First Look: Pros, Cons and Everything in Between

Debating on whether or not to have a “first look”? Well, look no further because this is the blog for you! First off, what in the world is a “first look”? It is when you and your future partner see each other for the very first time on wedding day BEFORE the ceremony even begins. Just by reading that sentence you may be thinking "absolutely not" or maybe it’s intriguing to you and you want to learn more! To give you a better overview of all things "first looks", I had the pleasure of speaking with the lovely Erika, with Erika Grace Photography.

Erika and I came up with a full list of the pro's, con's and everything in between on having a "first look" on your wedding day. Let's take a deep dive together so you figure out if this is something you’d like to add to your wedding day itinerary!



· You will get a TON of photos, more than you normally would, since you will be using your photographer for this special moment within the 6-8 hours you booked them for. This gives you better “bang for your buck” and amazing moments to forever look back on.

· It’s a very sweet, intimate moment between you and your partner. These moments between the two of you are rare on wedding day since you are constantly surrounded by family and friends. It's the one time you get to celebrate alone together.

· If you are very emotional, this may be a great way to let it all out prior to ceremony. Now, when you walk down the aisle, you can feel more relaxed and fully enjoy the moment.

· You can actually attend your cocktail hour! A lot of couples completely miss out on cocktail hour because they are taking photos right after the ceremony. Now, you can mingle with your guests and enjoy the delicious hors d'oeuvres you picked out!

· If you are nervous about reading vows in front of everyone at the ceremony, this is a perfect time to read them to each other at your “first look”.

· You are guaranteed natural light portraits! If you are envisioning a romantic sunset ceremony, then a “first look” would be your only opportunity on the big day to capture those gorgeous natural light portraits! Once the sun begins to set, there's not a lot of natural light left for family formals, wedding party AND couple portraits.


· It completely goes against tradition.

· A "first look" with your partner before saying "I Do", may not necessarily ruin the vision of seeing each other for the first time at the altar.  It may just give your photographer two different opportunities for candid expressions. This all depends on the personality of you and your partner!

· It is not a completely intimate moment between you and your partner. You will have your photographers and videographers nearby.

· You have more of a “crunch time” to get your hair & makeup done quicker since you have to be completely ready for photos prior to your first look, which may be between 1-3 hours before ceremony to also allow time for some portraits.


Now, if the pro & con list still didn’t sway you, then maybe a “first touch” is best for you! I had a wedding where the couple met just outside of their ceremony space before guests arrived and they both stood on either side of a pillar. Once they were ready, they reached around the pillar and touched hands. The most simple a touch can be the sweetest moment. Both the bride and groom cried and it was beautiful! You still get amazing photos, but don’t spoil the surprise of seeing your partner at the alter for the first time. At the “first touch” you could still even read out your vows to each other if that’s a nerve-racking factor for you to pour your heart out in front of your guests at the ceremony!

First looks are truly endless! Instead of a "first look" with your partner, you could have a "bridal party reveal" with your bridesmaids. Erika shared some sweet photos of a past wedding below doing exactly that!


Another sweet option is to have a “first look” with your dad or another close family member. Erika had a bride ask to do a first look with her brother who walked her down the aisle in place of the father who past away. She said it was a very emotional moment. This would have never been documented if it weren't for the "first look" concept that is now an untraditional, yet extremely valued experience today. 

As you pick out which option is best for you, keep in mind the type of person you are. If you are more on the shy and reserved side, then walking down the aisle and seeing your partner for the first time with all eyes on you can be daunting. If you are normally the life of the party and love the attention, then maybe saving that special moment for the ceremony with your friends and family joining in is just perfect! Just know there is no “wrong” choice here. It is YOUR wedding day and you get to make the rules!

When planning out the details for your wedding day, you want to make sure you have a talented wedding photographer to capture these sweet moments! I mentioned Erika Grace Photography earlier in the blog. She is absolutely one of my favorite photographers here in Central Florida! Erika is such a sweet, down to earth person. She is super fun to work with and makes you feel at ease on wedding day. Her style is is a nice blend of light and airy, giving you an amazing look on wedding day. Make sure to check out her website below for some inspiration!


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