(Closed) “first look” photos

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@pineapplelove:  we did it and i wouldnt change a thing. basically, my hubby stood with his back to me and i came up behind him and we had our “moment”. the photographer got some great photos from a distance and it was all very special!

we took ALL our photos before the ceremony, so we were free to go straight to the reception afterwards. It was low stress and we were done with photos 2 hrs before the cremony!

Its not for everyone – but worked perfectly for us!

and i think its pretty common these days!

Post # 4
18643 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

We did it at our location and then we went about 10 minutes away to get our good couple pictures.  It was just the two of us.  It was great and so worth it!

Post # 5
13015 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think your photographer should know what it is if they’re experienced in wedding photography.  And if he doesn’t know what it is, you can easily explain it and they can adapt! 

I think first looks are an incredible idea; we’re definitely doing it, also!

Post # 6
4887 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We’ll be doing a first look, and you’re exactly right about what this is.  Our ceremony is at 6:30pm, but we’re arriving at the venue and bridal suites at 4pm.  We’ll get ready with our parties and do our First Look at 5pm in the butterfly conservatory when they close to the public.  People are already clamoring to be a part of this but I’ve made it clear that this will be a private moment between me and my fiance with our photographers present.


I figure this will take about 10-15 minutes, then we’ll invite our family in to take as many photos as we can in the next 15-20 minutes.  We really want to enjoy our cocktail hour with our guests so doing this First Look and taking pictures beforehand are very important to us.


I can’t wait!

Post # 7
7902 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

If the photographer doesn’t know the term “first look,” then that’s a sign that you should run away as fast as you can.

I personally don’t like the idea, and I know my Dad regretted it when he did them in 1994 with my stepmom (PS, this is not a new idea).  FI hates the idea, so we were pretty set on just not doing them. I also don’t really see the need unless you have a HUGE wedding party. At my first wedding, we had 8 attendants and 2 ushers and my ex had a gigantic Italian family, and we took tons of pictures and still made the least 20 minutes of the cocktail reception before dinner.

Post # 8
7902 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

I do want to add one thing, though. We will have a private moment with our photographer after the reception. We’ll be alone with him on the top floor of our hotel, which is open air and overlooks the Atlantic. We’ll catch our first private moment together as husband and wife instead of just as almost bride and almost groom an hour before the wedding.

Post # 9
866 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

This has become a relatively popular thing to do, and I would expect your photographer to have at least heard of it. The set-up is fairly simple, and can be indoors or outdoors, as long as one of you is turned away from the other. The idea is for you to have some one-on-one time with your Fiance before the wedding, take lovely photos together, and also capture the happy moment when you first see each other as “Bride” and “Groom.”

I’d like to point out that it has nothing whatsoever to do with your wedding party. While it can be a great timesaver — it allows you to attend your own cocktail hour, if you’re having one — it primarily gives you a more relaxed period of time prior to your ceremony to be with your Fiance, laugh/cry, take pictures, and enjoy yourselves. We did not have a wedding party at all, so obviously timing isn’t the only reason to do it.

My own story: he waited for me, facing away, outside in front of the venue doors. I walked over with my photographers, and could see him fidgeting as he heard my footsteps. I tapped him on the shoulder and said good morning, and he asked “can I turn around now, please?” As soon as he did, his whole face lit up. My favorite part was watching his reaction to seeing “his bride!” My photogs weren’t intrusive at all, and it was wonderful to see him before the craziness of the day really began. We got our snowy pictures in, then went inside to warm up with our parents!

Post # 11
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@mrsSonthebeach:  Why did your dad regret it? Just curious because I’ve never heard anyone say that they regretted a first look before:)

Post # 12
19 posts
  • Wedding: August 2012

I hadn’t heard of first looks until I started to get into the wedding industry a few years ago. Before becoming a wedding photographer, I wouldn’t have thought twice about doing a first look! But after seeing them so many times & hearing feedback from my couples about how much they loved their first look, I never considered *not* doing a first look at my own wedding 🙂

First looks are generally 2ish hours before the ceremony, to give time for portraits before the ceremony. Most of my couples elect to make it a private moment, so we ask family & friends to stand back so you two can have alone time (but that doesn’t guarantee that they won’t try to spy from afar!).

I’ve never had a couple not want their first look photographed — it’s often the most special & emotional photos of the day! I do respect their privacy and use a long lens so I’m standing far away: they won’t see me or feel like I’m too close, I don’t want to protrude on their moment. I tell them in advance to let me know when they are ready to start portraits, that way I don’t interrupt anything!


-It’s your wedding day! A special day for you & your groom. A first looks lets him check you out up close & personal before most people see you which is so special since the day is for the two of you. It gives you the only moments of alone time you’ll have the entire day! Special & emotional indeed.
-Photos can be taken before the ceremony, which means you’ll get good lighting for your photos & you won’t have to worry about doing anything after your ceremony, you can go straight to the party! In general, photos aren’t as rushed when we take them beforehand, which is a huge stress reliever for your photographer as well.
-Walking down the aisle is still very emotional, so don’t think your groom won’t tear up or get emotional during this time just because he’s seen you before the ceremony. Walking down the aisle is a whole event in itself, nothing can take away the emotion from that.
-Most people now see first looks as ‘the norm’ so most people understand what they are/accept it as new tradition.

-Not traditional, so if you have tradition-heavy family, you may need to defend your reasoning for a first look. However, the tradition of not seeing your bride/groom before the ceremony originated back when there were arranged marriages & they didn’t want you to run off before your ceremony if you didn’t like who you were going to marry. I think it’s safe to say you know what your Fiance looks like, so no worries there 😉
-No other cons that I can think of!

In the end, it’s a choice up to you & your Fiance. I think they are so beautiful & special and as a photographer it’s those moments that I love to capture the most!

Post # 13
7902 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

@kate169:  He wished he hadn’t seen her until she was walking down the aisle. It took some of the thrill out of it and made the wedding day too focused on tasks at the beginning (getting all these photos first with her and then with the kids/wedding party) instead of putting the focus for him and her squarely on the ceremony.

Post # 14
3947 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Most photographers actually PREFER doing first looks.  It concentrates (and gets them out of the way) portraits into one part of the day and then really focuses on candids for the rest of the time.  Nowadays, photographers don’t necessarily look forward to the portraits like they do capturing MOMENTS. 

I am SO glad that we did a first look.  We got all of the basic portraits out of the way before anyone arrived.  That way, there wasn’t one second that we were away from the guests.

As a guest at a wedding, I hate the time that you have to wait for the bride and groom and wedding party to take pictures.  Sometime it can exceed 2 hours.  I understand that’s what cocktail hour is for, but we really wanted to take advantage of being with all of our families and friends as much as we could. 

Post # 15
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I’m doing a first look and I can’t wait!!! Going thru some girls recaps of first looks makes me want to cry,I love to see all the emotions when its just the bride and groom.

Post # 16
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@mrsSonthebeach:  Ohhhh that’s so sad to me:(  Never heard anyone say that it took the thrill away before. Aw:(

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