Should we do a First Look?

Should we do a First Look at our wedding?

What is a First Look?

The First Look is a unique way of celebrating the moment that you see each other for the first time in your wedding attire. It takes place before the ceremony and the setting can be anywhere, ranging from a forest behind your town, an alleyway by your chapel or even a beautiful room in your house.

You will get to enjoy some quiet minutes, while I keep a discreet distance and capture this emotional encounter. Most First Looks go this way: One partner turns around and faces with their back towards the other. The other partner then approaches quietly, and gets their husband or wife to be to turn around. This is usually signalled by softly calling out to them or touching their shoulder. Some couples have also asked me in the past to give the cue for this occasion.

A First Look is not unique to weddings or elopements exclusively and definitely suitable for both. Couples who elope sometimes get ready together, but if they don’t, this is a really special moment that can be captured on their day. I also recommend it for all lovers out there who are planning an intimate vow renewal.

First Look between groom and bride on their wedding day

Why you should consider a First Look

Personally, I love the First Look for its intimacy and emotion. It gives you the chance to share a moment all to yourselves before the wedding day buzz begins. It gives you the chance to exchange a few words in private and to calm each other’s nerves before all eyes are on the two of you. Of course you can also have your families or bridal party with you for this!

It also has the advantage that we can use the time to take some couple shots or photos of the whole bridal party a little earlier in the day and have enough time for family photos after the ceremony. This means more time with your guests, but also with your partner – win win!

The setting and mood of your First Look are completely up to the two of you – let your imagination run wild! I’d be more than happy to help you plan it. If you’re wondering how to incorporate the First Look in your wedding timeline, find out how to plan it all in this blog post.

Couples' First Look reactions on their wedding day
Intimate First Look on the wedding day

Will it take away from the moment you walk down the aisle?

When couples ask me “Should we do a First Look?”, this is generally followed by the question if it will take away from the moment of walking down the aisle. From experience, I can clearly answer this with No. Both moments are different and entirely unique. The First Look is full of intimacy, no pressure or distractions, just the two of you. The moment of walking down the aisle is like a second First Look, but this time you have your guests around you, you’ll most likely have music playing and it is the first official time of meeting each other as husband(s) and/ or wife(s) to be. It all feels real now. Both moments are emotional and beautiful for different reasons, and I can assure you one does not take away from the other.

Groom's reaction during bride walking down the aisle
Bride walking down the aisle with her parents on her wedding day

Other First Look ideas

First Looks are not only reserved for couples, but can also be an amazing way to reveal your dress to your bridal party, Dad, Mum or other loved ones. This usually happens during your getting ready photos, and I’m always here for you to provide guidance on the best spot to do these first looks. I generally look for spacious, light and bright areas to be able to capture both you and your loved ones during this beautiful moment.

First Look of bride with family
Family's emotional reaction to seeing the bride for the first time
First Look between bride and her family during the getting ready

Planning your wedding? I’m here to help!

Hey, I’m Caro, a hopeless romantic, dog mum and nature lover. I have found my passion in destination wedding photography and create images for couples all over Australia, New Zealand and Europe. I hope you found this blog post about “Should we do a First Look?” helpful! If there are any questions you have whilst planning your wedding, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I have photographed over 100 weddings for couples just like you, so I am always here to help! You can check out more of my work here or get in contact to have me photograph your wedding or elopement here.

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  1. […] have written a whole other blog post about benefits of doing a first look, which you can check out here. In short, by doing a first look prior to your ceremony, maybe even followed by some family or […]