“The First Look”

One of the many fun decisions brides & grooms get to make for their wedding day is whether or not they should do the First Look! Now in case you didn’t know, there’s two different types of first looks–one that is made before the ceremony and one that is done during it! Which is my personal favorite? I’m honestly not sure! While the First Look allows for a freer and more relaxing photography day, I love the expressions and moments of each “First Look.”

For this blog post, I thought I’d explain a little bit of the pros and cons of having a First Look for you future brides! :)


As I briefly mentioned, there’s been a new trend of the First Look in the past couple of years–one that is done before the ceremony! It’s a time and space where the bride & groom get to see one another before the wedding and enjoy each others’ presence before all the events happen! I love this First Look for the following reasons:

  1. It is a more private and intimate moment between the bride & groom, a chance for the both of them to spend time with one another on their special day! :)
  2. Because it’s more intimate, it allows for the couples’ expressions and actions to be a little more unfiltered, which allow for beautifully sweet images.
  3. On the more superficial side, the bride’s makeup and hair is freshly done and her dress is spotless, as well as the groom’s suit and boutonniere.
  4. It allows for us to take formal portraits with the full bridal party and immediate family before the ceremony, which then allows for more bride & groom time between the ceremony & reception!
  5. OR you can have your bride & groom session before the ceremony while everything’s nice and fresh! :)

The Cons:

  1. It makes walking down the aisle not as momentous as it traditionally is. The doors opening and seeing your groom there and walking towards him for the first time is quite a precious and big moment that gets missed!
  2. The guests don’t get to witness this precious moment between the bride & groom.
  3. It does call for earlier prep-times for hair and makeup and all that jazz!

The images I’ve capture during pre-ceremony first look have easily become my some of my favorite moments of the day because it’s the very first intimate moment I get to capture of the bride and groom–the emotions are raw & their love for one another is just completely evident in those moments. :)

Here are a couple of my favorite shots in the latest weddings I’ve done with the pre-ceremony first look!

Sam & Grace’s first look was so cute! It was sweet to see their happiness and silliness! I loved seeing the captured moments of Sam’s full expression of content-ness and joy over his bride. View their full wedding here!

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Here’s the first look between Melissa & Kenny! I loved seeing how happy Kenny was to see Melissa! Their excitement to me united as one was so evident!! View their full wedding here!

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I loved this moment especially… I didn’t pose it at all… it was perfectly candid. :)



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Now the second First Look is one that most are familiar with. One that I find personally nerve-wrecking, but absolutely precious, as well! Traditionally, the groom sees the bride for the first time at the alter, along with the rest of their beloved guests! Here are the pros I find about the traditional First Look:

  1. As the entire room fills with awe over the stunning bride, the groom’s reaction always exceeds their joy, and while he can’t jump up and down for joy as freely as he can during the intimate First Look, his face says it all–I love capturing that!
  2. The family and loved ones of the bride and groom get to witness this beautiful moment as well! Having been a wedding guest as well, I love looking at the groom’s expression as his bride walks down the isle! It’s a beautiful moment to witness!

The Cons:

  1. There’s a bit more of a rushed schedule between the ceremony and the reception–unless you have a longer cocktail hour!
  2. Scheduling in a good amount of time for the bride & groom session can be a bit more difficult because everything has to be before the sun goes down completely, and after the ceremony!
  3. It’s not as intimate and if you’re like me, the nerves are something to consider while walking down the aisle! Haha ;)

This is one of my absolute favorite photographs captured at a wedding ceremony of the bride & groom’s reactions towards one another! I remember truly tearing up as I viewed this through my camera! View Rosa & Sergio’s full wedding here!


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Now I know because the Pre-Ceremony First Look had more points than the down the aisle Traditional First Look, but truly I find them both precious moments! The main differences between the two are 1. the ease and convenience of the schedule & 2. the time of intimacy!

Which one should YOU do?? If you’re engaged and debating on the two, sit down with your fiancé and talk it out! Which do you find more valuable and which are you more comfortable with? Whether or not a bride and groom should have a traditional first look or a first look pre-ceremony depends solely on the couple and what they’re like! :)


Happy Friday!