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Natural light fan, blush lover, never not dreaming of Mexican food, join me as I share my favorite moments and details from the engagements and weddings I capture in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and beyond. P.S: Exploring blogs is better with a margarita!

Hi, I'm SARAH.

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Should You Do A First Look?

Aug 10, 2022

One of the biggest questions most of my couples face while wedding planning is wondering whether or not they should incorporate a first look. Over the years, first looks have grown more and more in popularity with good reason! There are plenty of benefits to having a first look on your wedding day. However, it’s important to decide prior to the actual wedding day. When it comes to building out timelines and making sure everything fits into one day, knowing ahead of time if you’re going to do a first look is key. So… should you do a first look? Keep reading to hopefully make your decision a little bit easier.

What Is A First Look?

First, it’s important to understand what a first look really is. A first look is a designated moment during the wedding day where the couple plan to see each other for the first time. Typically, wedding tradition has it so you don’t see your partner on the wedding day until you’re face to face down the aisle. A lot of people look at first looks as “ruining the moment” of seeing your partner. However, that couldn’t be the furthest from the truth. First looks absolutely don’t ruin the moment of seeing your partner. In fact, it can help enhance your overall wedding experience. There are many benefits to doing a first look that make it an amazing option for hundreds of couples worldwide.

Pros of Doing A First Look

1.) Get’s Rid of Wedding Day Jitters

It is pretty common to experience an overwhelming amount of emotions on the day of your wedding. There is so much going on and everything is coming together all at once, it can be a lot. Even the thought of getting in front of a crowd can make you nervous. Trust me, I get it! Planning to have a first look on your wedding day can help loosen you up and get rid of those wedding day jitters. Especially if you’re someone who is afraid of being in front of people and are wanting to calm your nerves a bit. Then a first look is definitely for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about you and your partner. The moment is all yours and reminding yourself that you’re not going through these emotions alone will help you a ton.

2.) Intimacy & Privacy

Let me start off by saying, almost every couple will tell you that their wedding day felt like it passed them by. It seriously feels like it ends within the blink of an eye and a lot of the time couples will say they barely saw their partner the entire day. Isn’t that crazy?? Rather than waiting until later in the day to see your partner, which can sometimes be as late as 5 pm, having a first look gives you some more time to spend with them. Designating a moment, such as a first look, on your wedding day gives you and your partner some much-needed alone intimacy and privacy. It brings you both closer to each other, and I believe it intensifies the moment walking down the aisle.

3.) Share Personal Written Vows

If you’re someone who is absolutely mortified at the thought of sharing personally written vows in front of your wedding guests, don’t worry. That’s where first looks come in! A first look is a perfect opportunity for you to share more personal and intimate notes with your partner. Not everyone wants to share their deepest thoughts in front of their wedding guests, and that’s totally fine. Designating time during your first look for you to share your personal vows with one another makes the moment that much more intimate and special.

4.) More Pictures Throughout the Day

If you’re working with a professional wedding photographer…. *cough cough* someone like me *cough cough*, then having a first look can help make the most out of your day! The more moments you have to capture, the more photos you’re going to have to look back on. Which I mean, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that!

Cons of Doing A First Look

1.) Waking Up Earlier

When doing a first look, this means you need to give an ample amount of time to be able to fit it in on your wedding day. This most likely means, having to wake up earlier than you normally would if you didn’t do a first look. So if you’re not a morning person, this may be one of your deal breakers on whether or not you should include a first look on your wedding day.

2.) If Things Run Late, You Lose Time For Other Photos

There is that saying that goes “expect the unexpected”, well that applies on your wedding day. Anything could happen and most commonly, things can run late! If your hair and makeup were to run late, or anything were to happen prior to your first look to delay time, this can lead to time being cut. Always be prepared for this and include buffer time in your wedding timelines. However, if this still makes you a bit nervous then maybe a first look is not for you

3.) You Want To Stick To Tradition

Don’t let anybody (including me) tell you what you should and shouldn’t do on your wedding day. If you’re wanting to stick to a traditional ceremony where you see your partner then, then go for it! Do whatever feels right for you and don’t let others influence or force your decision. At the end of the day, your wedding day is about you and your partner. Do what feels best for you!

So whether you decide to do a first look or not, is entirely dependent on you and your partner. Everyone’s expectations and wants on their wedding day are completely different and that’s totally okay! If you’re still wondering should you do a first look or not, then click here to check out some sweet first look moments that maybe can help you decide.

Loving this blog asking Should You Do A First Look? Then check out this blog for some more inspo!


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  2. […] At the end of the day, wedding planning should be a fun process. Although at times we can admit that it can get very stressful. We always recommend that if this process seems daunting to you, seek out a wedding planner! They can seriously change lives and help take a huge stress load off of you. If you’re going at it by yourself, that’s totally fine too. Take these tips for choosing the perfect wedding venue and roll with it. Take a deep breath, plan accordingly, and know that you totally got this. For more wedding tips, click here! […]

  3. […] privacy. If you are someone who is still debating on whether or not you should have a first look, we’ve dedicated a whole blog to it here! Looking at Diana and Chris’ special moment may help you make a decision – it’s in […]

  4. […] Since their wedding was peak Fall season, the color palette they had chosen for their wedding were mauves, greys, and creams. Also incorporating some greenery to mesh with the autumnal colors added for a great touch in their color palette as well! We spent the morning drinking some champagne with Reina and her bridesmaids before slipping into their official wedding attire. Reina also chose at this time to do a first look with her bridesmaids. If you know me, you know I am all for first looks. Check out more about first looks here. […]

  5. […] While Alyssa and Billy chose not to have a first look on their wedding day, Alyssa did have a first look with her bridesmaids. Their are so many beautiful reasons why having a first look on your wedding day can be so impactful and amazing. To read more about those, you can click here. […]

  6. […] If you want some more helpful tips for your wedding day, check out this blog next! […]

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Mexican food connoisseur. Most likely to quote F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Philadelphia wedding and engagement photographer.
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