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Wedding Day | First Look vs No First Look

One of the most asked questions I get from my couples is whether or not to do a first look. While I truly believe this is a personal choice, as a seasoned wedding photographer, I do have my professional advice that I am happy to share with you 🙂

I do want to emphasize that there by no means is a right or wrong choice. With all the weddings I shoot every year, it’s split 50/50 with first look/no first look. There is simply advantages and disadvantages to either option.

Below I will highlight these in more depth – and don’t worry, we will talk through these together as a team!

First Look


You get to spend intimate, private, quality time together before your friends and family arrive

We can take ALL portraits prior to the ceremony (wedding party, family groupings and bride and groom portraits). This allows for you to enjoy cocktail hour with your guests

If either of you are nervous, having a first look is a wonderful way to ease that feeling

If having a cocktail hour, you will be able to join your guests!


You see each other prior to the ceremony (although this does not take away from the ceremony – you’ll be overwhelmed with emotion no matter what!)

You will need to start hair and makeup earlier (since we will take all portraits prior to the ceremony) which includes your wedding party and immediate family members as well

No First Look


You get the special moment of seeing each other for the first time, walking down the aisle.

This moment is shared with all your family and friends

The age old tradition is upheld (if this is important to do)

Your hair, makeup, dress and bouquet are fresh!


We will need to take all portraits following the ceremony. Starting with the full wedding party photo, family groupings and ending with bride and groom portraits.

This means your cocktail hour must be a minimum of 75 minutes (90 minutes if your family photo list is lengthy).

Which means your guests will be waiting for a decent amount of time – nothing great drinks and yummy food can’t fix!

As you can see, there are pros and cons (as to anything in life!) but regardless of which option you choose, the moment you two see each other for the first time on your big day will be special and memorable.

Also, depending on whether you are opting in a first look or not, we will create a wedding day timeline that allows for ample time to create beautiful imagery of you two and your loved ones. I promise you do not have to stress or worry!

When my couples are confused as to which option to choose, I always say to go with your gut – this will lead you the right way 🙂

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