Most couples have heard of the ‘First Look’… but what is it, what are the options, should you do it? You know, the moment when you see the love of your life for the first time that initial first glance? Nowadays, couples have options – The Traditional and the First Look.

The Traditional choice is when the couple is seeing each other for the first time when they walk down the aisle to each other. It’s what many couples choose to do, it’s traditional, and it’s what our parents did. However, that’s not the only option. Many couples choose to do a first look.

The First Look is a special moment created so the couple gets to see each other before the ceremony. Even with a first look you have options. Brides can be escorted by the father to meet the future spouse; others do it with the wedding party, parents, and other loved ones present. The most popular option is to have a moment alone between the couple, with no one else around, except the photographer(s) capturing all the emotions.

Many times, the photographer sets up the first look and the groom would be looking away while the bride starts walking towards him. When she’s ready she can speak to him, tap his shoulder as he turns to see his beautiful bride walking towards him. During this time, it’s usually very quiet; the photographers focus is to capturing the event while the bride and groom are lost in the moment and get this time together.

Let’s talk about both options.


*  Keep tradition – you still have a beautiful “moment” seeing each other at the aisle
*  All the emotions are shared with those attending the wedding
*  It’s simply the way it’s always been done, which is beautiful.
*  There’s a rush after the ceremony to finish the photos fast and many times couples and families feel very rushed as the guests are waiting.
*  You get very little time alone with your honey after the wedding
*  You don’t get to enjoy the cocktail hour with your guests

The first look, allows you to have more time with your soon to be before the wedding. All your photos can be done prior to the ceremony allowing you the flexibility to enjoy your cocktail hour. Yes, you will be giving something up. The first time you see each other at the altar, but he will still be just as happy to see you walking down the aisle. Sometimes brides that do the first look wait to put on their veil until they walk down the aisle, changing their look for the ceremony.

*  Allows you the flexibility to take as much time as you’d like for the pictures and all pictures take place while everyone is still fresh
*  Typically, there is a lot more emotion expressed because it’s just the both of you
*  You get to enjoy your guests during the cocktail hour
*  It can calm everyone down
*  That minutes you have during the “first look” may be the only time you have alone the entire day

At the end of the day, it’s what you and your partner feel fits best to your expectations and ideas. If you are sold on the idea of a first look, talk to your fiancé on what you envision for this moment together.  Explain it to your family and give them insight on your thoughts and plans. Many times people feel this is very different. To many, it’s a new option and some find it difficult to get ‘buy in’ from families. Just remember, this is your wedding and whichever you choose will be beautiful and a moment to be remembered. Rely on your photographer for thoughts, ideas and options for you. They are there to assist in making either option memorable.

I spoke with one of my recent brides Brittany, and she offered to give you her personal thoughts on choosing to do a first look with her fiancé Andy.

“We’re really happy we decided to do the first look! A lot of our friends and family were against it and a little surprised. However, it was great because it made that moment just for us. As far as we’re concerned, nothing was going to take away from how Andy felt when he saw me walking down the aisle. If anything, I think it calmed his nerves a little! We’re so glad Marirosa brought this idea to us!”
– Brittany & Andy, August 4, 2012


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