10 Reasons to Have a First Look

A “first look” is the moment when the bride and groom first see each other on their wedding day. The old tradition was for the bride and groom to first see each other when the bride walks down the aisle to her groom, as it was considered bad luck to see each other before the wedding. I did some research to find out where this superstition came from and it wasn’t entirely surprising to learn that the reason was. Back when marriages were arranged, the bride and groom weren’t allowed to see or meet each other at all until they were at the altar. Parents of the bride feared that, if the couple met each other before marrying, the groom wouldn’t find the bride attractive and would decide to call off the wedding. They were so careful, in fact, that part of the reason why the bride wore a veil down the aisle was to prevent the groom from knowing what she looked like until the very last second – when it’s too late to back out! Cringe!

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Today most couples are opting for a “first look.” Which, as a wedding photographer, I 100% encourage. Here are 10 reasons why I encourage my couples to have a “first look.”

1. The first look is a “money shot”

In photography the first look is often what we like to call the “money shot.” It is usually a moment to capture pure emotion. And, when the bride and groom are one-on-one the feelings are heightened and they are more comfortable letting their emotions flow, rather than seeing your beloved for the first time as you’re trying not to trip down the aisle.

2. Having a first look allows you to enjoy more of your cocktail hour.

If you decided to have a first look, you can get all of the full wedding party photos out of the way, as well as, some family photos, depending on timing. Otherwise any photos you will take together as a couple, including couples portraits, family portraits, and full bridal party shots will all take place while your guests are enjoying themselves at cocktail hour.

3. It can calm the nerves.

If you are the kind of person that doesn’t like all the attention on you, I often find that upon seeing your betrothed a weight is often lifted and you feel like you can go into the ceremony “together.”

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4. It is lovely to have a little extra one-on-one time with your fiancé on your big day.

A first look allows you to see each other and share some special moments before all your guests arrive.

5. It’s a chance to be present on a day filed with chaos

A minute to pause and take in each other’s emotions is priceless.

6. More opportunities for the best possible photos

A good photographer can make the shot work under any conditions, but a first look offers an extra chance to get the best possible bridal portraits. What if it starts pouring at the ceremony? Then you have missed your chance for good weather to get the picture.

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7. Having a first look helps the day to run more smoothly.

With wedding party photos out of the way, your day-of-coordinator/photographer will have less people to round up post ceremony.

8. Your emotions will still be there during the ceremony

If you are afraid you will ruin the big moment before the big moment, don’t. You feelings don’t dissipate, you will still have all the feels as you walk down the aisle, see your soon-to-be-husband in front of you and everyone you love surrounding you.

9. After the first look is a wonderful time to exchange gifts

if you plan to do that together.

10. A first look offers you more time to capitalize on daylight

Especially necessary if you are getting married in winter.

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The “first look” trend extends beyond the bride and groom. We’ve been seeing a lot of father-daughter first looks, bridesmaid seeing the bride first looks, and the list goes on. As a photographer, however we can capture those raw emotions, we are here for.


If you enjoy Westchester wedding photographer, Anika Fatouros’s pictures, please LIKE our photography Facebook page. Our style can be describe as authentic, romantic and timeless. We seeks to capture beautiful imagery all while capturing your love.   For a little more info on Anika’a feel free to contact us.