First Look or Wait till Cermony?

posted 3 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: First Look or Wait Until the Ceremony?
    first look : (61 votes)
    58 %
    wait until afterwards : (44 votes)
    42 %
  • Post # 3
    407 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I had the same time line. Did our first look at 130 and pics until 5. I have the most BEAUTIFUL pics. best decision of my wedding!

    Post # 4
    4827 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

    You will need a lot longer than you think for photos. We did a first look and it was amazing! I do not regret it at all. It let me hug and kiss and cry in a semi-private moment, rather than walkng down the aisle desperately wanting to squeeze his cheeks and tell him how wonderful he looks!

    Here is what worked for us:

    • first look at 2:45
    • photos with me and groom, wedding partty, then limo ride over to where the family was for formal portraits, all from 3-4:45
    • Ceremony 5-5:30
    • cocktail hour 5:30-6:45

    Being there for cocktail hour instead of taking phoros was AWESOME because it took all the pressure off trying to say hi to everyone at the actual reception. One of the best decisions we made!

    Post # 5
    509 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I didn’t do a first look with my first wedding and I don’t regret it at all.  I loved seeing his face when he saw me for the first time as I walked down the aisle.  I’m not doing a first look with this wedding either.  To be honest, I don’t like a lot of the pictures that show the woman coming up and putting her hand on the guy.  I feel it looks very staged.

    Post # 6
    11593 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    We did a first look, primarily because we really wanted to enjoy our wedding and be part of the cocktail hour and reception without taking a million pictures.  We did a few post-ceremony photos, but it only took about 20 minutes and we were good! 

    Post # 7
    6446 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    We did a first look and I definitely wouldn’t change it. I do regret that we didn’t plan it out very well because the pictures only show my face, however, I would still choose to do the same thing all over again. You still get that moment of him seeing you but it’s a lot more private. We just stood and hugged for a few minutes while we told each other how excited we were. We wouldn’t have been able to do that at the ceremony!

    Post # 8
    4474 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: February 2012

    I did a first look purely because I wanted to make sure I had enough time to take the pictures I would want with my husband. I don’t regret the decision because those are the most important to me and I’m so glad we have so many. I also knew that because I wanted really good shots I didn’t want to hold my guests up when/if it invariably took longer than an hour to get everything. We saw each other at 1, took pictures at a park until 2, and then took some more pictures back at the venue at our ceremony site. After the ceremony I felt relief that we didn’t have to take more pictures and could just enjoy the rest of the event. I’m also glad that we did the first look because I have pictures with my hair and makeup very fresh and after the ceremony I was definitely a bit wilted. 

    Post # 9
    3777 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: February 2013

    I’m not a fan of first looks. IMO nothing could possibly beat the moment I first locked eyes with DH coming down the aisle.

    But plenty of people say it’s still special even with a first look. It just wasn’t for me.

    Post # 11
    164 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: January 2014

    I’m planning on doing the first look.

    Fiance and I are having our ceremony and reception in the same venue.  There isn’t even any place to have guests go to turn over the room, so we’re doing a hybrid ceremony/reception set up.  We’re also getting married in January, and it could be REALLY cold outside, so I don’t want to make my bridal party leave to go take pictures somewhere and get really cold.

    Also, we both have rather large/intricate families, so I like the idea of getting all those complicated photos out of the way beforehand, so everyone can just party later.  Also, my sister and brother-in-law are doing the pictures, so they’ll need help when it comes time for family photos as well.

    All my logistics practically scream first look to me.  But to each his/her own.

    Post # 12
    497 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    You defnitely should do a first look. Based on the time of your wedding, lighting is everything and you should maximize the sun as much as possible. Cocktail hour goes by so fast, you don’t want to be taking photos while your guests wait when it runs over.

    Post # 13
    355 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    I did not do a first look and I don’t regret it at all. Honestly it made walking down the asile to see him that much more emotional and I don’t think I would have cried during the ceremony. It made it special and that much more of an impact when we saw each other. 

    Post # 14
    1670 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    We’re doing a first look – but not just for pictures. I know I will be highly worked up and nervous on the day (it’s just the way I am) and NOTHING calms me down more than him. We both decided we would feel better if we got to spend a little time together before the ceremony on our own before the crazy wedding train leaves the station.

    Also my friend got married last weekend, and she did a first look. She was afraid it would make coming down the aisle less emotional, but it didn’t – actually, her GROOM cried when she came down the aisle, even though he had seen her already. He said it was different to see her coming at him on her dad’s arm wtih the music playing.

    I’m not too fussed about it either way, I know it will make me more sane to see him first.

    Post # 15
    64 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I played in a string quartet for a wedding where the bride and groom did their first look in the church.  We played the bridal march song just like the ceremony and she walked down the aisle to her groom on her father’s arm.  


    It was really special for them and helped them capture that moment without creating a stressful timeline trying to do pictures afterwards.

    I’m actually thinking about doing this myself


    Post # 16
    2124 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    We refused to do a first look no matter how much our photographer tried to push us. I don’t really like the idea of the first look just to take pictures. Pictures are important but I don’t think the whole day should be focused around them. Pictures before the ceremony and 1 hour after the ceremony is enough time for pictures. There is nothing like walking down the aisle and feeling so excited to reach the end, seeing your groom for the first time and his reaction when he sees you in front of everyone you love. 

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