(Closed) Taking photos before the ceremony or after?

posted 7 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 17
1647 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@Ruby-Redshoes:  I’m like you, I picture my Fiance taking his first look at the end of the aisle! I do think first looks are really cute too though!

Post # 18
9120 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

View original reply
@LDay1983:  Nice!  Yeah I thought that was a really great article.  It did overemphasize getting the perfect photos at the first look vs. ceremony, which wasn’t really the point of a first look to me… but I know capturing that moment is really REALLY important for a lot of brides.  For me, getting to take in a moment together just the two of us was awesome, as was getting a bunch of photos done early.  That’s great your Fiance is on board!

Post # 19
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

I am a second time bride here. And the first time I was married I was ADAMANT about the first time the groom seeing me be when we I walked down the aisle. Fastforward to after the ceremeony and my entire bridal party was itching to get to the reception, Groom was also antsy and It was just me trying to rush and force pictures at our ceremony. Looking back at the photos my regret was, I just wish we would have taken them before. That was 6 years ago. 

Needless to say, I am glad I get another chance and we will def. be taking our pics before the ceremony. 

Post # 20
19 posts
  • Wedding: July 2014

I used to be dead set against first look photos but after I started planning my Wedding I realized what a tight time frame we are on and the idea of taking first look photos started sounding good.

An hour is a tight time frame to take all of your family and Bridesmaid/Groomsman photos plus trying to get in every shot you wanted of you and your groom. I just don’t want to feel like I was rushed during my photos, I want to be able to enjoy the whole day.

Post # 21
2521 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I want that special moment down the aisle so we aren’t doing a first look.  He wants that moment watching me walk down the aisle even more than I do.  We have a church wedding with a 1.5 hour gap (our reception is a 10-15 minute drive from there and their hotel is on the way so they can freshen up) so i shouldn’t miss more than a half hour of the cocktail hour tops.  We also have a really small bridal party which helps.  Plus, honestly i would rather just relax and have the extra hour to get ready before the ceremony.  I think it depends on the wedding. If we were having a one venue wedding or had a big bridal party to coordinate I would definitely do the first look

Post # 22
604 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@Ruby-Redshoes:  We’re having a few first look photos taken but the rest of our photos will taken after the ceremony.  I want my wedding photos to be taken after I’ve actually gotten married.  The nerves will be gone, I’ll be Mrs. Ju5tdance and the happiness will surely show in our faces.  We’re having a first look because we love how sweet the photos of the groom turn out when he first sees his bride and it will help us to calm our nerves and may be our only chance alone together during the entire day.

Post # 23
99 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

We’ll be taking the majority of the pictures prior to the ceremony. We’ll only be taking the family photos afterwards. He wants to wait but I don’t want to be rushed. Practicality won over sentiment.

Post # 24
1166 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I’m having a “first look” and most photos taken before the ceremony, I don’t want to have to leave the cocktail hour or reception to go take more photos when they could have been taken beforehand.  I’m sure there will be a few we will take after the ceremony but I want to be mostly done with all of Fiance and my photos and family/posed photos before the ceremony.  

Post # 25
42 posts

I didn’t do a first look because I thought it seemed a bit contrived.  But, because I didn’t have a first look, I planned every posed photo before and after the ceremony and gave the list to family memebers and bridal party members before the wedding so everyone knew what to do.  It worked out great and I do not regret not doing a first look at all!  But everyone is different, and either way you can make it work.


Also on cocktail hour: our philosophy was that the cocktail hour was for our guests while we did photos.  In fact, we were able to finish photos before the cocktail hour was over and then enjoy some time there before dinner.

I think a big reason why we could also get away with no first look is because we had three photographers.  So we got a lot of candid photos as thing were happening and even when we did fun photos after the posed ones at the altar, we had three people capturing the moments from three different angles.


Either way works, just figure out what you most want to do and go for it!


Post # 26
9538 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I love first looks and absolutely, 100% know it was the best decision for my husband and myself. I feel like it was more special for us than if we had seen each other first at the ceremony. It gave us time to wallow in the excitement of what was about to happen. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. Plus, I wanted to be able to spend as much time as possible with our guests!

Post # 27
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I’m doing a first look for sure, I’m all about saving time and getting to enjoy my reception, and actually be able to eat the yummy food!! 

Post # 28
4192 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

The only Bee I’ve seen who regretted her first look was one who didn’t have it as a private moment. Ours was VERY private- just me, DH, and photographer at a respectful distance (my Mom stayed around the corner/gave us space.) LOVE that we did a first look/photos before.

Post # 29
514 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We did a first look and took all of our family pictures before the ceremony and I am very glad we did. My husband isn’t usually very romantic or photogenic and I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be that special. We both ended up crying and it was so sweet.

Post # 30
283 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@Ruby-Redshoes:  Okay so I had similar thoughts as you.  I loved the idea of him seeing me for the first time walking down the aisle, but for us the logistics of that just didn’t work out and I was kind of dissapointed at first until my photographer told me about this

Origin: During the time when arranged marriages were custom, the betrothed couple wasn’t allowed to see each other before the wedding at all. The wedding symbolized a business deal between two families (romantic, huh?), and a father would have been pleased for his daughter to marry a man from a rich, land-owning family. But he also feared that if the groom met the bride before the wedding and thought she wasn’t attractive, he’d call off the wedding, casting shame onto the bride and her family. Therefore, it became tradition that the bride and groom were only allowed to meet at the wedding ceremony so that the groom did not have the opportunity to change his mind. And that veil the bride wears? Its original purpose was also to keep the groom from finding out what the bride looked like until the last possible minute, when it was too late to back out of the transaction.

Then I was like eh I don’t really care for the tradition behind it sooo we’ll just do a first look with us.  Plus it was really romantic and an opportunity for us to see each other before the ceremony and connect and just feel all those love bugs 🙂  

Either way you do it though it will be a great day!  I don’t really remember the small timing details, I just remember how happy I was and how much fun we had 🙂

Post # 31
809 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I would do the first look. Actually I did do the first look. DH was hesitant to agree to it at first, but he came around and after it all went down he agreed that it was the right choice. It will still be super romantic coming down the aisle, even if he’s already seen you. I still cried (read: ugly cried) coming down the aisle, so I’m extra glad we did the first look! It’s a quiet time that you and Fiance can spend together and enjoy each other in your bridal/groom(al?) bliss. You will have very few quiet minutes together, and the first look for us provided the most time we spent alone all day (save for our photogs). The pictures I got from it weren’t the great faces you see on pinterest, but we got to do our posed shots ahead of time and spend more time partying and having fun at our reception instead of doing photos after the ceremony.

We did all of our pictures before the wedding, except family photos. We did those directly after and it took all of about 20 minutes. We saved 1.5 hours doing bridals, bridal party and couple photos before the ceremony. The day went by fast enough. I’m glad I didn’t lose that time in my reception.

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