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First Look or No First Look?!

Seeing your future spouse for the first time is one of your wedding day’s most precious moments, whether it be in private or down the aisle. With wedding trends moving away from the more traditional route, seeing your partner before the ceremony has become very popular in the last few years.

We have seen many opinions on this big moment over the years and here are some of our biggest points to both sides:

FIRST LOOK – Deanna’s take

  • The anticipation of seeing each other for the first time on your wedding day is truly private. It allows you two to have a more intimate moment (pretend the photographer isn’t there, haha!), talking all about your excitement or nerves before the big day begins – what you wouldn’t be able to do if you were at the altar. 
  • You can focus more on the ceremony. Without the pressure of seeing each other for the first time on the aisle with high expectations on how you will react, you can take in everything happening around you. It may allow you to fully immerse yourself into the ceremony as a whole, rather than that one big moment. And a first look doesn’t spoil your big reveal to all your guests either!
  • Seeing your partner can ease all of your worries. A special moment between you two before you walk down the aisle can be all you need to settle your nerves before walking into the ceremony in front of all of your loved ones.
  • It doesn’t take away from the ceremony. We’ve had couples weep at First Looks and then again down the aisle. Regardless, your wedding day will be emotional and joy-filled!
  • More time to enjoy your day with guests. Having a first look allows you to get many of your photos taken before the ceremony instead of cutting into your time with guests or your cocktail hour. With it being such a busy day, it can be hard to find time for you to just enjoy being with your spouse and guests, and a first look allows you more time to do so. 
  • By choosing a First Look we guarantee your guests will be happier not having to wait forever for the next thing – food and alcohol. You need only attend a wedding with a 3-4 hour gap between the ceremony and reception to decide if the misery for your guests is worth it – haha! YEP, I SAID IT!
  • We’ve literally never had a client who was on the fence regret doing a First Look!

NO FIRST LOOK – Ellie’s Take

  • If you have always envisioned seeing your partner for the first time while walking down the aisle – that is perfect too! Personally, that is one of my favorite moments attending any wedding. There is nothing wrong with going the traditional way for your day. This allows all of your family and friends to witness that special moment along with you. 
  • A moment of spontaneity. So much of your wedding day is planned down to the minute. Once you have a first look, it is oftentimes followed by more photos and to-dos up until the ceremony starts. Without a first look, it gives you more time to get ready and be with your family or friends. That means if you wanted to play a round of golf or get breakfast with your girlfriends the morning of – this is the perfect way to give you more time to do so!
  • Consider if having a first look would make your emotions less impactful while walking down the aisle. While we have still seen so many heartfelt reactions, your emotions are something to take into account – everyone is different! 
  • No first look doesn’t mean you have to stay completely away from your spouse-to-be. We have seen many couples stand back to back and hold hands while reading a special note, saying a prayer, or just talking about their excitement. Hearing your partner’s voice is the perfect way to ease any nerves without having to do the big first look. 
  • Alternatives: We’ve also seen our couples do First Looks with their dads and bridesmaids but not with their future spouse until the ceremony. It is possible to have both!
Ali Lockery Photography

What should you decide?

As you can see, we’re a team divided, haha! Although 95% of planners and photographers personally love first looks from a logistics and flow standpoint, any professional planner or photographer should be able to build out timelines for our clients with either option. No matter what you decide, the most important thing is that you make the best decision for you! 

If you’re still on the fence, talk to your planner or photographer and we will give you our unbiased opinion on what makes sense for your day!