Should You Do a First Look on Your Wedding Day? | Wedding Photography


The first look is an often debated addition to modern day wedding photography. It does buck up against traditions, but it comes with quite a few advantages. Personally, I feel that doing a first look is a good event to include on your wedding day. It allows you to get the most out of the wedding day and your photography! 

So, for those of you that don’t know, a first look is a moment before the ceremony where the bride and groom get to see each other dressed up for the wedding. It’s mostly done privately and accompanied by the photographer and occasionally a videographer. So, yes! It can be a bit controversial, because we’ve all heard that it’s bad luck to see the bride before she’s walking down the aisle!  But here are a few reasons why it would be a good idea to consider a first look on your wedding day:

Collage of a couple's first look outside a venue for Wedding Photography session.

It Saves Time 

Most of the time, couples get married later on in the afternoon or evening. So, there’s only so much time after the ceremony to get all the pictures you want. Family portraits, Bridesmaids and groomsmen combinations, and then husband and wife portraits are all important! They can easily take up to two hours. Many people simply don’t have enough time between the ceremony and reception, or light in the day, to realistically capture those photos. This winds up with photos being rushed or missing some of those photos you’ve dreamed of. A first look before the ceremony saves so much time because we get your marriage portraits done before the ceremony ever happens and can sometimes fit in your bridal party photos too!

It Eases Nerves 

Wedding days are hectic. There’s a lot of stuff going on throughout it. There’s always a lot of stress, and a lot of times, nerves. A first look allows a couple to see each other, and get a chance to regroup. You will have that moment to slow down and remember that “this is about us” and that you two are in this together. 

Collage of a first look in front of a field with a mountain in the background during a Wedding Photography session.

Additionally, the groom is under a traditional pressure to have a reaction of some kind when he sees his bride. I feel that we need to normalize the fact that not everyone has the same reaction all the time. So, the first look is a safe space for the guys to be emotional, or to react in a way that’s not potentially forced by being in front of a large group of friends and family. 

Doesn’t it Take Away from the Ceremony? 

While this is a concern among many traditionalists, In my opinion, no. It does not. I’ve done a lot of wedding photography through the years, and I have been to many first looks where the bride and groom have the best first look. Both the bride and groom cried and were emotional. And somehow it adds even more excitement to the walk down the aisle. The groom is usually excited for everyone else to see his bride, and the bride is so proud of her groom! 

Even if you see your beloved before the ceremony, the ceremony is still just as special. Doing a first look allows you to make the most of your time and money! And, who doesn’t want just a special moment between you and your loved one!   

Emily Quigley is a wedding, engagement and newborn photographer in Northwest Arkansas. She’s been featured in Glamor and Grace, Aisle Society and several other online websites. Click here to get your booking today!

If you like blogs like this, check out some of my others:
3 Tips for Building Your Wedding Day Timeline
Gateley Hill Gardens Wedding Inspiration (Dardanelle, AR.)
Little Rock, AR Engagement Session (Madi + Ty)
Lawrence + Emily’s Wedding (The Chapel at Walnut Grove – Farmington, AR)
Carina’s Bridal Session at The Ballroom at I Street

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