5 Benefits Of Having A First Look On Your Wedding Day

bride approaches the groom during first look

When soon-to-be brides ask for wedding advice from past brides the one piece of advice I hear given over and over again is, “The day flies by, so enjoy every second of it.” And it’s true! There are so many moving parts it’s easy to get swept up and distracted by all the details.

If you’re like me, after receiving that advice a little bit of panic set in, because of all my days I wanted my wedding day to last the longest. Well don’t panic yet, because I’ve got good news!

There IS a way to slow down your day and help you take it all in: By having a first look!

We find that a lot of our couples are unsure of whether or not to have a first look, so I can only imagine that other couples are asking the same questions.

The first time my photographer suggested that Matthew and I have a first look I was against it. However, after hearing about all the benefits it offered I quickly changed my mind. Looking back now, of all the things we planned into our day, having a first look was one of the BEST decisions we made!

1. Time to react

When a groom sees his bride for the first time coming down the aisle, he is stunned! The hard thing about this being the first time he sees her is that they are not able to talk, embrace, or kiss until after the ceremony. With a first look, you’re able to do all of these things. Some of the sweetest words that couples exchange are right before they walk down the aisle to get married. And trust us, grooms, the moment is just as real and emotional when your bride steps through those doors and walks down the aisle!

The bride dabs a tear during her first look

2. Alone time on a busy day

It’s the morning of the wedding and the bride has already gone into hiding. This means that you will spend all day apart from each other until your ceremony that evening. And even when you do see each other at the altar you won’t be able to talk. When you think of your wedding day you think of spending that day with your spouse. But if you don’t plan intentional alone time it won’t happen. The first look allows you to set that time apart before you head into your ceremony and then straight into your reception.

bride and groom smile during the first look

3. Shake any last minute nerves

Let’s be honest, everyone has a few wedding day jitters because you’re about to make one of the biggest commitments of your life. And that’s ok! It’s such a beautiful time when the couple gets to look at each other and say, “Are you ready? Let’s do this!” It allows each person to walk confidently and enjoy the moment. Any anxiety just melts away when you get to see and hold each other 🙂 During the first look you stand as two, but shortly after, you will stand together as one. There are few moments that are as beautiful as that!

groom smiles when he sees his bride for the first time

4. Smooth reception transition

Trying to schedule all your pictures and creative shooting between your ceremony and reception can be tough. There is tension in the fact that time is short and guests are awaiting your arrival so the party can begin. Having your first look before your ceremony allows us and your photographer to get everything we need ahead of time. The only thing needed after the ceremony will be family portraits. This means fewer things to cram into cocktail hour, which reduces the chance of getting off schedule. You will have plenty of time to get to your reception, and you won’t feel rushed. It could even give you and your newlywed spouse more time alone or time to grab a quick bite to eat before your reception!

bride and groom walk into boat house

5. More footage

When we film a wedding, we don’t just want to capture events and put that footage over some music. We want to tell a story! We want to tell your story. One way we do this is through scheduling creative shooting time with our couples. Couples who choose to do a first look with us receive more footage with each other for their final wedding film and documentary edit. The first look allows you to maximize your investment and take the storytelling aspect of your film to the next level!

groom hugs bride during the first look

An Alternative

If you’re still not convinced, we understand! We would encourage you to consider having a first touch instead. This would be you and your soon-to-be spouse holding hands around a corner, exchanging notes, talking, praying together, etc. It won’t accomplish everything a first look would, but you will still get some alone time before you tie the knot.

If this blog was helpful, check out our other planning ideas here!