Let’s talk about whether to do a ‘First-Look’ on your wedding day. A First Look is a private moment for the couple to see one another for the first time, before the wedding ceremony. It’s most often captured by photographers, and is a huge hit amongst couple’s these days.

If you’ve begun your research, I bet you’ve seen just how often First-Looks are recommended.  It’s a favorite because it can maximize time together and creates ease for the couple (and vendors too, if we’re being honest). With the increase in popularity, some couple’s are being steered towards that decision,  when they’d rather not.

If you’ve been dreaming of that moment that your song starts playing, your friends and family are holding their breath in anticipation, and there from across the aisle you’re seeing one another for the first time before you unite your lives together,  then you should absolutely do it that way!

I’m here to tell you, both are wonderful choices. How do we know? Because we’ve all seen gorgeous and emotional photos from private first-looks, and from beautiful real wedding ceremonies. So let’s dive in!

I’ve got 5 points for you as we’ll consider which kinds of couples lean towards that First Look, and give a couple options for fun alternatives during that before ceremony time if you’d rather save that first look for when you walk down the aisle.

1. Ask Your Partner What They Think!

Shy or Private Couples or Persons Tend to Prefer that First Look.

Most wedding decisions should be 50/50, right? (Or often it’s whoever has those stronger opinions…. *cough* the bride, right?) However, when it comes to First Look, I tend to side more with the feelings of the person who’s waiting at the end of the aisle.

For those who are shy and introverted and having all those eyes on them as they watch you walk down the aisle can be very intimidating or feel invasive.

Same goes for couple’s who are really private with their emotions. If you know that you’re future husband is not going to tear up with all eyes on him, maybe he’d be less guarded if you two were alone.

2. YOU LOVE PHOTOS! 

Seeing What Others Have Done Has Inspired You.

As you find inspiration from other’s weddings, whether it’s a friend, or a stranger (Thank you, Pinterest!), let that be an indicator.

For those of you who are Picture People, i.e. always stopping the outing for that group photo, showing off your iPhone pics, and scrolling endlessly through Instagram or Pinterest, a First Look can be a great way to maximize photo time. You get time for photos together before the ceremony, including the whole bridal party, and can carve out a little extra time to be alone for more photos before the reception.

Don’t worry, if you love photos but you or your partner would still prefer to not do the first look, consider instead these fun additions to a your photo pose list: 

  • First look with you dad (or mom/both parents)
  • Sharing a prayer around a door frame or corner
  • Exchanging letters or gifts separately before the ceremony

3. Anxiety Relief 

You’d Rather Be Together or You’ll Indulge in Anticipation. 

For couples who are used to being glued to one another’s side, the idea of being apart for most of the wedding day causes more anxiety than excitement. Especially if your wedding ceremony is later in the day! Imagine the timeline of your wedding and work with your wedding photographer to plan what you’ll be doing between being ready and walking down the aisle.

Remember, either way there are so many important moments to capture during a wedding day: First looks with your parents, and each of you having fun with your girls/guys, etc, so it’s not as though you’ll be waiting around with the minutes ticking on. It would be more like having fun building up to that moment that you get to see one another down the aisle.

4. Your Ceremony Venue Was Made For That Moment 

Long Aisles to Walk Down Are The Best 

Many wedding venues have purposely built the ceremony site to have a long aisle for the bride to walk down to reach her groom. This is a dream moment for couples, their family/friends, and photographers too. With a long aisle there’s plenty of time for photographers to capture both reactions, and for the couple to process what’s happening as they’re seeing each other just before they unite their lives.

That being said, don’t be worried that if you DO a first look, that your down the aisle moment won’t be as special. It’s going to be so special either way, because you’re getting married! Even if you’ve seen each other, there’s still a lot happening as your groom sees and hear’s the crowd reacting to how beautiful you are, and the music is playing as you walk closer together. It’s a big moment.

5. It’s Not Bad Luck

Times are different, and It’s No Longer Bad Luck to See One Another Before

When it comes to the old tradition of ‘bad luck to see one another before the ceremony’, you should know that tradition was made for arranged marriages. There was a time when marriages were business transactions between families, and no family wanted a groom to back out of the arrangement because he wasn’t physically attracted to the bride. So whichever you decide, don’t let it be because of this tradition.

6. Finally….. Don’t Listen to the Naysayers 

Don’t let anyone tell you it’s a waste of time NOT to do a First Look. Here’s a list of everything that your photographer can get done before hand even if you don’t wanna see each other.

  • Bride & Groom Detail Shots
  • Those Getting Ready Photos
  • Bridesmaids/Groomsmen – separately
  • Individuals with family members
  • Ceremony or Reception Set Up

And finally, there are a few practical reasons to choose a first look:

  • If you’re wedding is in November-Mid March
  • If your ceremony is at or after sunset
  • If you have large families and needs lots of family shots after the ceremony
  • If looking fresh *just out of make-up and hair* is super important to you

I hope you’ve had fun reading through all those pros and cons for First Look or Walking Down the Aisle! If you’ve been with me for awhile, you know I love to give options, and I truly believe that whatever you decide there’s a positive way to look at it.

When it comes to your wedding day, be true to yourself and work with wedding vendors who help you get creative to make all your wedding dreams come true!