Should I Have a First Look on My Wedding Day?

Bozarth mansion wedding photographer

My husband and I are a photo/video team based out of Seattle, WA. With over 100 weddings under our belt, we know that this is a hot topic lots of couples discuss with their photo and video teams for their big day.

Should I Have a First Look on My Wedding Day?

Should I have a first look or wait until the ceremony

As always, we're here to help when we can. We really love to share our own experiences and ideas. Although, we ultimately take the approach to help guide couples to a choice of their own choosing.

We are not here to make the decision for them because this is their moment and their day! We want to document what feels authentic to them.

Looking for a photo/video team to help document your wedding day? Let's chat!

With all of that being said, here are 5 reasons why we think first looks are a great trend that should stay!

1. This is simply a moment between you two.

We love to create a quiet space where the couple can step aside and just pause together. It's an intimate and private moment, so we treat it as such. Other than your photo/video team, we don't let anyone else join in the first look space, unless the couple specifically wants others involved.

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2. This is the first time you've seen each other all day, you should feel allowed to say hi.

Share all the "Oh my gosh, we're about to get MARRIED!" vibes together.

Here's how we see it: Your wedding day should feel like the most epic date night. We don't want you to have to wait to talk and connect with each other until AFTER the ceremony (and the bridal party portraits.... and the family portraits... and then after your 15 minutes of romantic sunset portraits... Okay, how about during dinner?).

Take 5 minutes or 20 minutes, we don't care. Talk about how your day went, kiss and hug as much as you'd like. Check each other out. ;) We're just here to document it and take a step back to let you just sink in to this moment with each other.

This moment is yours!

Sure, even during a first look you only have a few minutes, but it's those extra few minutes that we can help carve out in a timeline that we think couples really cherish.

3. There is a lot less pressure during the ceremony.

Typically after a first look, you feel less nervous about walking down the aisle. You got to see and hug the person who makes you feel your best. It definitely has it's calming affects!

For me personally, and in conversations I've had with other couples, walking down the aisle can feel super overwhelming. Everyone is looking at you. Everyone is trying to see if you're going to cry. Sometimes, if someone doesn't want to show emotion to so many people, they'll end up clenching their jaw. (Which might make them look either angry or constipated - NOT the look you were hoping for, right?)

But also, this might be the first time you saw all your friends and family in one place. They're all here to celebrate you. It can be a little distracting when you're simultaneously looking at the love of your life. And... It's a lot.

Should I Have a First Look on My Wedding Day?

Should I Have a First Look on My Wedding Day?

4. We're able to get you multiple angles for such an important moment. (including some cute audio for the video!)

We always anticipate this happening and are usually ready for it, but if someone steps in front of you or our cameras, that's all we have. There isn't usually enough room for us to side step and get another angle than the ones we pre-planned to have. Guests can sometimes be unpredictable.

Ultimately, we can't re-do that moment. With so much riding on this one moment we want to make sure we can document it perfectly for you. A first look simply allows us to have more control.

5. You'll have a more relaxing timeline + more photos in your gallery.

A first look allows us to do a bulk of the formal portraits before the rest of your guests arrive. We usually do bridal party photos right before the ceremony, saving you at least 30 minutes post-ceremony.

If our timeline allows and the couple wants to, we do the formal family portraits as well. This means that immediately following the ceremony, we'll have so much more time to take photos of just the newlyweds.

It also helps spread out the photo-taking-time. If you would prefer to spend less time taking photos and more time mingling with your guests, a first look will give you more time to do so. Doing smaller chunks of photos makes the process feel less rushed.

An added bonus is that you are able to have more photos of you two in your ending gallery.

We usually do the first look in a separate space than where we do your portraits later on in the evening. (Boom - instant variety!)

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Should I Have a First Look on My Wedding Day?

In our own personal experience:

In our own experience, the ceremony aisle walk didn't feel any less special because I had already seen Nathan. It was actually so special in its own way.

During our first look, it was just us, and we could do or say whatever we wanted in that moment. Our first look felt powerful, intimate, and so us. If we went back I would do it all over again and have that moment with just my groom.

While I walked down the aisle, I made eye contact not only with Nathan, but with all of our guests. It really sunk in for me that all of our friends and family members where in one spot together for the first time. With the sole reason being to celebrate our love with us.

It was so overwhelming and so joyful. It made our wedding day feel so REAL.

Bozarth mansion wedding photographer

On a final note on the topic: Should I have a first look on my wedding day?

That choice is YOURS. We NEVER pressure our couples to a first look if they don’t want one!

We believe that couples should do what feels true to them on their wedding day. If they always saw themselves seeing their significant other for the first time while they walked down the aisle - great! If they prefer that tradition because it's how they've always envisioned it - great!

We don't pressure them into anything but what they want! We remind them to stay firm in what they want. You do you, boo. It's still going to be the best day ever.

But if you're on the fence and you're asking for our opinion? This post is a summary of our thoughts on the matter. We're just here to cheer you on, celebrate your love story, and document it to the best of our ability.

P.S. We made a YouTube video on this same topic including some examples and our adorable Yorkie. Click here to watch + subscribe!

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