Just like anything, there are pros and cons to doing a first look at your wedding

You simply have to decide what's important to you.

The big picture and main question: Do you want your soon to be spouse to see you walking down the aisle for the first time on your wedding day, or have a private moment between the two of you where you get to soak in all the emotions before your guests arrive and the formalities start?!

Only you (& your fiancé) can make that decision.

fIrst Look

What does this even mean? A first look is a moment before the ceremony where the bride and groom see each other for the first time, all dressed up, on their wedding day. This meeting typically helps to to ease nerves of the day as well as allow the couple to have a private moment to soak in the excitement of their wedding day. There likely won't be many of these quiet getaways once guests arrive! If you aren't interested in a super traditional wedding, most couples opt into doing a first look!

Pros of a first look:

  • You can write private vows and share them with each other while nobody (except your photographer) is around.
  • You don't have to try and hold back emotion because you are standing in front of all your family and friends.
  • You can get most of your bride/groom portraits done before the ceremony even begins. This means you'll have more time to party with your people post ceremony because you won't be away doing as many photos!
  • You can do all of your bridal party photos pre ceremony.
  • You'll have time to relax together to help calm nerves while guests start arriving for the ceremony.

Cons of a first look:

  • You won't have as much of an AHH factor filled with emotion when walking down the aisle at the ceremony. (You still will, but not as much)
  • The tradition of seeing your almost spouse when walking down the aisle won't be implemented (if that's important to you)
  • You parents or grandparents might question why you would want to see your significant other prior to the ceremony.

Girl in wedding gown hugging boy in blue suit in front of mountains in Colorado on their wedding day
Girl in wedding gown walking up behind boy in blue suit during their first look on their wedding day in a grove of trees


You desire to keep things more traditional and not see your (almost) spouse until you walk down the aisle on your wedding day! That can be such a powerful and special moment, and if that's important to you - DO IT!

Pros of not seeing each other before the ceremony:

  • You get to spend more time with your side of the bridal party before the scheduled festivities start to happen.
  • The suspense builds, and the excitement strengthens to see your fiancé when you walk down the aisle.
  • You can (possibly) pay for less time to have your photographer present because there will be a smaller gap between the final getting ready moments and the ceremony.
  • You keep the classic wedding tradition alive of not seeing your spouse pre ceremony on your wedding day.

Cons of not seeing each other before the ceremony:

  • You'll have longer to be nervous before you can see your soon to be spouse.
  • You won't have much 'down' time with your partner to reflect on the day and share how the morning festivities went.
  • You will likely feel emotional when walking down the aisle, but you'll be aware that there is a crowd of people watching.
  • You'll take all your bridal portraits, bridal party photos, and family photos after the ceremony before the reception begins, so you'll have less 'party/hangout time' with your guests.

Boy in black getting tears in his eyes as he gazes towards his bride coming down the aisle
Boy in black getting wiping tears in his eyes while his groomsmen stand next to him

Whichever route you take - your photographer will accomodate you

If either option is significantly more desirable or important to you than the other, choose that one. Ask your photographer and wedding coordinator to help you plan a wedding schedule to accommodate. The wedding timeline can still flow seamlessly no matter which option you choose. There are pros and cos to each, but remember - your wedding day is about the two of you! Pick whatever route feels most like y o u .

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