(Closed) Thoughts on First Looks

posted 5 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
3574 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

First looks are great.  I am so happy I did one.  It gives you and your Fiance a time to see each other and experience that emotion in private.  It’s really a moment you will remember forever.  Not to mention, my Darling Husband still loved seeing me come down the aisle, and he did cry a second time and nothing was ruined.  Seeing him beforehand actually calmed me down a little and it was nice to get all those portraits out of the way while my hair & makeup was fresh!   I cannot recommend a first look enough.

Post # 4
11172 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

I am beyond thankful we decided to do a first look. It was an intimate moment between us and it didn’t by any means take away from the walk down the aisle and the ceremony.

With a schedule like yours I don’t see any way around it. Thirty minutes for photos really isn’t enough to get the two of you together in addition to photos with your bridal party and families.

Post # 5
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I did a first look, and it was the best part of our day! We had an hour to take pictures just the two of us. It was wonderful! Did not ruin anything – it was still that special moment of seeing each other in our wedding clothes for the first time!

30 minutes is not enough. Also, were you planning on any outdoor pictures? When is sunset where you are getting married? Might want to just double check that there will be enough light. Daylight savings time should really help, but it’s nice to be sure!

Post # 6
4659 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We’re having one – I think it’s more special than the “aisle” moment! It’ll help calm our nerves and allow us to take lots of nice pictures before the ceremony so we can enjoy the cocktail hour we’re paying for. 🙂

Post # 7
363 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We decided to do a first look so that we could have some private time together before the ceremony, and so we could get all of our pictures out of the way before the wedding started!  

Post # 8
3697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I was totally torn, but I’m super glad we did one!  Here’s my analogy.

The guy in a tux, he isn’t your groom until he’s standing up in front of all your family and friends next to his best man with someone who can marry you.  You aren’t his bride until you come walking toward him on your father’s (or whoever’s) arm.  That’s when you make eye contact and exchange that “OMG we’re about to get married RIGHT NOW” look.  Nothing takes away from that.

The first look was great – he had a chance to see my makeup before I sweat it all off, and tell me how great I looked.  🙂  We had a few minutes to just be together and chat, and get some sweet pictures.  It made everything much more relaxed and easy because we were together.  He’s my guy, I like it when he’s around, as nervous as I never was, I think I might have worked myself up if I tried to hide all morning and afternoon and everyone was looking at me when I saw him for the first time. 

Post # 9
532 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013


I have the same wedding schedule – evening 6 p.m. ceremony followed by cocktail (half hour for family portraits) then the reception.

We ARE doing a First Look.

It’s allowing us all to meet up at a gorgeous manicured garden, hopefuly say hello – then take pics of me, FH, the two of us, the bridal party for 2 hours… Then off to our venue for an hour of chilling out together/touch-up before the ceremony

I know when I get emotional and stressed (as I’m sure to get both) I get frazzled. A long kiss from FH and hug calms me down immediately on a daily basis.

I’m hoping on that day it will have the same effect. 

Then again, I’m not really religious or a church goer. I’ve never dreamed of “the aisle”


Post # 10
3053 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I am planning on it and I’m thrilled!

Post # 11
896 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I feel really old fashioned about this whole idea. I feel like the first time that Fiance should see be on my wedding day should be when I start to walk down the aisle towards him (not that we are getting married in a church, we aren’t religious). I don’t know, maybe it’s just about keeping some of the traditions of marriage since we don’t have the religious aspect to uphold, I feel like we should have some of them. I’m also doing the something old, something new, something borrowed something blue and a sixpence in your shoe. I think that little traditions like this make it more meaningful and special. I really want to be able to capture the reaction on his/my face when we first see eachother walking down the aisle too and I feel like they won’t be as genuine if we’ve already seen eachother that day. What’s the point of hiding what my dress looks like for months and months if he’s just going to see it before the ceremony anyway? I do understand the appeal for photo sake, being able to take photos before the ceremony, but I’ll forego those in order to keep tradition. We’ll take our couples photos after the ceremony.

Post # 12
11172 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@quierajen:  What’s the point of hiding what my dress looks like for months and months if he’s just going to see it before the ceremony anyway?

I fully support and applaud anyone not having a first look. I felt that way too and it was a difficult decision, one I’m glad I made. However, to be honest my Darling Husband reacted both when we had our first look and when I walked down the aisle. The WHOLE day is emotional, special and full of traditions.


For anyone who is interested I can say that by no means was our experience cheapened. I would actually say it was a better experience because I got to see AND hear his thoughts on my dress, my looks, the fact that in a few moments we were getting married. I also got to witness his emotions to seeing me one on one and we got to have a real conversation at that exact moment in time versus 30 mintues later after the moment had passed.

OP There is no wrong answer to this question and there are pros and cons to each. I would suggest that in your situation you sit down with your photographer and go over the feasibility if you decide not to do it because honestly your timeline doesn’t seem to be reasonable in this case.


Post # 13
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We did one and we are so glad we did. We had some amazing memorable shots of just the two of us and DH’s expressions are priceless. Plus, we were able to get all the photos done prior to the event which enabled everyone to enjoy cocktail hour. Something else to consider about FL is that you get a photo of both of your opening expressions at the same time. If you are walking down the aisle, you will have a photo of you and a photo of him but not together at the same time. In addition, for the FL, you get photos of just the two of you without officiants and Bridal Party members in the way. In some ways, I think we were more genuine with our expressions because it was a private moment than had we left it for the moment I came down the aisle in front of all those people.

Post # 14
2808 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

we’re planning on doing almost all of our photos before the ceremony, so yes, we’re doing one. i love the idea of just having that time to ourselves.

Post # 15
1629 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I had one and loved it.

It sounds like, from your wording, you are concerned about your FIs emotional response to you walking down the aisle. I would want you to put more consideration into what YOU want from the day and let him tell you his thoughts as well. Take it from there.

Post # 16
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

My thoughts on a first look:  if you decide to do one, make sure your photographer isn’t an idiot like mine was.  Make sure you get pictures from BOTH angles–your groom watching you approach, or you watching him approach.  My stupid photographer (and I had two) only shot the back of me as I walked towards the back of my husband.  Really kind of a complete waste.  Just wanted to put it into perspective.  I love the idea of a first look and I’m glad we did one, but in order to get the best shots of it, make sure your photographer is competent.  

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