Should we do a First Look for our wedding?

strong mansion wedding in maryland

Should we do a First Look for our wedding? That is a great question! I used to be asked what a “First Look” is fairly often. It is when the bride and groom (or bride and bride, groom and groom) intentionally share a moment together prior to the ceremony. There are a lot of great benefits to doing a First Look on your wedding day, but it’s important you are making the choice for the right reasons.

First, let’s talk about the origins of not seeing each other for the ceremony. While for some it is a religious matter, for others it had to do with arranged marriages. If the groom saw the bride before he was literally right about to marry her, then may he would change his mind! So, we covered the bride’s face with a veil and made sure he didn’t see her until the last possible moment. While it’s not entirely romantic, it has become a tradition. So if the tradition is important to you, or it is part of your religion, maybe skip the First Look. But if not, here is some food for thought.

Reasons to do a First Look

  1. You want more time for portraits. Sharing a First Look means that we start the day a bit earlier, so you have more time for portraits of you two together, and it can make for a less stressful timeline.
  2. Ensure daylight for your wedding portraits. If the timeline gets crunched with no First Look, we only have until sunset for daylight portraits.
  3. You want to look fresh in your portraits. We are all human. If your wedding is in summertime outside, you may already require a touch up when we begin portraits.
  4. You want to spend more time with your guests. Sharing a First Look means that your portraits (except maybe family portraits) are already done before the ceremony. In turn, that means you can spend more time with your guests during cocktail hour.
  5. More time for wedding party portraits. Again, since we’re starting earlier, we have more time! Your wedding party will also look fresh for these portraits in the beginning of the day.
  6. Potentially better image of you two seeing each other for the first time. It is just easier to photograph the groom’s reaction when I can be closer, and have more than a single moment.
  7. Less pressure on the groom. There is so much pressure on whether or not the groom is going to cry these days. Either way, this moment is about YOU TWO. Whatever his reaction, it is going to be special, and you two can linger in this moment for a bit longer. Then, when it’s time for the ceremony, his nerves can rest a little.
  8. You have personal vows you want to share privately. This moment is about the two of you, and you can do with it what you like!

Bad reasons to do a First Look

  1. I recommended it. That does NOT mean you have to do a First Look! You should do what you are most comfortable with. Don’t let anyone tell you what you should do on your day. This is about you two!
  2. Your wedding party wants to start drinking sooner. While it is true that everyone can start drinking sooner with a First Look, that solely is a terrible reason to do one.
  3. To avoid weather. We can’t control the weather. Your portraits will be lovely either way.

Bad reasons NOT do a First Look

  1. A family member doesn’t want you to. You do you, boo boo! It is YOUR day.
  2. Another photographer told you. Refer to number 1.

Good reasons NOT do a First Look

  1. You enjoy the tradition.
Wedding at Meridian House in Washington D.C.

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Helpful Tips

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April 5, 2022



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