First look with a mountain view

Top reasons to do a 'first look' on your wedding day

In case you're not familiar with the term "first look," let's start there. It's when the bride & groom opt to see each other for the first time prior to the ceremony. Your wedding photographer will pick a private spot at your venue with a nice backdrop and lighting, and will likely shoot with a long lens to capture candid moments from a distance. The groom will have his back turned and eyes closed. The bride will walk up behind him and tap him on the shoulder or hug him from behind. Your photographer will be there to capture the groom's reaction as he turns around to see his lovely bride. These emotional images are often my favorite to capture on wedding days.


1. Time alone together

You get to see each other in your wedding attire for the first time without everyone else watching. You have time to truly take it all in, to embrace, to cry, to spin around and show off that amazing back on your wedding gown. ⁠Wedding days are often chaotic and couples go from one activity to another without having much time to themselves. Doing a "first look" ensures that you will have time alone together.

Garden wedding

2. Ideal time to exchange private vows

Some couples want to exchange love letters or do private vows prior to the ceremony. This is the perfect time to do that. You can also do a "first touch" before the "first look." Find a spot (like the corner of a building or a tree) where you can hold hands before seeing each other. Take a deep breath and focus on each other.


3. More time for portraits

Couples who choose to do a "first look" will have more time for portraits. Most of the posed portraits can be done prior to the ceremony and your photographer can budget more time for each grouping (couple photos, wedding party and family). Wedding days don't often run like clockwork so it's good to schedule more time than you think you'll need. This will make everything run more smoothly.

winter wedding portraits

4. More time with your guests

Since you’re doing all of those posed portraits ahead of time, your guests won’t have to wait an hour (or more) to see you after the ceremony and you’ll be able to get the party started sooner! ⁠Plus, you won't have to come up with creative ways to entertain your guests for a long period of time while you do all of your couple and family photos. The stressful part of the day is over and now you can focus on the celebration!