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Pros and Cons of a First Look: How do I decide?

Red Aspen Photography

At a wedding, the first look captures the intimate moment in which a couple first sees each other on their big day. This occasion will typically only consist of the bride, groom, and photographer, giving the couple a moment of solitude during a hectic and busy wedding schedule.

While first looks have become increasingly more popular in modern weddings, many couples also still opt to see their partner for the first time while walking down the aisle. We have listed below the pros and cons of both options to help you decide for your big day!

PROs and CONs of doing a First Look

PRO: Since the majority of the couple photos will occur before the ceremony, you can attend cocktail hour with your guests and make your post-ceremony timeline smoother. I still do recommend taking at least a few post-ceremony photos of the two of you though - nothing beats the emotion and joy of being freshly married!

PRO: You and your partner will share a private moment alone and see each other for the first time without distractions

PRO: This is the first big moment between you two on your wedding day, which can sometimes ease nerves before the ceremony

CON: You will need to be ready earlier in the day to take photos before the ceremony. Just keep that in mind for your timeline. You also need to make sure you contract your hair and make-up for the correct amount of time and provide your stylist with the time you need to be finished for photos, not the ceremony time.

CON: Depending on you and your partner’s personalities, a first look might detract from the raw emotion of the ceremony. It is also not as "traditional" which is something to consider if you are trying to keep things traditional!

PROs and CONs of not doing a First Look

PRO: You and your partner will see each other for the first time walking the down aisle, allowing you to share an exciting and intimate moment with your guests

PRO: You and your partner will have more time to get ready and prepare before the ceremony

PRO: You and your partner will experience the traditional, genuine reaction of seeing each other down the aisle for the first time

CON: You will spend less time with your guests during cocktail hour

CON: Since wedding days often go by quickly, you might not get as much alone time with your partner throughout the day without a first look

No matter your choice, the decision on whether to have a first look is entirely up to you and your partner. Make a choice that fits well with your personalities, couple style, and vision. Either way, your wedding will still be special, memorable, and entirely your own!

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