Larissa Antaya

Is a first look right for you?

Larissa Antaya
Is a first look right for you?

It used to be that the groom always saw the bride for the first time while walking down the aisle, but things are changing. Follow me through this post to get a professional photographer’s opinion on first looks!


Things to consider

  1. How are you two in public?

An important thing to consider is how much emotion you think you’ll show up in front of every one. I have brides tell me all the time that they are CERTAIN their groom will cry when they walk down the aisle. While this does happen, it doesn’t happen as frequently as most would like. It’s important to consider how nervous your fiancé might feel while you walk down the aisle. If you tend to be a couple that is more private, and may not show as much emotion in front of others, having a private first look might be a good idea.

2. What does your timeline look like?

One perk of having a first look is that you can now finish off all of your bridal party photos prior to the ceremony. Regardless of your decision, your photographer or coordinator should be able to help you make a timeline. I generally tell my brides to carve out two hours total to devote to photos. A first look can help to divide that up so guests aren’t waiting forever for the reception to begin.

3. First look photos

When you’re walking down the aisle, it can be hard to snap tons of photos of the bride and groom’s reactions. A first look allows the photographer to take tons of photos of your reactions, and to plan the lighting situation a bit better. If this isn’t a must for you, you don’t have to do it!

4. Plan photos later

Typically, after a first look follows a session with just the bride and the groom. These are great photos, but you’re missing the “just married” feel. I love to grab the newlyweds during dinner (usually around sunset) to do more “mr and mrs” photos. This are a great addition to the portrait session you did earlier, but not every one wants to be pulled out of their reception.

The Verdict

As a photographer, I LOVE first looks. They can be a great photo generator for candid moments, and you’re videographer is likely to love it as well. While there are many pros to this, many people prefer the traditional walk down the aisle. Overall, do what you’re most comfortable with. No one can make you do anything. It’s your wedding day, enjoy it!