first look

Should You Do A First Look?

Bride and Groom first look
He spins his bride during the first look in front of their Mandap and tells her how beautiful she is.

To look first, or not to look- that is the question.  Here are some thoughts to consider when it comes to deciding whether or not to break with tradition.

Pros of the First Look

  • The moment where you see your spouse-to-be on your wedding day can be as private or public as you want it to be
  • You ensure you get pictures of the two of you together while makeup and hair are fresh
  • If you cannot control the time of your ceremony, this is a way to ensure you have proper light for your couple photos (this is especially important during winter months when the sun sets earlier)
  • A first look session ensures you have buffered extra time in before your ceremony, which will hopefully help with protecting your ceremony start time from any unexpected delays

Cons of the First Look

  • You break tradition and change that moment (ever-so-slightly) of when you see each other for the first time at the ceremony
  • If your ceremony starts in the early afternoon, having a first look outside would mean shooting while the sun is at its highest point (not only is that hot, it’s also high contrast light- consider shooting indoors with nice window light)
  • You will want additional time before your ceremony for touch-ups, and there is a risk that you may get dirty walking outside
  • Depending on your ceremony start time, this could mean you start getting ready before the sun comes up
no look first look
Our bride and groom opt for a no-look first look before their wedding at The Estate on Halifax.

If you do decide to go with a first look, we recommend planning a minimum of 30 minutes for pictures (more if you want to do all of your couple and bridal party pictures at this time) and 15 minutes for touch-ups.

Still can’t decide?  Consider a compromise- meet at a corner or with a door between you.  Your photographer will be able to get a picture of you both together without seeing one another.  You can also have a moment to say a prayer together, share how your morning has gone, or just hold hands.