The First Look: Pros and Cons

Wedding Tips

The nervousness and the excitement of seeing your partner on your wedding day – it’s one of the most anticipated parts of the day. However, the decision of whether to have a first look before the ceremony or to keep that moment for the aisle is a choice that requires careful consideration. In this blog post, I’ll share some pros and cons of having a first look (followed by my personal opinion) to help you make an informed decision for your big day.

first look before key west wedding ceremony

The Pros:

  • Emotional Connection: Having a first look allows you and your partner to share an intimate moment before the whirlwind of the ceremony. This private encounter can be deeply emotional and meaningful.
  • Captured Reactions: From the nervous smiles to the tears of joy, a first look provides an opportunity for your photographer and videographer to capture genuine and unfiltered reactions. These candid moments often result in some of the most heartwarming and authentic images of the day.
  • Extended Portrait Session: A first look can extend the time you have for your portrait session. Instead of trying to squeeze in all your photos during cocktail hour, you can take your time and capture your wedding portraits and photos with the wedding party before the ceremony begins.
  • Relieve Nerves: The excitement of the wedding day can sometimes lead to nervousness and stress. Seeing each other before the ceremony can help ease those pre-wedding jitters, allowing you both to feel more relaxed and enjoy the day to the fullest.

The Cons:

  • Tradition: For some couples, the tradition of seeing each other for the first time as one walks down the aisle holds a special significance – they want the emotional impact of this moment to be heightened by the surprise of seeing their partner for the first time that day.

My opinion:

I’m 100% Team First Look. As a photographer, I love when couples choose to do a first look because it leads to more photos and more time for the couple to live in the moment and celebrate after the ceremony. And as someone who did a first look at her own wedding, it didn’t make walking down the aisle feel any less significant (the butterflies were still there for both of us!). 

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to do a first look, I’d love to chat! We can draft two sample timelines – one with and one without a first look – and see which one feels right to you. Ultimately, the best choice is the one that resonates with you and your partner, and your wedding day is going to be incredible either way.