The Advantages of a First Look for your Wedding Photographs

Traditionally, a bride and groom are not supposed to see each other on their wedding day until the wedding ceremony, when she is walking down the aisle. This superstition was formed hundreds of years ago when arranged marriages were much more common, and brides and grooms were simply not allowed to see each other before the wedding.

Of course, nowadays, many couples still follow this superstition mostly by tradition. Couples tend to find it to be more exciting and emotional to see their future life partner for the first time at the ceremony.

But the idea of the First Look has become much more commonplace in modern weddings. The First Look is where the bride and groom take pictures by themselves (or with a select group of family or wedding party members) before the guests arrive. They do a private reveal well before the wedding ceremony where they take pictures with their photographer.

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While it certainly isn’t traditional, many couples are choosing to go this route more and more in modern weddings. This is because the First Look can be much more practical when it comes to keeping your guests happy and getting the best possible wedding photographs.

This doesn’t mean that one way is better than the other, as tradition should also be considered important for your wedding. You will get great wedding photographs no matter how you choose to approach the reveal. That said, here are a couple benefits of choosing a First Look:

Keep the Guests Happy

Perhaps the greatest advantage to doing a First Look with your photographer and family is that you get to take many of the wedding pictures before the guests arrive. This means that you will have less pictures to take while the guests are waiting for the reception to start.

There’s nothing more frustrating for wedding guests than to wait an hour (or more in some cases) for the wedding party to finish with photos. Guests who have to wait may get bored and hungry. It’s always best to minimize the amount of pictures you have to take between the wedding ceremony and reception.

The Ceremony is About the Ceremony

Going the traditional route of seeing each other during the ceremony for the first time certainly can elicit emotions that are amazing to capture as a photographer. However, during the ceremony there is a lot going on between the music, family, friends, guests, and decorations that there is potential for the couple to be distracted by a lot of different elements for this wonderful moment.

Keep the Moment Intimate

Specifying a time to do a First Look before guests arrive makes sure that this moment is purely about the rush and excitement of seeing each other for the first time.  You are eliminating all distractions and making this one moment entirely about the reveal. It makes the First Look feel much more intimate than when it happens in a room full of people.

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Do Something Different

As wedding photographers, we tend to stage a First Look to get the most genuine reaction possible. There are a lot of fun ideas that you can do such as: covering your partner’s eyes from behind, using a blindfold, or bringing the wedding party or family members in for a prank.

Regardless of what you choose to do, as photographers we will make sure that we capture this cherished and emotional moment. Most times, you don’t need anything unique or creative to capture happiness in this moment.
Ryan Mastro is a professional wedding photographer for Green Path Creative who specializes in vintage and classic photography, wedding photography, and videography for couples. To view some of Ryan’s wedding photography, please visit

Much Love! Engaged New England!

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