First look or not…. Convince me!

posted 5 months ago in Beehive
  • poll: Should I do a first look?
    YES! I did one and am so glad we did! : (20 votes)
    38 %
    No way! I didn't and am so glad I did! : (12 votes)
    23 %
    Yes! It seems like it would make your day way easier : (12 votes)
    23 %
    No! Stick to your guns and do what you want! : (8 votes)
    15 %
    I wrote details below because you said that's what you wanted! : (1 votes)
    2 %
  • Post # 2
    9178 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2016

    I loved our first look. I don’t think it made walking down the aisle any less special and I really liked having a more private moment with my husband. At the ceremony you just jump right into things when you get to the end of the aisle. During the first look we laughed, cried, said how much we loved each other and how excited we were to be married. It was just a really great experience.

    There is no right or wrong though. 1.5 hours should be plenty of time for photos (though I do hate when a cocktail hour starts to drag on too much past the 1 hour mark). Our photographers could have easily done all our photos during the cocktail hour and that was only 1 hour. We actually joined the end of our cocktail hour because we were done taking pictures about 30 minutes into it and it had only taken us 15-20 minutes to do the family/wedding party pictures before the ceremony.

    There are other ways to get pictures out of the way beforehand without seeing each other. You can do all the bridesmaids and groomsmen pictures beforehand along with family pictures of the couple with just their side and then just do all the combined photos after.

    Post # 3
    4521 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2018

    My photographer recommends a first look but my fiance and I really want that first moment we see each other to be when i’m walking down the aisle.  That moment is what all the planning is building up to and I really want it to be traditional. 

    I think 1.5 hours will be more than enough, I am only planning on doing around an hour of portrait photography as I feel it will be enough to capture what I want and then go and focus on the rest of the day. 

    Most of the weddings I have been to have done photos around the guests, that way you can include more people in the formal photography and they aren’t hanging around doing nothing when they aren’t in shot. 


    Post # 4
    1271 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2019

    This is one of those topics that is so subjective – it’s like any other question about weddings 🙂 It entirely depends on how you want your husband to see you for the first time on your wedding day. Do you want him to first see you walking down the aisle? Then don’t have a first look. Or do you want him to see you for the first time in a more intimate setting? Then do a first look.

    I don’t plan to do a first look, and nothing will make me regret that decision. It’s all about your personal preference XD

    Post # 6
    372 posts
    Helper bee

    You say that you want to capture your husband’s emotions of watching you walk down the aisle, but that he’s also not very emotional. I think you’re more likely to get an emotional reaction from him in a first look where its just the two of you. When you’re walking down the aisle and all the guests eyes are on him I’d imagine he’d be more stoic.

    Post # 7
    11247 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper

    The walk down the aisle is a special moment, and will always have that emotional impact, but your photos are forever. I not only have no regrets, I wouldn’t do it any other way. 

    I’d be very hesitant about using photographers, no matter how otherwise talented who are not experienced with weddings, but would take that into account in a major way if you are willing to take that chance nonetheless. 

    Post # 8
    6022 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I am very pro first look. You still have a special moment walking down the aisle, that will ALWAYS be there, and it will ALWAYS be special. I loved our “bridal portraits” that we got after the first look. It was also much calmer, relaxed. We werent rushing around with the photographer calling out names/organizing people for photos (like during cocktail hour). It was so nice to just relax and chat before the craziness started (and after, our getting ready time was stressful). 

    Post # 10
    11247 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper

    gunnabamissus :  A first look is nice, but I’ve been to countless weddings and in my experience it does not detract one bit from the experience of being in that setting in that moment. 

    Post # 11
    372 posts
    Helper bee

    I just think you might be expecting too much from the moment her sees you walking down the aisle. There’s lots of cute pictures online of men in tears when they see the bride, but some people don’t like to show their emotions in front of a group of 100 people. I know I tried very hard to keep my emotions in control during the wedding ceremony. Will you be dissappointed if you don’t get the reaction you’re hoping for when you come down the aisle?

    Post # 13
    392 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2018

    First Looks aren’t really done in the UK (I don’t know anyone who did one). We also had two photographers (also non-professional friends who haven’t shot weddings before. They did an amazing job.

    Our original plan was to have some formal photos taken of the bride’s side before the ceremony at the house where I was getting ready. We actually ran out of time getting ready and only took about 3 formal shots (we have lots of candid ones though).

    During this time, my future husband was at the church meeting and greeting and sorting out the ushers/buttonholes and that kind of thing, plus having some photos taken with the groom’s party. Based on how the day went, I’m glad that we have those photos of us separately and that he could mingle with the guests as they arrived. I don’t know where we’d have found the time for a first look. We’d have had to sacrifice something.

    Then after the ceremony we had formal group shots. We’d given the photographer a list of 11 we wanted, PLUS we wrote an insert for the Order of Service which listed the order the photos would be taken in, who was in which, and asked a few people in advance to help round everyone up. We had finished them all in less than half the time we’d allocated and I recommend this strategy. Everyone knew when they were needed, and once their shots were over were free to transfer to the drinks reception. I thought people might find it a bit Type A, but actually we got compliments on it. I think group shots are quite boring for the guests, so it was great we got through them so quickly.

    After that, the guests all went to the drinks reception and we had private posed couples photos taken in a garden around the corner. The photographers didn’t have many suggestions for poses, so we made up some ourselves with mixed results! Two of them were my favourites from the entire day – really gorgeous. Others looked really posed and fake, LOL! After that we joined our guests for the last 15 mins of the drinks reception. 

    We’d left 4 minutes per group shot (was recommended online), plus 45 mins for couples shots. So about 1.5 hrs in total. Actually we got through the group shots MUCH faster than planned. We were happy with how much time we left for couples shots too. So, in my experience, 1.5hrs is plenty if you keep things moving and everyone knows what they’re doing.

    I personally wouldn’t have wanted to spend longer on posed photos. Most of our favourites are candid shots anyway. I love the (many) photos we have. I don’t regret not having more photos, but I DO slightly regret them taking me away from chatting with my guests. I suppose that gaining more time with my guests would be the only thing that might convince me to do a first look. I hope this helped.


    Edited to say – my husband is emotional and happy to show it, but he didn’t cry when he saw me come down the aisle. We did both beam huge smiles. Also, unfortunately, you may have visions in your head of Photos You Want, but it often doesn’t work like that. Our favourite two photos aren’t ones we’d planned, and I really wanted one of him lifting my veil (one of my friends had a great one from her wedding), but this didn’t work out at all due as my husband’s arm blocked the photographer!

    Also, our main photographer did visit the venues in advance and came to the rehearsal to practice with the lighting and positions. Recommended.

    Post # 14
    1955 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I think you’re expecting too much from the walk down the aisle moment.  You are more likely to see emotion in pictures taken in a more private setting.  

    Post # 15
    422 posts
    Helper bee

    I wouldnt do a first look for the same reason you didnt want to.  I think my favorite moment at most weddings is when you get to see the groom get emotional watching his future wife walk down the isle. It always takes my breathe away.

    That being said, you made some great points.  Any way you could do family photos and wedding party photos in the morning then the ones with everyone involved after? I think an hour and a half is enough time for that!

    Leave a comment

    Find Amazing Vendors