Should You Do a First Look!? | 5 Reason Why You Should

March 28, 2017

Should You Do a First Look!?

Over the past 7+ years of photographing weddings, we have found that when couples do a first look the wedding day runs a little smoother. I will explain why below, but you have been warned that we are a little biased when writing this email. But, remember that your wedding is yours! I am here to inform you of your options! 🙂

What is the first look!?

It is a beautiful private moment between the bride and groom before the ceremony. Away from guests, free to get lost in the moment.

It’s a new age, so it’s no longer considered bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding. What’s more, there are actually some pretty big advantages to a first-look session prior to the wedding. Not only are the bride, groom, bridal party, and family in top form, the bride and bridesmaids’ hair and makeup are fresh, and the groom and groomsmen are still OK with being in their tuxes.

If you do decide to go with a pre-ceremony formal portrait approach, be sure to set aside 15 minutes of private time for just the two of you. These private moments, before you start taking more formal, posed portraits, are often the most special for the bride and groom. You are able to say a prayer together, or exchange meaningful gifts, relax and think about the moments to come. This quiet, contemplative time also serves as a break to calm your nerves. This healthy pre-ceremony atmosphere created a smooth, steady flow through the day’s events. Getting this step out of the way early in the day frees up the rest of your time to spend with your guests.


1 | you get to shake out all the nerves &  takes the pressure off

On the day of your wedding, so many emotions are flying around. You are nervous, excited, and worried. Nervous and worried about all the details and guests. You are filled with so many butterflies of excitement to marry the love of your life. Doing a first look allows you to hug your love and get lost in the moment. Being nervous is totally normal, you are worried about everything going perfectly. So getting the biggest event out of the way right away helps calm all these nerves. Plus, we all know that once you get to hold the love of your life for a few moments it calms your mind and heart. I know this is how I feel when I hug Justin.

The #1 thing heard after the first look is: “Whew, now I feel better! More relaxed, so LET’S DO THIS!”

The first look is a perfect time to relax before you walk down the aisle together. We leave our couples alone for the last 20-30 minutes before showtime. This allows for them to do touch-ups, final walkthroughs in the minds and take one last chug of champagne. (or whiskey!)

2 | there is no stress rush & you get to mingle more with your guests

Doing your first look before the ceremony allows for more portrait time that is less rushed. As soon a the ceremony is finished you two and the wedding party will go into the party zone! Your best mate will head to the bar for a beer asap, while hopefully bringing you back one! Family and guests rush to get a drink and a bite to eat. When it comes to doing all the wedding party and additional couple photos after the ceremony you’ll be able to fly through them. This only takes you away from the cocktail hour for 30-40 minutes. So only a small portion of your 2+ hour cocktail time! Plenty of time to mingle with those guests who have to leave early, hug your loved ones, and get a few bites to eat! OH and drink some more champagne!

3 | way less stress & hiding

Most of our weddings are intimate and the getting ready locations are so close to each other. Doing a first look allows you to be out in the world and not hiding in a small (possibly really hot) room. No worrying about running to your car to get something and worrying about him being around the corner. Who really wants to be hiding behind a sheet, a human will, or telling your family to turn around. No seriously! Why would you want to worry about hiding when the day already goes by so fast. Spend more time celebrating and less time hiding.

4 | no fighting with the sun

This one is really important for those not getting married in the Summer! Winter Weddings are even more stressful and time constraints when you left fighting the sun. In Wisconsin, the Sunsets as early as 4 PM in the Winter! Our couples hire us because we specialize in natural light. (no this doesn’t mean we can’t kill it at the flash and artificial light!) Or with Sunset Weddings becoming popular, without a first look you will not have any natural light photographs of the two of you.

Time and time again we have couples that thank us for helping them plan their timeline and planning the first look. A first look isn’t for everyone – and if it’s not for you we will not push it, but we will inform you of the pros and cons. Always, remember your wedding is yours! We are just here to capture it and inform you of all your options!

5 | more opportunities for photos

I am a percentage, list, and graph person – so when I read these articles from HUFFINGTON POST & SHUTTERFLY it was perfect to share here.


photos …. 21%

flowers…. 16%

cake …….. 9%

gown …… 9%


“a professional videographer. my uncle recorded us and wiped out the whole tape”

“hired a friend. it’s been over a year and we haven’t seen a single photo”

“i cry everytime i look at my wedding photos”

All the quotes above are ones I have heard. Either from friends or wedding guests. Your wedding day goes by so fast, you may now think it doesn’t matter to you, but do your research. No matter how you decide to spend your money, we want to make sure that you value your time. I tell couples to think hard about what you think is most important on their wedding day. Timelines for each couple are different, we work closely with each of them to ensure the important moments are captured. Photographed to be relived for generations.

aside from not | Wedding days are busy, hectic and go by so fast – no matter how small or large. We’ve photographed weddings that were 20 people all the way to 300+ people. The millions of hugs will mesh together, the thank you’s and congratulatory moments will be lost to you. But, if you leave and let it all soak it, the moments will linger with you for years to come. Don’t feel bad about it – they will understand. When you are ready to get back to it, jump right back in and celebrate your ass off!!!  You just married the love of your life!