Why You Should do a First Look on Your Wedding Day

If you’re wondering whether you should do a first look or not on your wedding day, this is for you! Hi there! My name is Heidi Straus and I’m a professional Wedding photographer based in the US. I’m originally from South Africa and the BIGGEST difference in weddings I’ve seen in the US vs South Africa, is the first look. I think it’s genius! Here’s why you should do a first look on your wedding day…

Bride and Groom First look photo reveal

Reason 1: It’s a special intimate moment you two get to share alone together

Bride and groom after their first look holding hands together after eloping on top of Logan's Pass in Glacier National Pakr

Your wedding day is such a BIG, special day! Often times it goes by SO fast and you and your love don’t get to spend any alone time together at all! You’re always surrounded by so many people. It can be super overwhelming. Taking the time to add a first look before the ceremony, can be really helpful to see your partner and share a special, intimate moment together. You’re able be vulnerable in front of each other without any pressure from anyone else. Which brings me to my next point on why you should do a first look on your wedding day!

Reason 2: It helps to ease the nerves

Bride and Groom boho portrait wedding photos after first look

You might not think so right now, but most of my couples get extremely nervous for the big moment down the aisle! The bride is worried she might trip. The groom is nervous because there’s this expectation of how he “should” react. Taking time to do a first look can really ease the nerves for both of you! Also, this might shock you, but most of my grooms who do a first look end up getting emotional at the alter! Why? Because without the added pressure, he was able to truly be in the moment and feel his emotions.

Reason 3: Getting to spend time with your guests and enjoy the cocktail hour!

Bride and bridesmaids having fun dancing during wedding party photos at Boom Island Park

This is a really great reason as to why you should do a first look! After you do the first look you’re able to get family photos and wedding party photos done before the ceremony! Meaning that after the ceremony, you don’t have to worry to try and gather everyone around (trust me, you DO NOT want to try and gather everyone around for photos after the ceremony! The groomsmen are already headed to the bar to get ANOTHER drink. Your single bridesmaids are right behind em! Your grandparents are catching up with Aunt Sue who they haven’t seen in decades. It’s chaos). By getting these photos out of the way beforehand, you’re able to truly enjoy the cocktail hour that you spent MONTHS planning! You get to actually spend time with your guests who came to celebrate this day with you. No rush, no hassle, no stress.

Reason 4: You get to spend more time with your partner overall

Bride and groom walking away together happily after first look with bride's beautiful open back, lace dress

You already had to spend the night apart (or maybe you didn’t, but most of my couples do haha). Now you have to spend the whole day a part as well? You only get to see each other at 3 or 4pm when the ceremony starts? Heck no! That makes no sense! I want to spend as much time as possible with my partner on this absolutely special and important day of our lives! Plus, what better way to see him/her for the first time right after you’re all done up! No need to worry about whether your make up will make it until 4pm or whether your curls will survive the day. You can be fresh as a daisy and see your partner as soon as 12pm! That’s 3-4 more hours together on one of the best days of your lives!

Reason 5: You get more photos of you two together!

Bride and Groom Portrait photo with bride's beautiful long train and open back lace wedding dress after their first look

If this doesn’t get you excited to do a first look on your wedding day, then I don’t know what will, haha! This time is awesome for some really nice Bride and Groom portraits! Getting some daylight photos ads a nice variety to the sunset photos you’ll do later. You can practice some kissing dip photos for down the aisle. Plus, you can do the first look photos somewhere different to where you will do sunset photos or family photos, giving you even more of a variety! Lastly, it might even be some of the only photos you get to do outside, as it could possibly rain later on! This has actually happened to some of my couples before and they were SO happy that they did a first look on their wedding day!

If you’re still not convinced on why you should do a first like on your wedding day, consider some other options:

1- Do a reveal with your bridesmaids instead. The hype they will give you is unreal!

Bride reveal with her bridesmaids in beautiful rustic, boho, fall colored dresses

2-Do a first touch, or share a special letter or prayer with your partner instead of a first look

Bride and Groom First touch and letter sharing

3- Do a blindfolded kiss!

Blind folded first look between bride and groom couple

4- Do a first look with just your dad

Bride and dad first look on wedding day

I hope these reasons will make it easier for you to decide why you should do a first look! I truly LOVE first looks! The emotions I get to experience while photographing these intimate moments for my couples are priceless! If you’re still looking for a photographer for your wedding day, I would absolutely love to connect with you! Please reach out HERE!

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