(Closed) Part of me wants to do a first look……

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
2 posts

I’m basically thinking the exact same thing!  I’m getting married in February and our ceremony is at 5:30 p.m. The sun is supposed to set around 6:15 so I’m not sure if I want to try and cram some pictures in after our short ceremony or do a first look.  I don’t really like the idea other than for photography purposes.  One of my friends got married last year and her groom’s face as she walked down the isle was priceless.  He was in awe and that in itself made a great picture for their wedding album. If you have time maybe you can take your first pictures outside before the sun is completely gone?  And if not it’s totally up to you if you would like to look back on your wedding day and get to look through pictures in the sunlight or have the memories of you guys seeing each other for the first time that day when you’re walking down the isle!  I think the emotions will be different but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!  And I don’t think first looks are uncommon now. Good luck 🙂

Post # 4
6825 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

We did first look and no it did not change the emotions walking down the aisle to my now Darling Husband. I am sooo glad we did first look. It gave us time to talk a bit and smile. The walk down the aisle was still really special and all those feelings were still there, in fact to me more intense!

Post # 5
959 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@meanttobee:  You aren’t the only one! We will also be married in November and did not even think about the time when the sun sets. We realized that detail when we were interviewing photographers. Our wedding coordinator suggested to bump up the time of ceremony (4:30pm instead of 5:30pm). She also encouraged my Fiance to consider doing the “first look” and he was completely against it. It wasn’t after talking out photographer that he was all in for doing the “first look”.

We don’t know any other couple who has done the first look but we are looking forward to sharing that intimate moment away from family and friends. It would probably be the only time that we will be alone so I really look forward to it.

Post # 6
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I think it depends on your seasons!  My Fiance and I decided to not have a first look, but that is because we are getting married at 5pm and the sun doesn’t set until about 9pm and I realllly want to see his face when he sees me for the first time!

Post # 7
4352 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

You can always do most of the separate photos before the ceremony and the group shots after. Like the bride + bridesmaids, bride and brides family, groom and grooms family ect. and then do the shots of you two after the wedding.

Post # 8
964 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I’m having the same issues as well.  My ceremony and reception are both outdoors and with the concern of heat it would be best to do a first look and then start the ceremony an hour later and than we don’t even need a cocktail hour and if we do decide to still do cocktail hour we can do half an hour instead and use that extra 30 min for the reception for dancing.  We have to be packed up and out by 11pm. 

We are taking bets on who will cry first and I just think the first look will take away from that.


Post # 9
1252 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I got married in November and had a first look, I wouldn’t trade the gorgeous outdoor photos we have for anything, they are my favorite pictures from the day hands down – especially the first look photos. As an added bonus we got to enjoy our cocktail hour instead of having to rush through all the portraits, the entire day was just relaxing and fun for us both.

The first look itself was very emotional, probably because it’s private and you get a few moments to interact upon seeing each other for the first time, it really is special and I didn’t feel like I “missed” anything that day.  I personally don’t think I would have been as emotional during the aisle because there’s 130+ people staring at me and I am just not comfortable letting it all go in front of so many people.  Plus I was too worried about sucking in my stomach, smiling, and not messing up my vows 🙂 

Post # 10
17 posts
  • Wedding: January 2012

We did a first look.  It was wonderful.  We went to one of our favourite spots, which would have been a struggle to get to for photos after the ceremony.  I got to see close up the expression on almost-hubbie’s face when he opened his eyes and saw me.  It also gave us some time together- I got the chance to ask how he was feeling and how his day had been, and we told each other how excited we were.  It was our little oasis of ‘us’ time in a very busy day.  It didn’t diminish the feeling when I came down the aisle- the atmosphere was different with everyone there, and knowing that ‘this is IT!’  We still look delighted to see each other!  I would do the same again.  Having said that, I don’t think you should let the photos dictate your day, so if you have always dreamed of having him see you for the first time as you come down the aisle, then PPs have had some good advice about getting some of the family and party shots done first.


Post # 11
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

We encourage first looks for our couples because not only does it free up the timeline for photography, but in our experience it is almost always a more poignant and emotional moment for the couple.  I’ve seen more tears of joy during first looks than I ever have with the traditional walking down the aisle.  It can be a private, intimate moment, or you can have your whole bridal party in the background cheering you on.

Post # 12
1839 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I feel like I’ve seen so many great photos taken during first looks.  I really want to do one; not sure if my Fiance will feel the same, but we’ve got a while to decide 🙂

Post # 13
19 posts
  • Wedding: August 2012

I totally encourage a first look! It is so magical & special for couples (I’m a wedding photographer) and I’ve never had a couple regret doing a first look. Even when there is a first look, it doesn’t take away from the emotion or significance of walking down the aisle. Most grooms still get very emotional during this, even when there has been a first look! I am doing a first look for my wedding, but before I was a photographer & saw how great they are I wasn’t sure about doing one. Now I am 100% pro first-look!

A first look is so special since it gives you two alone time for the only time of the day. He gets to check you out up close & personal before everyone else, which I think is really special.

In your situation with the lighting, I would really recommend doing the portraits before the ceremony. They will be so much prettier & in the long run you will be really happy with both the photos & the experience of seeing each other in a really intimate way on your wedding day!

Plus, the whole tradition of not seeing your bride/groom before the ceremony was established back in the day when there were arranged marriages & they didn’t want someone to ditch the wedding if they didn’t like who they were going to marry! Eek!

Post # 14
18645 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

We did it and don’t regret it.  It let us have a private moment before the wedding (you won’t get it later) and the walk down the aisle was still so special.

Post # 15
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

One of the best decisions we made! We got married in December so the sun would have set by 5:30-6ish. We did our first look at 4 and it was perfect. Seriously, just being around him was extremely calming to me and put me in a great mood the rest of the day. Everyone kept remarking on how calm I seemed for a bride and I attribute that entirely to spending the morning with him and by being with him before the ceremony. I don’t think the walk down the aisle was any less special – I was walking down to marry the man of my dreams, and that’s pretty freaking amazing!

Post # 16
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I was undecided on the whole first-look thing.  Now, I’m sold.  I really want to enjoy a few minutes of “alone” time before the ceremony and I think the awesome photos are a bonus to the moment you share before two become one…

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