5 Reasons You Should Do A First Look

why you should do a first look on your wedding day

5 Reasons Why You Should Do a First Look on Your Wedding day

Lets start this off by explaining what a “First Look” even is. A First Look is when the couple see each other before the ceremony and have their portraits taken in a more relaxed, intimate environment. This option is not for everyone, however, 90% of our couples choose to do one.

If you’re still on the fence or have no clue what to expect with doing a First Look, read on!

1- You get to spend time alone

A first look lets you two to spend some quality time alone together, a moment that won’t happen again for the rest of the day until you leave the reception at the end of the night!

Both of you will be way more relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera since it’ll just be the 4 of us…not 100 pairs of eyes watching your every move, or your planner reminding you that you “only have 10 minutes left”.

You get to share this very intimate & private moment, seeing each other all dressed up for the very first time, with no one but each other (well, and your photographers).

2- It calms your nerves

Most couples are very nervous before walking down the aisle. Of course you’re excited, but nervous none the less. A lot of couples are apprehensive to do a first look because they think it’s bad luck for you guys to see the each other before the ceremony (click here to read why thats bullshit) or they don’t want to break tradition but seeing each other beforehand can really calm your nerves! You get to spend quality time together and talk to each other.

If your first time seeing each other is when one of you is walking down the aisle, there is no way for you to tell each other how amazing you look or how excited you are to FINALLY get married, or kiss you passionately. You’ll  have to wait until after the ceremony is over, after the greetings have been done, after the family and wedding party portraits, so about a good 40-90 minutes after you have first seen each other! So just because you’ve seen each other before the ceremony it doesn’t mean that either of you wont be filled with joy and anticipation when you start walking down the aisle. If anything, you’ll be more excited now than nervous!

We’ve had couples not cry during the first look but they did for the walk down the aisle. Every couple has told us that it did not take away from that moment, in fact, it made it even more special because they were able to focus on each other during the walk.

3- Fun Wedding Party Portraits

When you do a first look you’re really doing yourself a huge favor! Not only do you get to spend some alone time with your love, but you get to spend more time with your best friends!

After having your couples portraits done, we get to take the wedding party portraits – these photos are of you and your very best friends having a blast on your wedding day! Being surrounded by your closest friends before walking down the aisle is also a huge help for calming nerves (-;

4- More Photos

Couples who plan for a first look get 40% more photos! This is because we have more time. A first look and all the portraits that come after can be as long as you want, usually 2-3 hours. This is including wedding party & immediate family photos.

These portraits are the images you will be showing off to friends and family, hanging up in your home, and filling your heirloom album with. Why wouldn’t you want a lot of them?

This day happens once, you should be taking full advantage of it!

5- More Time to Party With Your Guests…and Drink Sooner (-;

Of course, being a photographer, the “more photos” would seem like the obvious selling point.

However, its this one!

When I tell couples that by doing a first look they’re able to get to their cocktail hour (and the bar) faster since the photos will be all done by the time the ceremony ends, their eyes light up!

I mean, it makes sense , your guests came all this way to spend time with you. We personally feel that once your guests have arrived on site for the wedding, you should be spending time with THEM…not US.

Not to mention, if you’re able to mingle with them at the cocktail hour, chances are you’ll be left alone to enjoy your dinner with out (too many) interruptions (-;

Of course, I never push the first look on anyone. Ultimately, this is a decision to be made by you BOTH. There is no wrong answer! I fully support first looks because I know they help ease nerves, provide you with more photos and get you back to your guests faster.

If a first look isn’t for you, no problem! Please just be aware that we require an HOUR & A HALF after the ceremony to capture all of the family, bridal party, couples photos which means you need an extended cocktail hour.

Katie + Jay of Catherine Ann Photography are Charleston SC Based Wedding & Elopement Photographers specializing in candid & fun wedding photos that feel like you!  

Ready to book your wedding with us? Get in touch here! 

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Vibrant, documentary-style wedding photography for fun, fashionable couples hosting an intentional, laid-back wedding with the people that matter most


Catherine Ann Photography is an international luxury wedding photography team creating colorful, documentary images for fun, fashionable party people in the U.S & Europe!


Charleston based wedding photographers.