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First Look vs No First Look - Which is better for your Wedding?

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

Should You Have a First Look on Your Wedding Day? Pros and Cons to Consider


Your wedding day is a momentous occasion, and you want every aspect to be perfect, especially your wedding photography. Among the many decisions you'll need to make, one of the most significant is whether or not to have a first look. In this article, we'll delve into the pros and cons of having a first look versus not having one, so you can make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences and wedding style.


What is a First Look?


A first look is a private moment between the couple before the wedding ceremony, where they see each other for the first time in their wedding attire. It's a moment that's captured by the photographer, and it's often a highly emotional experience for both the bride and groom.


Pros of Having a First Look

There are several advantages to having a first look, including:

  • More Time for Photos

When you have a first look, you can take most of your wedding photographs before the ceremony. This means you'll have more time to enjoy your reception, and you won't have to worry about rushing through your photo session to get to your guests.

  • Emotional Connection

The first look allows you to share a private, emotional moment with your partner before the ceremony. It can help to calm nerves and build a deeper connection between you both, making the rest of the day even more special.

  • Better Lighting

If you're getting married in the late afternoon or early evening, having a first look ensures that you'll have enough natural light for your photos. It also means your photos will be taken during the "golden hour," which is known for its soft, warm, and flattering light.


Cons of Having a First Look

While there are many benefits to having a first look, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider, including:

  • Less Traditional

For some couples, the idea of seeing each other before the ceremony goes against tradition. They prefer to wait until the ceremony to have that special moment of seeing each other for the first time.

  • Time Constraints

If you have a tight schedule, having a first look may not be feasible, especially if you have a lot of guests to entertain. It could also add more stress to an already busy day.

  • Fewer Candid Shots

With most of your photos taken before the ceremony, you may miss out on some candid shots of your guests. These spontaneous moments can be some of the most cherished memories of the day.


No First Look

If you decide not to have a first look, it means waiting until the ceremony to see each other. Here are some of the pros and cons of this approach.


Pros of Not Having a First Look

  • Traditional

If you're someone who values tradition, waiting until the ceremony to see your partner may be important to you. It can make the moment even more special and add to the overall romanticism of the day.

  • More Time with Guests

Without a first look, you'll spend more time with your guests, which can be beneficial if you have a smaller wedding. It also means you'll have more time to enjoy your reception without feeling rushed.

  • Anticipation

Waiting to see each other until the ceremony can build excitement and anticipation for the big moment. It can create a feeling of suspense that makes the moment even more emotional.


Cons of Not Having a First Look

  • Time Constraints

With all of your photographs being taken after the ceremony, you'll have less time to enjoy your reception. This can be especially challenging if you have a large wedding party or a lot of family photos to take.

  • Limited Lighting

If your ceremony is in the late afternoon or early evening, you may not have enough natural light for your photos.

  • Missed Moments: If you're not doing a first look, you may miss out on some of the candid shots of your guests.

Choosing whether or not to have a first look can be a difficult decision for some couples. On one hand, having a first look can provide a special and intimate moment between the couple before the ceremony. On the other hand, some couples prefer to wait until the ceremony to see each other, valuing tradition and the anticipation it can bring.


If you're struggling to decide which approach to take, consider your wedding timeline and priorities. If you have a tight schedule, a first look may not be feasible, as it requires additional time and planning. However, if you prioritize having more time with your guests during the reception, skipping the first look may be the better option.


Another factor to consider is lighting. If you're getting married later in the day, having a first look can provide better lighting for your photos. But if you prefer a more traditional ceremony time and don't mind limited lighting, skipping the first look may be a better fit.


Ultimately, the decision to have a first look or not is a personal one. It's important to weigh the pros and cons and consider what's most important to you and your partner. Whether you choose to have a first look or not, the most important thing is to enjoy your wedding day and create lasting memories with the people you love.


Contact us to start planning your wedding videography and photography. We’re proud of our work, and so are our brides, take a look at our FaceBook @Jacob Malone Photography for more details on our work.


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