First Look Photos – Are They for You?

San Diego Wedding PlannerI’ve recently been asked by a few brides what my thoughts on first look photos are, so I thought to make a blog entry about it. We’ll start off by defining what a first look photo is. A first look is a dramatic way of describing the first time the bride and groom see each other on their wedding day. Will first look photos be a viable option for you and your fiance? Here is my objective opinion on the topic.

Pros for a Pre-Ceremony First Look:

(1) First look photos can save you time and allow you to enjoy/mingle during your cocktail hour. Instead of staying back to take photos together, you can take the photos prior to your ceremony and enjoy some extra time with your wedding guests.

(2) They can help make the ceremony less nerve-wrecking. The thought of seeing each other, while walking down the aisle in front of your wedding guests may be a little overwhelming. Seeing each other alone prior to the ceremony may help with some of your pre-wedding nerves.

(3) These photos are very intimate.

(4) You’ll get to spend some quality time alone on a day where (literally) everyone is vying for your attention.

(5) Your hair and makeup will be fresh.

Pros for a Ceremony First Look:

(1) The drama. There is something absolutely beautiful and highly emotional about a groom seeing his bride in front of everyone for the first time.

(2) Tradition. Many people believe it is bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other prior to the ceremony.

(3) Timing. First look photos require the bride and groom to be ready earlier in the day to allow time for the photos. No first look prior to the ceremony = more time to get ready.

(4) No “after ceremony” break. You’ll go from vows, straight to mingling with guests. Some couples enjoy the time after the ceremony together as a breather, of sorts before spending the remainder of the evening mingling.

(5) Sharing emotion. All of your wedding guests will get to experience your initial emotion, which is a priceless gift on it’s own.


In the end – whether you decide to look (or not to look), it is important to recognize that there is no “right” answer as to what a couple should do. Weigh your pros and cons objectively, and do what you feel is right for YOU.


Happy Planning!


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Love Marks The Spot | San Diego Wedding Planner
San Diego, CA 92101