5 Reasons Why every bride & Groom should consider a First Look

5 Reason Why First Looks Are So Great by Alyssa Parker Photographer

First looks are becoming very popular, in fact, I would say that 90% of my couples choose to see each other before the ceremony. Here are a few reasons why!


1.     It calms nerves

Most brides and grooms tend to be a little nervous for their “I do’s”. Seeing each other beforehand is a great way to get all of the anxiety out, and soak in a few minutes of alone time with your soon-to-be husband or wife. If you think about it, if you wait until the ceremony to see one another, you’ll be surrounded by people with all eyes on you, you can’t tell each other how great the other looks or how excited you are to marry them! With a first look you get to say whatever’s on your mind the moment you lay eyes on your partner! AND a first look is the only time the two of you will have alone.


2.     It doesn’t make seeing each other at the altar less special, I promise!

I think the number one reason why couples don’t like the idea of a first look is because they think it will make walking down the aisle less special. That couldn’t be further from the truth, in my opinion. As I said before, most of my couples choose to do a first look, and not once has there been less of a reaction from the groom. Less nerves? Yes. Less of a reaction? Nope! There is something that kicks in during that moment. The music is playing, everyone stands, the groom sees his bride at the end of the aisle and suddenly everything starts to feel real. It’s happening, the moment you’ve both been waiting for. So, trust me, the emotions will come out regardless if you saw each other before or not. If you are really worried about it not being as special, some brides choose to do a first look without their veil and put their veil on right before the ceremony. This makes you more ‘bridal’ and gives the groom something new to see.

3.     You get to enjoy cocktail hour

Let’s be honest, you paid a lot of money for drinks and appetizers! And you picked out all of your favorites! You should be able to enjoy it all! Without a first look, the whole cocktail hour is taken up for portraits (actually, I like to have AT LEAST an hour and 20 minutes to get all of the portraits in, but sometimes we have to rush to fit it within the hour) When you do a first look there is no rushing to get portraits done and you get to mingle with all of your guests, plus enjoy the food!

4.     More photos and less risk

Obviously, this one is my favorite ;) But in all seriousness, at the end of the day all that you’ll be left with are your photos. And I’m pretty sure the more “formal” portraits are the photos you are going to hang on your wall. Having a first look allows for more portraits and a less stressful day for everyone. Usually, we can capture the bride and groom portraits, wedding party, and family before the ceremony, but it also allows for a back-up time, after the ceremony, to take any formals we may have missed.


5.     It allows for a later ceremony

Later ceremonies can be great for multiple reasons; better light if it’s an outdoor ceremony, it will be dark by the time the dancing begins, no one has to wake up super early to start getting ready. If you’re planning a late ceremony, depending on when the sun sets, you might have to have a first look if you want your portraits to be in the daylight! Being a natural light photographer, with a bright/natural style, I am all about the daylight and timing things perfectly! Blog about planning the ideal wedding timeline coming soon.


Let’s recap: You’ll both be more calm, you get some alone time, get to speak what’s on your mind, the emotions will still be there at the ceremony, more photos, waaay less stress, more food and drinks, less risk of not getting all the portraits, better light for portraits and (possibly) the ceremony.

I hope this was helpful! I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have about first looks.

Alyssa Parker4 Comments