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Why You and Your Fiancé Should Have a First Look Before the Ceremony

What is a ‘First Look’?

A first look is when a couple sees each other for the first time on their wedding day. This can either be as the bride is walking down the aisle, or if the couple chooses to do a staged first look, like the picture above.

You're sure to have seen the rising trend of couples doing a first look before the ceremony. You see the groom with his back turned to his excited bride, as she lightly taps on his shoulder. He turns around and see's how stunning she looks for the first time that day, his breath catches and he tells her how perfect she looks. It's such a beautiful and intimate moment, definitely one of my favorite moments within a wedding day!

You may be thinking you'd rather have your first look be when you're walking down the aisle, and that's perfectly fine! Your wedding day is about you and your spouse, which means you should do whatever makes you both happiest! So which option is right for you? I'll walk you through my reasonings behind having a staged first look, and let YOU decide!


Is A First Look Right For Me?

If you don’t like being the center of attention, a first look before the ceremony might be the better option for you. It helps to relieve a lot of stress by seeing your significant other before the ceremony, and lets be honest, a wedding ceremony can cause a bit of anxiety at times.

Benefits To Having Your First Look Before The Ceremony:

The Moment is More Intimate Because it is Just You and Your Fiancé

Let’s be honest, every bride wants her fiancé to shed a tear at the altar, but he's in front of all his friends and family, so he might be too nervous to show his true reaction to you on the wedding day. With a staged first look, the emotions are more easily released, and you’ll get that reaction you’re looking for! It’s a lot easier to be more in touch with your emotions when your friends and family aren’t around watching you, and it makes for much more intimate moments.

You Can Attend Your Cocktail Hour

Instead of taking all of your photos during your cocktail hour, you can take your couple photos and bridal photos earlier in the day after you have your first look. Then your cocktail hour can be used to take quick photos with your family and mingle! Most couples miss out on the chance to enjoy their cocktail hour because they are short on time to take their photos.

You only have about an hour after the ceremony to take photos before your guests start getting antsy, after all, who wants to partake in a 2 hour long cocktail hour? Certainly not your guests.

You’ll Have More Time to Enjoy Your Wedding Activities

As mentioned above, if you get the majority of your photos out of the way earlier, it will allow you more time to spend enjoying your guests and other wedding activities. Your wedding day will go by so fast! Trust me when I say you’ll wish you had more time. You want to be spending the reception with the people you love most, not taking photos all night and missing out on the party you spent months planning!

It’ll Help Settle Your Nerves

Let’s be honest, you’ll have those pesky wedding day jitters and sometimes its just easier to see your fiancé before the ceremony where all eyes will be on you, to help calm your nerves. It’s not natural to read your vows in front of a crowd or cry and show emotion in front of all your friends and family, so it’s totally normal that you might be feeling a bit anxious! Your fiancé on the other hand, might be able to help reassure you that you’re in this together, and everything will be alright.

Don’t Cry, You’ll Ruin Your Makeup!

Just kidding, whether you shed a tear or two, or go full on ugly cry when you have your first look, your makeup artist can be there to do any touch ups you might need after your staged first look. If you wait until your ceremony however, your makeup artist will most likely be gone at that time. If you’re adamant about having your first look at the altar though, ask your makeup artist to stay until after the ceremony so she can touch up your makeup in case things get emotional.

It Won’t Spoil Your Walk Down The Aisle

Every time a couple chooses to do their first look at the ceremony, it’s because they’re worried doing a first look beforehand will “spoil” the emotions during their walk down the aisle. Well, let me be the first to tell you that’s not the case. Your emotions are running high either way. I’ve seen lot’s of couples do a first look privately and let their emotions out to one another, and when the ceremony comes, the groom still cries when he sees his beautiful bride!

Seeing each other before the ceremony is so much more different than your “game face, let’s do this” mode as your closest friends and family watch you walk down the aisle at your ceremony.

You Can Take More Couple Photos

The day is about you and your fiancé, and more than likely you want those adorable couple photos to hang up in your home! By doing a first look before the ceremony, you have a lot more time to take your staged and candid couple photos before the wedding!

It Ensures You Will Have Alone Time

There’s so much to do on a wedding day, and if I’m going to be completely honest, you and your fiancé won’t get much time to yourselves. Scheduling a first look before your ceremony ensures you get to spend some quality time together before the ‘I dos’.

Take a peek at this wedding video from Kelsey and David who did a first look before the ceremony, and read their vows together in private. Their couple photos were absolutely stunning, but what’s more, David and Kelsey still had high emotions during the ceremony, and didn’t feel like it ‘spoiled’ their ceremony to do a first look beforehand.

Photo & Video Credits

1st Photo: Bethany McNeil Photography, Kelsey & David

2nd Photo: Forever Green Studios, Katie & Nathan

3rd Photo: Christina Ney Photography, Olivia & Boyd

4th Photo: Emily Battles, Megan & Edward

5th Photo: Erin Allsup, Amanda & Aaron

Video: Reed Shepperd Films, Kelsey & David

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