The First Look: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

You’re Maid of Honor is telling you that you should. Your mom is upset because you’ll be “breaking tradition.” You’re so stressed with ALL. THIS. WEDDING. PLANNING that you just can’t even think straight anymore.

You and your fiancé are trying to decide if you should see each other before the ceremony. If your friends and family are like most…they care about you so very much, and therefore feel it is their duty to share their opinions with you!

DON’T panic. Yes, this is an important decision, which shouldn’t be taken lightly, but it’s also your decision. At the end of the day, everyone will be relaxed; sharing a cocktail, dancing like there’s no tomorrow and celebrating the two of you. It’s likely no one will care whether you saw each other before the ceremony or not.

So, DO consider your options and what makes the most sense for your situation.

A first look isn’t for everyone; consider that you will be breaking a long-standing tradition and this may upset family members. If upsetting them, upsets you, it might not be worth it. The main reason couples opt for a first look is to get formal photos out of the way. In order for that to work, you, and potentially your immediate family and wedding party must all be ready (dressed, hair, makeup etc.) well before the ceremony begins. With some creative scheduling many of those formal portraits to be completed prior to the ceremony, so that you and your wedding party can arrive at the reception not long after your guests.

If it’s important for you to share a special, quiet moment with your partner without the presence of guests, and capture the genuine beauty of that moment in pictures, I highly recommend a first look. Many of my couples choose to see each other before the ceremony and I am able to discreetly capture the emotions of this intimate moment. I’ve witnessed a multitude of reactions from happy tears, to nervous laughter; from humble awe to jaw-dropping surprise. They are moments that live for just an instant, but can be captured in a photograph for a lifetime.

Recap – Pros & Cons


  • Spend an intimate moment with your fiancé before becoming husband and wife
  • Capture once-in-a-lifetime pictures of you and your fiancé
  • Get formal portraits out of the way, leaving more quality time for the reception


  • Break tradition of seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony
  • Begin getting ready including dressed, hair, and makeup, well before the ceremony

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