Considering doing a first look before your ceremony? 

Tradition is to have that first glimpse of each other on the aisle when your eyes first meet, however, for the past several years, tradition is being tossed to the wayside in favor of a private, scripted first reveal known as the first look. Think of a first look as a mini-event in itself before the ceremony is to begin. 

Kim Heath Photography

What is a First Look? 

A first look is when a couple plans to have a private moment where they will see each other before the wedding. All alone. Just you two. Without. Anyone. Watching. Well, except your photographer.  It can be an incredibly romantic and intimate moment. Your wedding planner, photographer, and venue all should be informed if you choose to include one in your wedding day. 

Why consider a First Look?

Three reasons why you might choose to have a first look:

  • It calms your nerves.
    Your partner generally has a calming effect on you, and if you’re restricted from your main calming resource, that isn’t going to help your anxiety throughout the day! By allowing you to get your moments alone with your partner, it’ll help you be less stressed about walking down the aisle because you’ve already seen them.
  • You get to enjoy cocktail hour
    You will be able to schedule most of the formal family and wedding party portraits before the wedding ceremony, now that you have seen each other. This means less time taking photos during cocktail hour, which means, more time to eat, drink and be married!
  • You might ugly cry
    If you consider yourself a “cryer” then a first look may appeal to you. Your makeup artist can be standing by to touch you up after your first look, and once you move on from this moment, you might have a better chance of keeping your composure on the aisle!

Tips for First Look success

Here are a few tips for having a successful first look:

  • Walkthroughs are important
    You will likely do a thorough wedding venue walkthrough with your wedding planner to discuss where vendors (like the DJ)  and details (like the sign in table) will be placed. While you are there, take your time and review what areas your venue offers for the perfect scenery for your first look. Always take your photographer’s opinions to heart on these matters as well.
  • Leave your schedule to the professionals
    Allow your photographer and wedding planner to hash out your pre-ceremony schedule – they will be able to guide you to make sure your first look is taking place at a time of day with good lighting, and to flow magically into the rest of the photos you will be taking. By letting them handle these details, you will avoid any potentially troubling circumstances. For example, maybe  the sun in the area for the first look at that time is harsh and not ideal, so game plans are made to make sure that the timing and location both work out!
  • Relax and enjoy the moment
    I know it is easier said than done, but try to relax and enjoy your first look moments. Take this time to check your partner out! Slap a butt, wipe a tear, and twirl your partner around. Hug and recognize how awesome today is.


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