The first look is a trendy addition to many wedding day timelines. The first look or sneak peek is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day. No guests, no distractions. It is an extraordinary moment that the bride and groom share that the photographer(s) capture with little to no interruptions.

Unlike the traditional reveal of the bride walking down the aisle as being the time when the couple sees each other, the first look is a more intimate moment shared between just the bride and groom. You can look into each other’s eyes, which only makes the moment more genuine.

The bride isn’t worried about not tripping down the aisle, the groom isn’t trying to hold it together in front of all their guest, it is a moment when the two of you can take in and savor the moment of seeing each other just before you say your ‘I do’s’.

The first look captures the initial reaction of the bride and groom and allows the two to act naturally when seeing each other for the first time. You can cry, laugh, hug, kiss, and just simply be in the moment without having all your guests around. This not only yields beautiful one-of-a-kind images but will also leave you with some spare time to capture a few more couple’s images just after this tender moment.

The groom seeing the bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle is a time-honored wedding tradition. But these days, more and more couples are opting for a first look—an intimate moment between the bride and groom before the ceremony captured by their photographer.

There are many reasons to do a first look, some of which benefit your photographer, so we may be slightly biased. But depending on your wedding day priorities, a first look can be the perfect addition to your wedding photos and your big day.

Calm your nerves

Getting jitters on the wedding day doesn’t mean you have cold feet. It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous, whether you’re anxious about being the center of attention and speaking in front of a crowd or just afraid something will go wrong. For many couples, having a moment with their partner before the ceremony can help to calm both their nerves and ease the stress of the day.

Get your portraits done early

Posed wedding photos can take a considerable time out of your day. If you leave all the portraits until after the ceremony, you must take family, wedding party, and couple portraits. Your guests could end up waiting at the reception for an hour or more while you get all the images you want.

When you have a first look before the ceremony, you can have some of those photos taken ahead of time, leaving fewer photos for after the ceremony and less wait time for the rest of your guests.

Be present in the moment

You’ve probably heard your wedding day will go by in a blur, and it’s true! One moment you’ll be getting ready, and the next the whole day will be gone. That’s why photography is so important and why you should take a moment to pause, take a breath, and take the day in. A first look allows you to refocus on what’s important and to appreciate the love that brought you to this day.

Wedding couples do first looks
Wedding couples do first looks
Wedding couples do first looks
Wedding couples do first looks
Wedding couples do first looks

The emotion will be there no matter what

Some couples worry that seeing each other before the ceremony will rob the rest of the day’s emotions. But I can assure you that’s not the case.

I’ve worked with couples who waited until the walk down the aisle to see each for the first time, as well as couples who opted a first look, and both were full of joy, laughter and sometimes even tears during their vows. The emotions that are a part of your wedding day will be there whether you see each other beforehand or not.

Don’t miss out on natural light

This applies more to winter weddings in PNW, but if you’re having your wedding later in the day, you may miss out on the natural light if you push your couple portraits to after the ceremony. Similarly, if you have great weather before you say “I do,” take advantage! You never know when the weather will change, and you could miss your window to get some fantastic shots.

Look your best

If you choose to do a first look, you will have fresh makeup and perfectly styled hair, and every accessory will be in place. There’s no guarantee the mascara won’t run during your vows, or you won’t get a little rumpled from hugging and greeting all those guests. A first look can be an excellent opportunity to capture you and your partner at your best before the rush of the wedding day begins.

It’s your wedding

Tradition shouldn’t dictate what you do on your wedding day, nor should the opinions of friends and family. When deciding whether or not to have a first look, choose what is most comfortable for you as a couple. After all, this is your day and no one else’s, so do what feels right.

Finally, the sneak peek is one of the best ways to eliminate the wedding day jitters. Since you already have the emotional part of seeing each other for the first time, you are more relaxed and calm walking down the aisle and saying your vows.

Including a sneak peek at your timeline also allows the photographers the opportunity to focus on capturing the reactions of some of the guests as the bride makes her way down the aisle during the ceremony, which is often missed because the focus is usually on the bride and groom’s expression and reactions to one another

Happy Planning!

It doesn’t have to end here. Check out more of this Seattle wedding photographer’s work by visiting our portfolio.

You’ve seen it all and want to contact us for your portrait session, wedding, or event. You can do that by contacting us through our contact form. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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