Corey Lamar

Fine Art Wedding photography


Should We Have a First Look on Our Wedding Day?

December 7, 2022

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A Wedding Day First Look

One of the most common questions I get as a wedding photographer is whether or not to do a first look on a wedding day. A first look can create a special, intimate moment between you and your partner prior to saying your wedding vows. What exactly is a first look? In the past, the first time a couple saw each other on their wedding day was when they walked down the aisle. It is becoming the norm to have a “first look” where a couple sees each other before their wedding ceremony in a less public setting.

Couples typically have their first look right after they finish getting ready for the day. You could choose to have your first moment together in a beautiful outdoor setting or another picture-perfect spot at your wedding venue. The purpose of having a first look is to allow the couple to spend more time together on their wedding day, get their nerves out before the ceremony, and have a special quiet moment on their busy day. As a wedding photographer who has attended many weddings, I definitely recommend having a first look on your wedding day. But you might have a few questions before you decide what is best for your wedding.

You Might Be Wondering…

Will a First Look Make Walking Down the Aisle Less Special?

The most common objection couples have to having a first look is that they feel walking down the aisle won’t be as special or emotional. You might wonder if having a first look removes the possibility of the groom tearing up as you walk down the aisle. In my experience, having a first look will not make walking down the aisle less of an event. In fact, if he gets emotional during your first look, chances are he will get emotional when you walk down the aisle, too! And maybe a more intimate moment will create even more emotion in your soon-to-be spouse.

how a wedding day timeline changes with a first look

How Will a First Look Affect Our Wedding Timeline?

Another question that couples have is how having a first look will affect their timeline. There are a few things to consider about your wedding timeline. First, having a first look means you will see each other earlier in the day. This allows for scheduling bridal party portraits and family portraits before your wedding ceremony. On the other hand, if you don’t have a first look, you will have to squeeze those portraits in between your ceremony and reception. So you might miss out on a cocktail hour or time with your guests.

Second, having a first look will give you more time for photos in general on your wedding day. You’ll have more time to explore the grounds of your venue with your photographer, meaning there will be more variety in your portraits. If you choose a venue because of its beauty, having a first look will give you time to explore all the photo opportunities. If you decide not to have a first look, there won’t be as much time for portraits and exploring, meaning you might have to take your photos in a single location.

new york wedding first look

Will We Get More Photos If We Have a First Look?

Because having a first look changes your timeline, you will have more photos of the two of you together on your wedding day. Your photographer will be documenting the day whether or not you are together, but they will have to go back and forth to capture moments of each partner if you are apart leading up to the wedding ceremony. So if you have a first look, you’ll get photos of the first look itself as well as more photos of just the two of you on your wedding day. As an added perk, you will likely feel more comfortable in front of the camera if you are able to get the nerves out earlier in the day.

Should We Have a First Look?

At the end of the day, it is your wedding. You and your fiance must decide together whether to wait to see each other until the ceremony or have a first look earlier in the day. In my experience as a wedding photographer, couples do not regret having a first look! It gives the couple a special moment to spend together, away from an audience. Plus, you’ll be able to spend more time together on your wedding day and, in turn, have more photos of the two of you. Whether or not you choose to have a first look, I wish you absolute happiness on your wedding day! And if you are looking for the right wedding photographer for your New York wedding, contact me today. I would be honored to document your special moments on your big day.

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The Wedding guide

Planning, Tips, Fashion & More. Get the Guide.