Pre-Wedding First Look or Not?

To do a wedding first look or not, that is the question. This has to be one of the most highly debated questions (albeit a friendly debate)! Should the bride and groom walk down the aisle seeing each other that day for the first time? Or should they have what is known as a wedding first look and see each other for the first time prior to walking down the aisle?

The good news is that there is no right, or wrong answer and you can decide. The bad news is that it can’t be a last-minute decision as the wedding day timeline of events will depend on what you and your partner decide to do.

Deciding whether or not to have a wedding first look is a common question for many couples as they envision their big day. Will it detract from the moment? Will it feel less special than sticking to tradition? It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of both options, which is precisely what we’ll explore here.

So if you’re grappling with this decision, stick around! By the end, you’ll have a clearer understanding to help you make your choice.

a wedding first look under an alcove of green

What Is A Wedding First Look?

A wedding first look is a designated time before the ceremony for the couple to see each other. It’s the first glimpse they catch of each other on their wedding day, and it is a very special moment. Emotions run high, and sometimes nerves creep in. With a first look, couples have the chance to center themselves and truly savor the significance of this moment.

It’s always heartwarming to witness their reactions as they behold their significant other, all dolled up and ready to say “I do,” away from the eyes of the crowd. This can completely calm pre-wedding ceremony jitters and allow you to have a safe space where you can take a breath or two together and capture some really spectacular couples’ photos.

Traditional or Original?

Some first look naysayers will try and convince you that a first look will diminish the magic of seeing each other at the ceremony. The concern is that it won’t feel as special or that it’ll deviate from the image they’ve cherished for years of seeing their fiancé for the first time as they walk down the aisle. Rest assured, whether you opt for a first look or stick to tradition, both moments will be equally special. There are many ways to tie meaning into a wedding first look. That first glimpse of each other can have a practical influence on your timeline for the wedding.

This can be an excellent moment to exchange simple and personal vows between just the two of you, love notes, and or gifts, all excellent photo and video opportunities. It’s a chance to share personal sentiments before the formal ceremony begins.

a spectacular wedding first look at Las Ventanas, in Los Cabos

Helping The Flow Of The Wedding Day

Wedding first looks are a lifesaver when it comes to managing your wedding day timeline. Ceremonies, especially those scheduled in the evening closer to sunset, often lead to a rush for photos afterward. With a wedding first look, your photographer typically has more time to capture all the essential moments, from family portraits to shots with the bridal party.

Your photographer will almost always suggest a first look as it gives them time and opportunity to take all the ‘photo musts.’ Your photographer’s priority is capturing the essence of your day. A good photographer will always prioritize your comfort and happiness above all else. Whether you choose to have a first look or not, they will ensure your wedding photos reflect the mood elegance and love of the day.

a glamorous wedding first look with bride and groom

More Time To Unwind & Enjoy

By completing family portraits and other photos before the ceremony through a first look, you can free up more time to enjoy cocktail hour with your guests. This means less rushing around after the ceremony and more time to relax or party! There will still be a need for photos, but guests won’t have to wait to be seated and can most likely have at least one margarita with you before your grand entrance.

Ease Those Ceremonial Wedding Jitters

Walking down the aisle in front of hundreds of guests can be nerve-wracking for some. A first look provides an opportunity for a private, intimate moment between you and your partner before the whirlwind of the ceremony begins. This can result in less anxiety and more natural smiles for the photographer.

Another positive for a first look is the fact that many couples feel anxious before seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day and are eager to alleviate those feelings. A first look allows you to experience and process those emotions together beforehand, leaving you to enjoy the rest of the day stress-free (Well, less stressed anyway!).

bride and grooms wedding first look

Saving The Bridal Reveal For The Collective

Perhaps you’re already 100% convinced you should have a wedding first look. Let’s discuss the reasons against having a first look. You have waited for your wedding day for a LONG TIME. Dreamt of it, prepared for it, SHOPPED for it, most likely worked out for it and are looking your absolute best!! You may want to completely surprise your partner and all your guests.

THIS can be a VERY spectacular moment for your guests and for you and your fiancé. We have certainly seen tears, joys, and gigantic smiles in these moments, and it is simply stated precious. The anticipation and thrill of walking down the aisle towards your fiancé, family and friends is an unforgettable moment for many couples. The music, the guests rising, the sun shining– it’s a grand beginning to the celebration that some wouldn’t trade for anything.

Finding The Extra Time (& Budget) Needed

Opting for a wedding first look means adjusting your timeline to accommodate the extra time needed. While it can be a brief encounter, it requires being ready earlier, especially if you plan to take additional photos with the bridal party or have portraits before and after the first look. This can mean an earlier start time and a need for scheduled touch ups which will add additional costs to your hair and make-up.

It’s Your Love Story & Your Call

Ultimately, whether to have a wedding first look or not depends on your preferences and the vibe you want to create on your wedding day. If a first look aligns with your vision and enhances your overall experience, go for it! But if you prefer to stick to tradition or explore alternative ways to connect before the ceremony, that’s perfectly fine too. It’s your day, and it should reflect your unique love story.

This should always be decision you and your partner decide together. Remember, no matter if you have a first look or not, the emotions are still with you. The walk down the aisle is still powerful. Seeing each other for the first time, even if you’ve been together all day, is a poignant moment leading up to exchanging vows.

Ultimately, whatever choice you make, your day will be perfect because it’s a celebration of your love.