5 Reasons To Choose a First Look for Your Wedding

There's tons of reasons to do a first look or not, find out our top reasons you should definitely consider a first look!

When we started planning our wedding, we knew photography was our number one priority. It went beyond just budget priorities, but the timing of our entire wedding week was determined by our photography. We were so lucky to work with the amazingly talented photographers and videographers of Two Fish Weddings. Because our photos and video were the top priority for us (aside from actually getting married of course), we knew a first look was happening. There are lots of reasons I think a first look is a great option, but I'll share my five top reasons that I think you should choose a first look for your wedding!

Reasons to do a first look for your wedding photography.

There were certain things we did in order to ensure amazing photography that were a little unconventional. Most people who choose a first look, just choose to do it right before the ceremony to get some pictures. We, however, decided to do our first look the day before the wedding. There were a couple of reasons for this. The first was that we knew time would be tight on the day of. Second, it's hotter than hot in July in Albuquerque so we wanted to be able to take advantage of early cooler weather in the morning. Third, after a week of friends and family being in town and event after event, being able to spend quality time together during our first look pictures.

Reasons to do a first look for your wedding photography.

Truthfully, the first look "moment" pictures were not nearly as special to me as the time we spent taking our bride and groom shots. It was so amazing to have relatively unlimited time to take them and to not have the pressure of others waiting on us to finish taking our photos.

Reasons to do a first look for your wedding photography.

There is a lot of debate about first looks, some people prefer the traditional route and others, like us, prefer a first look for convenience. I know a lot of people worry about whether a first look will ruin the moment that the bride walks down the aisle, but I will say that for both of us, there was nothing that could have replaced that moment. We could have done 100 first looks and the moment we first saw each other as I was walking down the aisle on my dad's arm was priceless.

I'm sure some of y'all are thinking, yeah sure your moment down the aisle was still beautiful, you're just saying that. Well, here's your proof. This is the moment Steven first saw me walking down the aisle (photo via Two Fish Weddings website)

Reasons to do a first look for your wedding photography.


And our wedding video (jump to 5:00 for the aisle):


Madison & Steven from Two Fish on Vimeo.

Five reasons to do a first look for your wedding day photography. Here are my top five reasons you should choose a first look:

Convenience & Time:

Doing a first look allows for better?planning and less time feeling rushed. A first look before the ceremony allows for extra cushion time to get the best photos. If for some reason you can't get them all done before the ceremony, there will be time afterwards. If you do all your photos after the ceremony though, there is only so much time you can take up before your guests will really get antsy.

Time Alone:

Weddings get absolutely crazy with out-of-town guests coming in early the week of the wedding. For Steven and I it was extremely important for?us to set aside time during our wedding week for just the two of us. We went on a dessert date one night and then we had four hours blocked out for our first look pictures and hang out time the day before the wedding. My nerves were totally shot by the day before the wedding and getting to hang out with my future husband made the week so much more enjoyable.

Quick Turnover:

Most traditional weddings do photos of the wedding party and bride and groom after the ceremony while the guests enjoy some type of cocktail hour. Sometimes photos take longer than an hour which causes a delay in getting the reception started. Having your photos done before the wedding allows for a quicker turnover which keeps everyone happy!

Better Photos:

I don't want to make anyone upset who didn't do a first look, but as a photographer I truly believe you're able to get better photos with a first look. More time with your photographer allows he or she to get?more creative with their shots. If you do photos after the ceremony, there's often a huge rush to get just the necessity photos completed so the guests can move on to dinner.

Wedding Party:

Doing a first look allows for you to take a huge chunk of your wedding party photos before the ceremony. This allows for your wedding party to have very few, if any, photos to take after the ceremony is over. The bride and groom will also have less photos to take since only the family photos will be left.

I would love to know, did you choose a first look? Why or why not? If you're dating or engaged, have you considered it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Pingback: 50 First Look Photos For Your Wedding Day | Shutterfly
  2. Oh my goodness I love those photos! So adorable! Connor and I aren't doing a first-look before the ceremony, but we definitely thought about it!! I've always wanted as traditional of a wedding as possible pretty much, so that includes the first look. If we were to do one, though, doing it the day before is such a good idea!

    1. I totally understand and respect that ๐Ÿ™‚ I am not really a huge tradition type person, so it wasn't a big deal for me to give up that traditional aspect of a wedding. Best of luck for your wedding!! I'm sure it will be beautiful!

      1. Haha same with my sister! I think she wants to walk down the aisle barefoot when she gets married ๐Ÿ™‚ It's wonderful how much beauty there really is in both traditional and non-traditional ceremonies, though, eh? ๐Ÿ™‚
        And thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€ I'm pretty excited.

  3. We've decided to do a first look, and I couldn't be more excited. Your reasons just validated why we should. Also that video is so sweet when he sees you, even with seeing you before.

  4. As a part-time wedding photographer, it makes me SO happy when couples choose to do a first look! Otherwise everything gets crunched and stressful. Thanks for encouraging brides to go this route!

    1. I totally agree! I do think it's possible to get great photos without doing a first look BUT I think it's a lot less stressful if you do one ๐Ÿ™‚