Pros and Cons of Having a First Look

As we enter peak wedding season, more and more of our clients are asking our team members for advice surrounding their special day.  One question many couples ask involves “first looks” and whether or not they should have a sneak peek before walking down the aisle.  While the final decision should belong to you and your fiance, we put together a list of the pros and cons of having a first look for you.

Alden Castle-Greenway first look_DP Wedding Photography-pros and cons of a first look

A beautiful first look shared on the Greenway next to Alden Castle by DP Wedding Photography.

Pros and Cons of Having a First Look

Pro: You are able to take photos before the ceremony.

This is often the biggest point made when comparing the pros and cons of having a first look.  You are able to have your photographer capture the intimate moment with couples portraits and candid shots.  You will also be able to do any wedding party shots so you can all enjoy some of the cocktail hour; everyone involved wins.

Con: There is no traditional moment of surprise at the altar.

When you opt for a first look, you will be forgoing the moment of suspense when your fiance sees you walk down the aisle.  The traditional aspect of the ceremony will be a bit different but that does not make it any less emotional.  Many couples will still tell you that one of them cried when their fiance started walking towards them down the aisle.

Belle Mer_Salon Lawn-Indian Wedding-First Look_Move Mountains Co.

Move Mountains Co. captured this emotional first look at Belle Mer.

Pro: Having a first look may help ease your nerves.

While not always the case, having a first look could help ease your emotions and make you less nervous.  Seeing your significant other, the person who is always there for you, often has a calming effect and makes you feel safe.  When it comes time for the ceremony, you will be able to relax and focus while marrying the person of your dreams.

Con: You will have to be ready earlier than anticipating.

While this one could really go either way, it often is looked at as a con to have to be ready earlier than you thought you would.  You and your wedding party will have to make sure you have enough time to do any hair and make-up and get dressed. Will the venue let you in that early? Do you have to pay extra for earlier entry?  Can the hair and make-up artists be available at an earlier time? These are all things to consider when you have a first look.

First-Look-Balcony_ChantalMike_Ruth-Eileen-Photography_pros and cons of a first look

A first look at Newport Beach House on the Eventide balcony. Shot by Ruth Eileen Photography.

There are a few ways to compromise but the same pros and cons of having a first look will apply.  You could do a “first touch.”  This is when you stand back to back or hold hands from around a corner and do not see each other.  Another sweet moment we’ve seen is when couples write each other a love note before walking down the aisle.  Either way, the two of you will be starting a new life at the end of the day and that is what truly matters.

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