First Look at Your Wedding – Pros and Cons

Hello, bride-to-be! Your wedding is fast approaching and you are planning every second of the day. You might be thinking about whether or not to have a first look. What is a first look?

A first look is an intimate (or sometimes not so intimate, depending on what you decide) between you, your husband-to-be, and your photographer before the ceremony where he sees you for the first time in your wedding dress.

The “first look” has become popular at weddings lately but it does not mean you HAVE to do it. Below I have listed a few pros and cons when it comes to that moment of the wedding day just in case you are debating on whether to do it or not.


You get alone time on your wedding day with your husband-to-be
This one might seem pretty obvious but many people maybe don’t think about it. Yes, the entire day is about the bride and groom but do they have private moments for themselves throughout the day? Most like not. Having a first look guarantees just that. An intimate, private, and most likely emotional moment that the two of you won’t forget.

You get extra time for bride and portraits
Now, this reason is probably the one I always bring up to my brides when they ask my opinion about having a first look on their day. A lot of ceremonies are set just before sunset on the day of the wedding. If you don’t have a first look it means that I usually photograph the bride and groom photos after the ceremony. During winter weddings this means that there might be a risk that there won’t be enough light to shoot those photos. Because of my style of shooting, I prefer to shoot the photos before the ceremony if that is the case. Having a first look guarantees that you can get those photos done right before the ceremony without worry that you will run out of light for the day, and probably get more photos!

It eases the wedding day nerves
This one might be self-explanatory but I still wanted to list it on here. I have been a bride before and I know the wave of emotions and nerves that come over you the morning of your wedding day. Having a first look might help ease some of those nerves after you see your husband-to-be and realize that all is right with the world and you two are about to have the best day ever.


You don’t get the traditional “walking down the aisle” first look
This is the main con I mention to my brides when they are deciding about having a first look. I love traditions and totally understand when my brides decide to wait until walking down the aisle to see their husband-to-be. It’s truly an emotional and memorable moment during the wedding day.

You would need to wake up earlier
Like I briefly mentioned in one of the pros, if you decide to have a first look, it would ideally be right before the ceremony. Because it’s right before and there is most likely a schedule in place, that means that you would have to be ready earlier in the day to be ready for the first look and bride and groom photos before the ceremony. Depending on how big the wedding party is and what you have going on that morning, that could be a pretty early start to the day.

Hair and makeup touch-up before the ceremony
Now, this one doesn’t always happen but it could and easily be looked over. Because the first look is before the ceremony and most of the time super emotional, there could be a chance that your “fresh”, just done makeup and hair might need some retouching for the rest of the day. Which would entail taking even more time to “get ready” before the ceremony.


If you like the idea of having something “intimate” prior to the ceremony but don’t want to do a first look, you also have other options. You could do a first look with your father, mother, and/or even your bridesmaids. You could also do a “first touch” instead, and not see each other but still share an intimate moment together. While still talking to each other, reading a love letter, or even praying together.

Whether you decide to have a first look at your wedding it is okay! The decision is yours. After all, it is your wedding day.

I hope reading this helped a little bit if you have been on the fence about this during the planning process. I am wishing you and your husband-to-be the best day ever!

Check out the vendors for this beautiful shoot displayed here.

Host: Styled Shoots Across America
Photographer: M.V. Photography
Planning & Design: Heather Benge Events
Venue: Chateau Cocomar
Florals: Casa de Flores Design
Hair & Makeup: Sunkissed & Made Up
Dress: Weddings by Debbie
Menswear: The Modern Groom
Models: Natty & Logan

February 11, 2021

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