(Closed) To look first, or not to first look

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Did you/will you be doing a first look?



  • Post # 46
    1440 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    Fiance and I are doing a first look! It was my idea, and once he realized it would mean more time with our family and friends AND more pictures AND being able to have this very emotional, private moment together makes all the sense in the world. We are already crafting an untraditional ceremony. We also already live together and have sex, so it makes no sense for us to follow everything “traditionally.” 


    Food for thought-at my MOH’s wedding, she was insistent on no first look. She was so nervous that she forgot to make eye contact with her DH as she walked down the aisle. After the ceremony it was already dark, so while they took a few pictures, they already planned for a morning after. She slept with her updo and makeup on and they woke up before 7 the day after their wedding! They looked absolutely miserable at their brunch afterwards. 

    Post # 48
    393 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    Most planners and photographers will tell you a first look is MUCH better for scheduling. Also, it is better for the flow of the day as you can do all your photos with the groom, family, bridal party before the wedding and enjoy the festivities later, without having to miss any of the reception or keep your guests waiting too long.  For us, this important as we are getting married toward the evening (it’ll be darker once our ceremony is over), and we have an expensive group coming in to play for the cocktail hour before we transform our reception into a club-like setting.  We don’t want to miss hearing the first group!

    Post # 49
    1440 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    View original reply
    Chaitea:  glad I could make you smile! I totally get the emotion thing. Take a look at some photography blogs that have first looks posted- I find myself tearing up at how lovely and emotional they look! No matter what, you’re getting married so no matter ehat, both choices will be worth it. I’m a huge crier, so I think it will help for me to get some of it out of the way while my makeup can still be touched up 🙂

    Post # 50
    288 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2016

    View original reply
    Chaitea:  He doesn’t want to do that. Not even a first touch.

    Post # 51
    446 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2015 - Firehouse Restaurant

    Were not doing a first look. I thought about it but i really want him to see when i walk down the isle and he feels the same way. I really like this first touch idea though:) I might do that.

    Post # 52
    1710 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    Him seeing me for the first time when I walked down the aisle was amazing!!! He cried, and he never cries!! Wouldn’t trade that moment for anything!

    One of my friends did a first look & pics before the ceremony and to me it didn’t feel as special because it already felt like they were married since we had already done the pics. Just my opinion tho!

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by _blackbird_.
    Post # 53
    11050 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I’m split with this. We didn’t do one and DH was in awe when I reached him at the aisle, but having a first look you get to speak more about it and you can capture the moment. Guess it depends if you want tradition or not.

    Post # 54
    180 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: March 2015


    Chaitea:  our wedding is at 5.30 in the evening in the garden of our reception venue with reception starting at 7. Because i want photos at other locations and want the time to get nice ones we decided we will be doing pics before the wedding. My one condition with the photographer was that he set up a nice “first look” moment with me and my Fiance that way we still get pics of the expression 🙂

    Post # 55
    2963 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    we did not do a first look and i wish that we had. husband’s niece and her dad were practically standing in the middle of the aisle, completely blocking my view of my husband, so the entire time i was walking, all i could think was, “move out of the way!”

    Post # 56
    1501 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    View original reply
    Chaitea:  Love first looks, it’s such a special private moment

    Post # 57
    1339 posts
    Bumble bee

    I’ve been giving this a bit more thought, all the ‘special, private moment’ commentS… Don’t forget your photographer will be there, watching you, and directing you… Not so intimate right? It’d almost feel like acting. I personally, as a nervous, not comfortable in front of the camera person, think this would be sooooo much worse than just being in the moment walking down the isle. A large group of family and friends who care about you is more natural. The other way feels a bit… creepy. Then by the time the ceremony is done, you are more comfortable and ready for less candid photos as youve already had your special moments, naturally. It’d be soooooo important to have an amazing photographer who can take candid natural photos in a very constructed setting. 


    Post # 58
    910 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013


    View original reply
    Chaitea:  I did a first look for the following reasons

    1. I knew my DH was going to be emotional….. i did not want him to be seen crying in front of everyone….. i would feel embarrassed for him and i am sure the comments from friends and family would be brutal

    2. the first look ended up being the best time of the entire day…… just me and the DH taking photos…. having fun….. not being bothered by anyone….. they were truly the best photos of the day….. so passionate, so real, so unposed

    3. keeps everyone away………. a nice quiet time for me and the DH……. cannot stress how important this part of the day is……..

    4. timing…….. it made sense to do a first look as it allowed us to spend time at cocktail hour instead of spending this time taking photos…….

    5. hair and makeup- both are still fresh this early in the day so photos come out better……


    Post # 59
    286 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2014 - Glen Sanders Mansion

    I know this is a 2 week old post, but wanted to add my experience.

    DH and I did a first look.  As some others have mentioned, it was one of the best parts of the day. PP said it seemed “creepy” to her to have the first look because the photographer would be there directing you. I did not find this to be the case at all! We had the photographers and videographers there (4 people total). The photographer simply walked up to me, told me to just walk toward DH and he would start snapping pictures. He didn’t say another word for about 4 or 5 minutes while we did the first look, went through the emotions, checked each other out, etc. I am not kidding when I say the rest of the world disappeared in that moment.  It was one of the most emotional moments of our lives, and we wouldn’t have done it any other way. our photographer didn’t start directing us for purposes of actual couple portraits until DH and I got our emotions out and started talking about our dog lol!

    DH and I still cried when we saw each other when I was walking down the aisle, and you can actually hear a sob come out of me on the video! We were separated for almost an hour before the ceremony. I still felt emotional while I waited to walk down the aisle. I remember hearing the music that the bridesmaids were walking down to and thinking “I have been planning this for over a year, picked out this music, and now it’s really happening!!”

    Logistically speaking, it was great to get all of the group photos and portraits done prior to the ceremony. It allowed us to enjoy the cocktail hour with our bridal party.

    Additionally, I found out after the fact that DH had been quite emotional all morning/afternoon before the first look. We both felt that the first look helped take the edge off just enough so that we weren’t sick with nerves!



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