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Should I Have a First Look At My Wedding?



The blog contains little bits of my life, my passions, and my work. I update it daily so there is always something new to come see.





Should I Have a First Look? Every bride asks herself this question. Because so much of the day is planned out well in advance, this question becomes one of the first every bride must answer. I’m going to go into the pros and cons of having a first look with your groom on the wedding day.

first look with Emma and Sam Bradford at their wedding in Aspen
Emma and Sam Bradford’s first look on their wedding day on top of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colorado.
See more images from Emma and Sam Bradford’s wedding in Aspen.

Should I Have a First Look? The Pros

There are multiple reasons brides choose to have a first look with their groom before the wedding ceremony. One of the most popular reasons is to alleviate nerves. If you or your groom are a nervous nelly, getting the first look out of the way can immediately relieve your anxiety. Your wedding day is special, and feeling nauseous for the better part of this big day isn’t ideal. Especially if you’re having an evening ceremony.

Another reason to have a first look at your wedding is to get some special time with you and your groom. The wedding day is such a blur and goes by quickly. Many brides and grooms don’t get very much time (if any at all) that is just the two of them without the wedding party, parents, family, or friends. The reception can oftentimes be a meet and greet with all the guests who have come from near and far to witness your wedding day. Because the wedding day is about the bride and groom, it’s definitely warranted to have some special time for you two to connect.

A third reason to have a first look on your wedding day is for timing. Because family and wedding party photos take a bit of time, getting them out of the way before the ceremony lets your guests enjoy the reception and dinner sooner. Nobody enjoys waiting around for your wedding photographer. Even if he is the best wedding photographer in the world. Also, if your wedding is on or after sunset time, you won’t have any couple photos during the light of day. That means they will all be taken in the dark. If you want your portraits to be bright, airy, and colorful, it’s pretty important to schedule time while the sun is still up.

Finally, another reason to have a first look on the wedding day is if either you or your groom are “ugly criers.” This message from Benny Bride Ashlee says it well:

“If I could do it all over I think I would opt for a first look. I lovelovelove my pictures but I was a blubbering mess as I walked down the aisle. Definitely, I think a few minutes of alone time with my very soon-to-be hubby and maybe a hug and forehead kiss would have eased my butterflies. I loved the first moment I saw Tiago through the windows at the back of the church but I had no idea that I was going to ugly cry the whole way down the aisle.”

Should I Have a First Look? The Cons

All that being said, having a first look isn’t for everyone, or for every situation. Tyler and I didn’t have a first look at our wedding. She wanted me to see her for the first time as she walked down the aisle. I, predictably, cried. It was a really wonderful moment for me. I don’t get a lot of anxiety, so I was able to enjoy myself and my groomsmen. It’s also a tradition for the groom to not see the bride before the wedding. And some say good luck, but I don’t believe in luck… especially when it comes to marriage.

I never ask a bride to have a first look. I’ll never push for one. I know deep down that your photos (if taken by this luxury wedding photographer) will be wonderful regardless of if you have a first look or not. To me, it should be 100% the wedding couple’s decision.

Should I Have a First Look? The Final Decision

If you wanted me to make the decision for you, I’m sorry. It’s still up to you. I hope that these pros and cons help you in your decision-making process. It is a big decision. However, the biggest and best decision has already been made. You’re marrying the love of your life and your best friend. There is no wrong answer.

Talk to you soon,

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