First Look: Pros + Cons

The first time you see your fiance on your wedding day is a BIG moment. Some couples are split on how they want this moment to unfold.

Should we wait until the ceremony, or not?

Over the last decade, we’ve worked with hundreds of beautiful couples who’ve been on different ends of this spectrum. Here are our Pro’s and Con’s for a First Look:

First Look: Pros + Cons

Pro: Your hair and makeup will be freshest before the ceremony

If you are a crier, or your wedding is on a very hot day, your makeup may need some serious touch-ups after your ceremony. If you take your portraits immediately after your H&M are complete, this is when you will look your very freshest all day.

Con: You have to get up earlier

Taking photos earlier means you and your wedding party need to get up earlier to eat, have H&M completed and get dressed. If you’re having a brunch wedding, that means you may have to get up at the crack of dawn in order to do your First Look. If you dread the idea of getting up any earlier than you have to, night owls may think twice about this.

Pro: You’ll be able to join cocktail hour

This is one of this biggest reasons that convinces a couple to have a First Look, if they want to hang out and enjoy drinks and appetizers with their guests. Also: your bridal party will also be joining you! I’m sure they’ll thank you 🙂

Con: You opt out of having that special moment at the altar

Waiting to see each other builds suspense, adds emotion to your ceremony and gives a nod to tradition. 40% of our couples wait to see each other at the ceremony and love that moment. Just be sure to set aside extra time after the ceremony for your couple portraits (at least 20 minutes). That means you will likely need to skip cocktail hour to include all of your family and bridal party portraits.

Pro: It makes for an intimate moment alone

Having such a special moment alone is incredibly intimate. For some, this can be a bit more special, as you have time to talk and (maybe shed a few tears!) take the whole day in alone together before the crowds arrive.

Pro: More time and locations for couple photos

You will having full access to using the whole property before the guests arrive, or even multiple locations before your ceremony begins. The length of time you have for couple photos will increase, because you have extra time before the ceremony. If you opt-out of a First Look, then we typically divide cocktail hour into these segments: 20 minutes for family portraits, 20 minutes for bridal party portraits and 20 minutes for couple portraits. With a First Look, you’ll have closer to 45-60 minutes for couple portraits.

Pro: It calms the pre-ceremony jitters

If you tend towards being more anxious or nervous, then this might be a big way to relax that day. Having alone time together before the guests arrive, your photo session will be very intimate, and often couples remark about how relaxed they feel after being able to spend time with their partner alone.

If you and your partner just can’t agree…

We have seen many couples have a “First Touch” back to back, or read their vows to each other around the corner from each other.

First Look: Pros + Cons

One more idea: You could also do your first look sans veil or other accessories to not give away the whole look, then put it on before your ceremony as a sweet surprise for your partner!