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I'm a wedding photographer based out of South Bend, Indiana.

I believe in always having a vase full of fresh flowers, especially during peony season. That ending a long day should always be on the patio, with a good book and a glass of rosé. And, going to the beach is always a good idea.

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The moments leading up to your wedding ceremony are filled with anticipation, nerves, and excitement. Among the many decisions you’ll make for your big day, one that often arises is whether or not to have a “first look” before the ceremony. This modern tradition involves the couple seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day in a private moment, usually captured by a photographer. While some couples swear by the magic of this intimate encounter, others prefer the traditional aisle reveal. So, how do you decide if a first look is right for you? Let’s explore.

Emotional Connection

The first look provides an opportunity for an intimate, emotional connection between you and your partner before the whirlwind of the day takes over. If you crave a moment of calm and intimacy amidst the chaos, a first look could be perfect for you. It allows you to share your feelings and exchange private vows without the pressure of an audience.


Consider your wedding day timeline. If you’re having an evening ceremony or hosting your reception at a different location, a first look can help streamline the schedule. It allows you to take bridal party and family photos before the ceremony, freeing up time afterwards to enjoy the celebration with your guests.


From a photographer’s perspective, a first look can offer unparalleled opportunities for capturing genuine emotions. The soft light of the morning or early afternoon can create stunning images that wouldn’t be possible during the rush of post-ceremony photography. Discuss your vision with your photographer to ensure they can capture the moment beautifully.


Some couples prefer to uphold tradition and experience the thrill of seeing each other for the first time as they walk down the aisle. If the idea of that moment brings tears to your eyes and fills you with excitement, then sticking with tradition might be the right choice for you.

Personal Preferences

Ultimately, your decision should reflect what feels most authentic to you as a couple. Consider your personalities, values, and the vision you have for your wedding day. If you both agree on what feels right, then go with your instincts.


If you and your partner have different preferences regarding the first look, don’t panic. Compromise is key. Perhaps you can opt for a modified version, such as holding hands around a corner without seeing each other, or exchanging letters or gifts before the ceremony.


Discuss your options with your wedding planner, photographer, and loved ones. They can offer valuable insights and advice based on their experiences. Hearing different perspectives might help you solidify your decision.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to the first look. What matters most is that it feels authentic and meaningful to you as a couple. Take the time to consider your options, envision your ideal day, and trust your instincts. Whether you choose to share a private moment before the ceremony or wait until you walk down the aisle, your wedding day will be filled with love, joy, and cherished memories.


Comments +

  1. Lisa Wunsch says:

    So glad we did a separate first look! Made the day so much less stressful! Thanks for including us!

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