wedding day first look

5 Reasons to Consider a First Look at Your Wedding

It’s your wedding day: you’re getting ready, the nerves are kicking in, and all you want to do is see your partner! Well I’ve got good news – you can do just that with a first look!! Keep reading to find out what that is + if it might be right for you and your partner. 

bride and groom kissing

What is a First Look?

A first look is simply when you and your partner see each other before your official ceremony. Traditionally, couples see each other for the first time when they’re walking down the aisle! But it’s becoming more and more popular for couples to change that up and see each other before they walk up to the altar to tie the knot!

bride and groom walking

What’s the Point of a First Look?

You might be wondering: well, why would you want to see each other before your ceremony? Won’t that make the moment less special??

If you’ve planned a wedding recently or are at all familiar with the wedding industry, you’ve probably noticed it’s become way less focused on traditions + more on the actual couples. Engaged couples are being wayyy more encouraged to create a day that best celebrates them + holds the most meaning for them and their relationship!

So as first looks are becoming more common, more couples are realizing it’ll make their wedding day so much more special if they see each other before the ceremony. Let’s get into 5 reasons why you should consider having a first look at your wedding!

**I want to preface this by saying that there’s absolutely zero pressure to do a first look if you don’t feel like it’s right for you!! Many couples don’t realize it’s an option or don’t consider how it would change their day, so I want to make sure you’re aware that you can do it if you choose. If you’ve always dreamed of seeing each other walking down the aisle and that would be most special to you, stick to that!!**

bride and groom first look, groom reacting to bride, groom seeing bride for the first time

5 Reasons to Have a First Look

  1. Intimate, private time with your partner
  2. Time to exchange letters or gifts
  3. A chance to say your vows
  4. You can get photos done before your ceremony
  5. More time spent with your partner

Keep reading for details!!

first look at wedding

1. Intimate, private time with your partner

Doing a first look gives you a chance to have intimate, private time with your partner before the craziness of the day begins.

A lot of my couples will tell me how fast the wedding day went by and that they barely got to take it all in together. So a first look is the perfect way to make sure you have alone time with your partner to breathe, relax, and soak it alllll in.

You’ll get this time to be together before your families and friends are all wanting to give you hugs & take photos with you. And trust me, that alone time will be so valuable!! You’ll be so glad you had time set aside during your first look to be intentional with your partner and bring the focus back to each other, not on the celebrations of the day.

bride and groom first look

2. Time to exchange letters or gifts

Doing a first look with your partner also gives you a time where you can do something extra meaningful together!! Maybe for you two, that means you exchange letters you wrote to each other the night before the big day. Or maybe you bought each other special gifts and want to exchange them during this time.

If you don’t do a first look, you won’t have this time to do something special together. Or you’ll have to open your letters/gifts/etc. separately. Pick out an activity to do together that will add extra meaning to the day. Whether it be exchanging letters or gifts, playing your favorite game, or dancing to your favorite song!

groom crying

3. A chance to say your vows

If you or your partner know you’re going to get super nervous reading your vows in front of all your guests, you don’t have to!! If you do a first look, you have the option to exchange your vows in private, away from everybody else. You’ll get to only focus on each other and it’ll make it way more intimate + special. 

Then, you can read them again during the ceremony if you want to. Or you can make sure your officiant knows you’ve already exchanged them in private!

bride and groom reading vows, private vow reading, intimate vow ceremony

4. You can get photos done before your ceremony

On a traditional wedding day, family photos and wedding party photos will be done after the ceremony. You and your partner won’t see each other until the ceremony itself, so you have to wait until cocktail hour/right after your ceremony to even start those photos!

But if you do a first look, you have the option of getting your family + wedding party photos out of the way earlier in the day. Since you’ll have seen each other, you can do these photos after your first look + before the ceremony. That way, once the ceremony is finished, you and your guests can all go eat, drink, and party – nobody will be hangry & have to wait for all the photos to be done before they can relax!!

wedding first look

5. More time spent with your partner

If you and your partner follow tradition and don’t see each other until you walk down the aisle, you’ll only be getting to spend part of the day with each other. The first part of the day will be spent with your loved ones getting ready separately. Then, after the ceremony, you two will finally get to hang out.

If you do a first look though, you’ll get to spend soooo much more time together!! Instead of having to wait + only spend the evening with each other? You’ll get to be together once you’re done getting ready. Then you get to spend the whole rest of the day by each other’s side and celebrating together!! 

bride and groom portraits

Wedding First Look Alternatives

Here are a few first look alternatives you can do if you want to interact with each other somehow before the ceremony, but not fully see each other!

  • Find a corner sticking out of a wall. Each of you stand on one side of it (not being able to see each other) and hold hands, read your vows, exchange gifts, say a prayer, take a shot, etc.
  • Exchange letters or gifts and open them in separate rooms while you’re getting ready
  • Stand back to back and read your vows to each other. Or have a conversation, hold hands, etc., and don’t turn around! Then walk your separate ways once you’re done.
bride and groom holding hands

By now you know that a first look is a perfect way to share some quiet time together on your wedding day!! Again, don’t feel like you have to do a first look if it doesn’t feel right for you & your partner. But take it into consideration and decide what would make your day most meaningful!

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