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The First Look

I know that I have blogged about this topic before, but I really believe that it is so important that it worth another blog post. Some people don’t know what to think about first looks and because we live in the very traditional south there are even some who don’t really know exactly what a first look is. Hopefully this post will give our perspective on why we think first looks are an amazing thing to do on your wedding day.

A first look is when a bride and groom choose to see each other before the ceremony on the wedding day. For some brides the idea seems totally natural and for others, they want a little more info on why they should consider this option.

I am going to be really honest and tell you that we did not do a first look at our wedding. We got married before we were wedding photographers and we honestly didn’t know much about what a first look was. I was interested because I wanted amazing wedding images, but Jeremy was very traditional and didn’t want to see me until I walked down the aisle. Don’t get me wrong, our wedding was wonderful, but I think having a first look could have added something extra to our day and helped alleviate nerves.

You see, we had never gotten married before…so we didn’t know that the wedding day is so busy, and slightly stressful, and that on this day that is supposed to be all about you, if you don’t have a first look you will literally have no time alone.

It is often sometime right before the ceremony that the fun loving and calm groom starts to get a little more serious as he thinks about the fact that he is about to commit his life to the woman he loves. He is excited, but he is nervous. He is given the cue by the Pastor or the coordinator that it is time to enter the ceremony, and with music playing he prepares to see his bride for the first time. He is already nervous, and now he realizes that there are anywhere from 50-300 people watching him as he experiences this moment.

Imagine now that instead of their first glance of each other being at the altar, that this couple chooses to have a first look. He stands with his back to her in a secluded place away from friends and family and the hustle and bustle of the day. She taps him on the shoulder and he spins around to see the love of his life. They are not on a time crunch, but instead they have time to just be together. They can talk, they can kiss, they can pray, and they can soak in the moment and enjoy each other. Instead of seeing each other from afar and not being able to speak in the middle of their ceremony, they can spend time with each other

After they have spent time together they can spend time on portraits of the two of them, and then capture portraits with their bridal party and family. Before the ceremony begins they will part again to prepare for the ceremony. This time when the bride walks down the aisle there are no more nerves for the bride or the groom because they have already seen each other, but the moment is just as magical.

I want to make it clear that we do not require our couples to do a first look. We love when they do, but ultimately we want them to be happy and if a first look is not for them we would never force it on anyone.


Here are the main benefits that we see to doing a first look.

1. More Portraits. If you are doing a first look you are probably going to get more portraits of the two of you because we will have more time due to the fact that we will not be rushing to get to the reception. You have invested in a photographer and your wedding day only happens once and we want you to have images from this day that will hang on your wall and fill the pages of the album that your grandchildren will look at some day.

2. Less Stress. Weddings can me nerve racking and we have seen time and time again how simply choosing to do a first look can set a relaxed tone for the whole day.

3. Time Together. Wedding days can be hectic, and often leave the couple with no time for themselves. A first look gives the two of you time to be together, and to really enjoy the day. It is intimate time that can’t be duplicated without a first look. When he sees you for the first time he is free to tell you how beautiful you look, how much he loves your dress, and how excited he is to spend the rest of his life with you. He is free to tell you these things instead of having to wait another 30 minutes until the ceremony ends.


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Ashley Lynn

We were just talking to a couple in a our church about considering a first look last night! We did a first look & absolutely LOVED it! It really relaxed us & allowed us to truly enjoy the rest of the day and the ceremony.

One thing that was suggested to us, was to clear the church auditorium (or wherever your wedding is!), have the groom stand down front, and then walk down the aisle just like I would during the ceremony. Our photographer snapped some shots of those first few moments, then stepped out while we had 10 minutes completely to ourselves (our coordinator guarded the doors so no one would come in.) We prayed together, he asked about my shoes (they were a surprise to him–red heels!), and we just really calmed each other down.

Everyone is different, but I would definitely suggest considering it. It set another mood for our wedding day where we were able to enjoy everything that was going on around us, including each other. :-)

Megan Andzulis

Couldnt have said it better myself! So glad we decided to do a first look!

Jeremy Schmucker

Can’t wait to see y’all in March! LOL

Jeremy Schmucker

Love the alone time! It’s so precious!

Caitie Sheppard

Some of my favorite pictures from our wedding day are our “First Look” pictures! Soooo glad we decided to have a first look. There were absolutly NO nerves during the ceremony…I was so relaxed! It was nice to get those nerves over with in “private”. :) Great post…

Sheryl Murphy

While we didn’t have any pictures, we did have that special moment to ourselves. It was priceless. It gave us the chance to talk and enjoy some time with each other before the chaos and busy-ness began. I would recommend it any one who might be considering it. Excellent post!

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