases pre ceremony nerves.
It’s totally normal to feel nervous on your wedding day but what I often find is once a couple sees each other before the ceremony, there is a shared excitement, and any nervousness that was present tends to leave.
– You get to share an embrace when you do a first look which you don’t get when you see each other for the first time at the ceremony. You have to wait to hug or kiss and embrace one another.
– You can get your tears out before the ceremony, although some couples cry at both their first look and their ceremony.
– More time for couples portraits!
– You create more of a buffer when doing a first look. Oftentimes things can run behind on a wedding day, but when you are doing a first look, it’s easier to go with the flow and adapt to schedules that ran behind.
– Less time is needed between the ceremony and reception.
If you’re the kind of couple that wants to get the party started right after the ceremony, then you’ll definitely want to opt for a first look.
– You get more time to yourself on your wedding day!
– First looks guarantee daylight for photos especially If you’re having a winter wedding, because it gets dark early.
– More opportunity to be creative with location and how we set up your first look.


– Because first looks mean adding another event earlier in the day before the ceremony, you’ll have to get ready earlier and be ready. If anything runs late before the first-look, then the time for a first-look and bride and groom portraits could get shortened. Or the timeline may have to be shifted a bit.

– You break tradition, and for some people it doesn’t matter how many pros there are, they simply really want to keep the tradition of the groom not seeing the bride until she walks down the aisle.

– Photos are usually taken earlier in the day when the sun is higher in the sky. For me, this isn’t a con because film LOVES light, and I actually welcome lots of sun. However, if you’re not working with a film photographer, this could be a con for a digital photographer. That being said, there is no way to know that far in advance what the weather will do on your wedding day, so it’s best in this case to just roll with it 🙂

I hope these pros and cons were helpful!! If you’d like to learn more about wedding timelines, be sure to check out my blog post “How To Plan Your Wedding Day Timeline“.

As always, if you ever have any questions about wedding photography, logistics or planning feel free to fill out my contact form here.

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