To Look Or Not To Look? A Guide To First Looks

You see videos on your Facebook feed or photos on your Instagram of a groom totally losing his mind when his bride dressed in white walks down the aisle. Or, you see an intimate moment captured where a bride taps her groom on the shoulder and they see each other before the ceremony. Whether you want to be in front of all your guests when you see your guy or if you want it to be well before your ceremony before the big reveal, there are pros and cons of doing a first look or waiting it out until you’re down the aisle.

Brides: Before we get into this list, make sure to ask your groom if they have an opinion about the first look. Some men have this vision of seeing you for the first time walking down the aisle, and if it’s not that important to you, then let him have this one. If you he knows that it will seriously calm his jitters to see you before you vow to forever, and again, you don’t have a strong opinion, let him have this one! However, if you’re both in debates, this list will help you out in deciding.


Why You Might Consider No Look:

  • You’ve envisioned yourself as an old-fashioned bride and would like to have the first time your groom see you be in your dress down the aisle.
  • Your wedding is earlier in the day, so time won’t allow you to do a first look unless you start getting ready really early.
  • You’re worried your ceremony won’t feel as special if you see each other before.



Why You Might Consider A First Look:

  • Your photographer might seriously thank you! Often, having a first look makes the wedding timeline smoother for the day so you can get all of your bridal party formal photos out of the way before the ceremony.
  • Having a first look usually lets you enjoy your cocktail hour with your guests, get your family photos done quickly, and you can have a shorter cocktail hour so the reception can begin sooner.
  • It may calm you both down. Many brides say that they felt nervous the morning of their wedding until they got to see their man and have a moment together before you’re surrounded by 100+ people.


Although a photographer may urge you to choose a first look for the convenience, most will (and should) accommodate you if you decide to wait until you’re walking down the aisle. Ultimately, it’s your big day and not the photographer’s! Share your experience – first look or no look – in the comments below!

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