Should I Do a First Look at My Wedding?

You might have clicked on this post because you are debating between keeping things traditional or doing a first look, you might be confused what a first look is or maybe you are sending this to somebody who might need convincing. I would say about 60 - 70% of our couples end up doing first looks, but it’s entirely up to you and your timeline. There is no right or wrong way and we don’t mind either way! Weddings aren’t ruined with or without them, but they are a super smart decision for some couples who have tight timelines, large families, large bridal parties or off-season weddings with early sunsets. I hope this helps!

Michigan wedding photographer

1. It gives you more time for photos.

Sometimes venues don’t offer the best outdoor photo opportunities. We often have couples that want to drive to a certain park or specific area of the city for their wedding photos. Doing a first look gives you as many hours as you want before the ceremony to travel for photos. Having more time for photos also allows your photographer to be more creative, giving time for some new ideas. You paid a lot for your wedding and your photos are the one thing that lasts forever from it. You want to spend a bit of time on photos. If you hired a videographer, they would really appreciate this extra time.

2. It prevents guests from waiting for too long.

Doing a first look (along with bridal party/couple portraits after the first look) means that you can get alllllll of your photos done before the ceremony. Once the ceremony is finished, you can head right to your reception (or enjoy cocktail hour) and your guests don’t need to wait for 2 more hours.

first look groom's reaction michigan wedding photographer

 3. It it intimate & emotional.

This is my favorite reason. I know some people fear that seeing each other before might ruin the day. I disagree. The first look is one of your only, private moments together during the day. And to be honest, not all guys are criers.. or even show a ton of emotion and that’s perfectly fine. But nonetheless, it’s the perfect way to just have a moment together. You aren’t standing in front of 150+ guests, seeing your ceremony decorations for the first time, etc. It’s a moment, entirely focused on each other. In addition, you still get to have that special, “walk down the aisle moment” too!

4. You get all of the busy stuff out of the way so once the ceremony begins, you can enjoy your day.

Photos are personally one of my favorite parts of the day but after 5+ hours of getting ready and a few hours of photos… it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy your day. Getting all of the photos done early allows you to sit back and enjoy the ceremony & reception. You don't feel like you're being rushed from one event to another. 

5. You can get photos right after your hair and makeup is done.

Your hair and makeup hopefully will stay all day but you want to look your absolute best seeing each other (and for photos). If you wait to do photos after the ceremony and it's a humid day - sweat might have gotten the best of your hair and makeup. This isn’t a huge determining factor, but just an added bonus!

groom reaction first look ideas photography

6. It allows flexibility for rain.

If you have a first look planned and rain is being called for in the evening, we can get all of your outdoor photos done prior to the rain. If your first look has rain during it, we can work around it. We aren’t in a rush to head straight to the reception so we can work with the weather. It helps to have extra time and it allows your timeline to be rearranged to work with the rain.

7. You get to spend more of the day together.

If you have a late ceremony, you only get to spend so many hours with your love. You invested so much time and money into this day, you should be able to spend the majority of it with them. First looks get you together sooner.

8. It calms your nerves.

First looks are great for couples who might get a bit too nervous before the wedding. If you feel like you’re a fainter, or somebody who hates large crowds, first looks help calm you down prior to seeing so many guests.

9. Dad First Looks *

If you can't do a first look with your groom (or even if you can) I love first looks with Dads as well. Some Dads get really confused on what a first look actually is but the reactions are so beautiful everytime. Dad reactions always make me cry. If your Dad isn't in the picture, you could do a first look with somebody you are close with. Even with your bridesmaids!