Great Reasons to Consider having a First Look on your Big Day

We have a guest post from our friends at Petersen Pictures Photography. The First Look or the “Reveal” is something I highly suggest doing. Whatever the bride and groom chooses is definitely always the correct choice, but please proceed to see why I consider the First Look as a great option!
Petersen Pictures Photography

What is the First Look?
Also known as the “Reveal,” the First Look is considered to be the moment the groom sees his bride for the very first time before the ceremony. Usually this happens when the bride is walking down the aisle. In the past, arranged marriages were quite popular, so this would literally be the first time the groom sees his bride. The main reason for the First Look was to prevent the groom from running away. Can you imagine going into a blind marriage?

What’s so great about the First Look?
As a wedding photographer and an ex-groom, the first look was the most memorable and definitely the most emotional moment in the wedding. At that moment, time seems still and anything that was on your mind just crumbles away. The only thing you see is the person standing in front of you, whom you will spend the rest of your life with. It’s a beautiful, magical and extremely intimate moment. As a photographer, I will be sure to preserve the moment on camera, but I prefer letting the bride and groom take in this blissful reality. I’ve noticed following this moment, the bride and groom looks the most natural, relaxed and absolutely in love. That is why I prefer to proceed in capturing portraits after they are ready to move on.

Great Reasons to Consider having a First Look on your Big Day

More time for cocktails and chit chat! The one thing I remember is my wife’s expression on our wedding day while trying to find one of my cousins for a family photo. Can you imagine having to do couple portraits after the ceremony too? All my wife wanted was to hang out with friends and relax with a glass of wine. Why not free yourself from portraits after the ceremony by having a first look?


Think for yourself and your team. Going through the ceremony can be hard work! Everyone wants to have time to enjoy themselves after the ceremony instead of taking portraits. You can make the whole experience more enjoyable by having the first look, portraits and photos before the ceremony. You wouldn’t want to look stressful in photos, and everyone probably looks better right after they are made up!

Prolonging the magical moment. The day can fly by with all the events. You might remember walking down the aisle and the next thing you know, the day has ended! When seeing their beautiful bride in a wedding gown, many grooms start to feel extra emotional. They want to express their feelings, but before they can do so, they are on the way to saying “I do”. By having a first look, the groom has the chance to take in the beauty of it all. He has the time to hug her, kiss her and cry with her as long as he likes, since time for this moment has been set aside just for this. No rush at all!

The first look is an event itself! It creates a beautiful and intimate moment with just the two of you. There are no distractions, and no pressuring stares from the crowd of 200. It is that loving, private moment before tying the knot! Furthermore, the most beautiful and natural photos come during this moment. When you’re happily in love, the world seems to stop around you and the only thing you see is your partner.


The perfect environment is important. For the sake of the first look, I try my best to look for a private location with great lighting and a beautiful background. Even though we will get lovely photos all day, there are other factors that I won’t be able to control. On your big day, you will definitely glow with radiance and be stunningly beautiful. Even so, you will look your absolute best, right after your hair and makeup is done. That is when you should definitely do your “Picture Perfect” first look!

Goodbye distractions! In order to get the most creative photos, you have to be focused and not thinking about who you didn’t greet yet. There are also a lot of uncontrollable variables during the ceremony that can influence the picture perfect moment. While during the first look, I am more likely to guarantee beautiful photos. Also, couples who do the first look usually stay in that emotional mindset when walking down the aisle.

Happy bride and groom.  I love seeing how happy my clients are after taking my suggestions to do the first look. For those that didn’t plan on having one, they usually gushed about how great of a decision it was afterwards. There is no other moment that is as private or as intimate on your wedding day. It’s all about you! With that said, it really is all about you, so decide whatever you think is best. There is no wrong or right choice.

Other Thoughts & Considerations Do exchange any letters or gifts during the ceremony. It will put you in that perfect mood! Be sure to put time aside before the ceremony. You want to have time to relax, have a snack and hang with your wedding team. Also, it’s a great way to avoid bumping into arriving guests.

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