Should you do a first look?

Should you do a first look? While a ton of brides have hopped on the first look train, some are still undecided as to what to do. So what I want to do is break down the pros and cons of each to help you make the best decision for you. Many photographers are definitely pro for first look, but in my personal point of view, this isn’t my decision nor should it be my preference. I think a bride should have what she wants and I will accommodate and plan a timeline with you to get exactly that! So here are some things to consider for each!

a couple doing a non seeing first look, a good option to consider on the topic of if you should do a first look



  • Keep to tradition- some people dream of that moment their whole lives!
  • Typically doing no first look you will be doing photos later in the day, which will automatically lend itself to a softer quality light.


  • You will most likely will miss most, if not all of cocktail hour.
  • In all truth, your wedding party will most likely be more excited about going to cocktail hour rather than doing photos. It will harder for them to focus. Especially if drinking celebrations have started early!
  • Your nerves prior to ceremony may feel more intense without a first look, they seem to really settle after doing one!



  • With a designated time to do your photos, everyone is more focused.
  • You’re creating a moment to slow down and take each other in privately. I’ve had some tell me that this moment was the most memorable time of their day.
  • You will have a lot more time instead of the rush of just one hour during cocktail to accomplish all the photos you want. You will have more time for various groupings and poses.
  • Definitely helps settle pre ceremony jitters.


  • Sometimes earlier in the day when you will typically plan for these photos, the light is still a bit harsher. Honestly, I can make pictures taken by a dumpster at 12 noon still look beautiful, but this could present a challenge, especially if there is a lack of anything to diffuse the light. (Such as trees). 
  • Your hair and makeup will be ‘used’ before the ceremony. So be prepared for touch ups!
  • Your dress will probably get somewhat dirty.


I’m going to present to you a third option, you may not have thought of. This would be a ‘non-seeing first look’. I’ve only had a handful of couples choose this, but I truly think it’s adorable! You get to hold hands, chat with each other for a private moment, but still build anticipation of seeing one another. They’re always super sweet. 

I hope this helped answer the question of should you do a first look? I always remind my brides, this is your wedding day! You do what you dream. You and your fiancé’s preference and happiness is what matters most to me. If you need any further thoughts, suggestions or want to discuss your feeling about options with me to help aid you to a decision, I am more than happy to chat it out. I just want you to make the best decision for you. Any way you choose it will be absolutely gorgeous and I am honored to be a part of it.

Depending on which option you decide it will alter your timeline of events. So to help you, I’ve created three different sample timelines for these three different options! You can download that here. It will really help you get a sense of what your day as a whole will look like! So be sure to download here. If you have any questions, never hesitate to ask me, I’m always here to help! I am so passionate about every bride being able to have the perfect photos to relive their dream day <3

You may also like:
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