Should You Do a First Look? Pros and Cons! |

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Should You Do a First Look? Pros and Cons!

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April 6, 2021

Wondering if you should have a first look at your wedding? Here are the pros and cons to having or not having a first look on your wedding day!

More and more couples today are choosing to have a first look before their wedding ceremony.

That means, rather than seeing each other for the first time when you walk down the aisle, that the couple actually sees each other for the first time before the ceremony!

This is a private moment alone between you and your fiancé in which you enjoy the privilege of seeing each other before your guests see you at the ceremony. It’s just the two of you, and your wedding photographer~

These are special moments of profound excitement, nerves, and tension in which you see each other for the last time as “boyfriend and girlfriend,” as “fiancés.”

During this time, there are kisses, hugs, tears, laughter, and sweet words. Some couples use this time to pray together, some to exchange gifts, and others to make private vows to one another.

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Although first looks are becoming increasingly popular, many couples still question whether or not having a first look at their wedding is right for them.

Many of my couples love to follow tradition and see each other for the first time down the aisle.  Other couples believe it is bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony.  

Some couples even think that by having a first look, that the magic of seeing each other for the first time down the aisle will be lost. 

PS It’s actually the opposite! Because you have seen each other already, all of those initial feelings of nerves and excitement are gone and now you can focus on each other even more.

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In the end, it’s up to you to decide how you want to create the magic of your wedding day by deciding which moments you both place the most importance on.

It can be so magical to see each other for the first time in private, before your ceremony. It’s equally incredible to share that moment with all your friends and family as you walk down the aisle.

I am breaking out the pros and cons of whether or not you should have a first look on your wedding day, below!

Thinking about having a first look at your wedding?

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Here are some reasons why a first look might be for you!

  • You want to break away from old traditions.
  • You are a modern couple &  you want your wedding day to be as unique as you are
  • Cocktail hour! You want to get the majority of your portraits done before the ceremony so you can enjoy the cocktail hour with your guests.
  • The idea of having a special, private moment with your future husband or wife on your wedding day is something you both want
  • It’s important to you that the first person who sees you on your wedding day is your partner
  • You want to have two magical moments of seeing each other for the first time! Your first look, and your moment down the aisle
  • You’d like to be able to express your emotions without any added pressure from the watching eyes of your guests
  • Capturing photos with raw emotion on your wedding day is important to you! You want to have photos that reflect the emotion of those shared moments with each other 

Still not entirely convinced you should do a first look at your wedding?

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Here are some reasons why a first look might not be for you!

  • You are a very traditional couple and the rest of your wedding day will equally as traditional
  • You are both superstitious and worry that seeing each other before you say I do might bring you bad luck
  • For you, the moment of arriving at the ceremony is the one you picture as seeing each other for the first time at your wedding
  • You dream of locking eyes for the first time at the altar
  • Your faith is a big part of your relationship and it is important to you that your spirituality is the thing that brings you together for the first time on your wedding day when you meet at the altar
  • You dream of sharing that special moment with your guests and letting them witness your emotions the first time you see each other

As a wedding photographer, when I work with my couple on their wedding photography timeline for the day, my recommendation is often, not always, but often, that they should have a first look!!

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I know that’s a bold statement, and let me tell you why I feel that way!

From a practical perspective, having a first look on your wedding day gives you a huge advantage.  You get more time on your wedding day!!

Having a first look means that the only photos left to take after your ceremony are your formal photos! The shots of you with your bridal party, and cherished family members. 

You don’t have to worry about taking your formal photos then heading off to take your couple photos while your bridal party hits the reception. You can go straight to your reception and enjoy the rest of your night! This frees up plenty of time to enjoy yourselves and have fun with your family and guests, knowing that you got in every single shot that we discussed in the planning process!

Having a first look also opens the door for you and your partner to have a more relaxed wedding ceremony and still enjoy a deeply emotional and private moment with each other. 

Weddings can (and will be!) a whirlwind of activity!! I often hear my couples say things like, “I can’t believe it’s over already!”

That first look—when you lay eyes on each other for the first time that day, knowing that your relationship is now moving into a deeper commitment will be one of the most magical moments you will treasure for the rest of your lives together.

But if you decide to treat your first look and your meet down both moments as special, you can have both without losing any of the magic!

Ready to book your Key Largo wedding photographer for your adventurous laid-back tropical vibes-only destination wedding?  Click the contact button and let’s talk about turning your dream day into a reality!

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Claudia Rios is a Florida Keys wedding photographer  in Miami, Key Largo, Islamorada and beyond specializing intimate weddings, micro-weddings, elopements, engagement and family sessions.

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