upper peninsula intimate wedding chamberlins ole forest inn

Is a First Look Right for Your Wedding?


That moment the bride and groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day is magical. This is true whether the couple chooses to wait until the bride walks down the aisle or chooses to do  a “first look” prior to the ceremony.

What is a Wedding First Look?

A first look is a private moment couples choose to spend together prior to the wedding ceremony. The majority of the couples we photograph opt to have a first look.

While Rob & I consider ourselves people who value tradition, there are definitely a few good reasons to consider a first look. Here are three reasons to consider a first look:

bride and groom embrace during first look

1. This May Be Your Only Alone Time

Once the ceremony begins, the day takes off quickly. A first look is an opportunity to enjoy some quiet time alone, enjoy each other’s company, and reflect on all this day means before your wedding day really takes off.

When you wait to see each other for the first time until coming down the aisle, you don’t have those precious moments to talk together and let it all sink in – this is your wedding day!!

2. A First Look Gives You Time To Communicate

In addition to the huge benefit of getting to have some quiet time alone, I have had couples who needed to handle situations that came up – even tweaking the location of the wedding (indoor vs outdoor pending weather). It was so much easier for them to be able to see each other and talk about it face to face instead of over the phone.

upper peninsula intimate wedding chamberlins ole forest inn

3. A First Look Cuts Through The Chaos Of The Wedding Day

Wedding days can be a whirlwind and they tend to fly by. There’s so much to do, and a lot of people to see and to catch up with. I always encourage my couples to take a few minutes every so often during their wedding to stop and soak in everything that’s happening.

4. It Takes Away Nerves

Just before you walk down the aisle your wedding day nerves will really start to set in. Brides and grooms that do a first look feel more at east after the first look because they’ve already had a little bit of alone time, just the two of them!

5. It Makes More Time For Pictures Without Sacrificing Cocktail Hour

When there is no first look, the majority of your portraits have to be taken after the ceremony. Family formals are generally done as soon as the ceremony ends because it’s the easiest time to round everyone up. Next up is full bridal party, and then bride and groom portraits. This generally runs into cocktail hour.

A first look opens up time prior to the ceremony for bride and groom portraits and bridal party pictures. While we still will take more bride and groom portraits later in the evening, this allows the couple to get the most out of cocktail hour, which makes the rest of the evening feel less rushed.

6. Avoid Possible Bad Weather And/Or Have Time To Freshen Up

If you’re expecting poor weather on your wedding day, it might be best to plan on a first look because it gives you more options for pictures. If it’s pouring rain after the ceremony, you’ll be thankful you had pictures done in advance.

And reason 6b is for all you criers out there! If you know the tears are going to fly the first time you see your other half the day of your wedding, a first look will give you time to freshen up before the ceremony.

First look or not, the first time you see each other on your wedding day will be definitely be special!

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