First Look

The Look of Love – First Look

That moment when your husband-to-be sees you on your wedding day for the first time has traditionally been snapped as you head down the aisle. However, more couples are now opting for a ‘first look’ prior to their ceremony. Here, Alexandra Brocklehurst discusses the advantages of an early reveal.

The ‘first look’ is fast-becoming a popular option for newlywed couples to request from their photographer. In simple terms, this is when a bride and groom see each other for the first time prior to the wedding ceremony. This time is shared between just the couple and the photographer. The photographer can then unobtrusively capture the romantic moment between the two. Some couples will also involve their bridal party or parents in the first look. This is so they can be included in the photos as you react to seeing each other on your wedding day for the first time.


Private Practice

One of the main reasons the first look is becoming popular is because when you see your husband-to-be at your wedding is a very special and intimate moment. You may want to share this romance privately before you have all eyes on the pair of you for the rest of the day.

Once the ceremony and reception begin, it’ll be harder to get away for a moment of peace. Not to mention have those intimate moments captured on film! This is especially true if you’re having a large wedding of 200­–300 people. Usually, you will need to take the time to mingle with each guest after the ceremony. Although it’s special to have many people celebrate in your nuptials, it can be a little daunting to have so many people watching you!


Easy Does It

If you opt for a first look, it will help you feel much more relaxed going into the rest of the day. Both with your husband-to-be and in front of your guests. Any wedding day jitters will immediately dissipate when you see your groom. Plus, sharing a private moment together will solidify the fact you’re celebrating this day as a unified couple. Including facing any eccentric aunts or mischief-making groomsmen!

When photographing the first look, it doesn’t necessarily have to be overly emotional to be memorable. Especially if that doesn’t represent you as a couple. If you’re not the teary type, simply take a moment to share a toast together before the ceremony. Or, use this time to exchange cards or gifts while your photographer snaps away.



Your hair and makeup will look their absolute best and freshest at the beginning of the day. So why not take advantage of getting your couple shots done early? If you get teary seeing your husband for the first time, you can always touch up before the ceremony. The same goes for your groom. If he gets teary he can take a moment to compose himself before the formalities get underway.

For your photographer, the first look will often allow them more time to capture images. Particularly without the concern of losing light or running behind schedule. This is especially true if you’re having an afternoon ceremony. Because your photographer has less time to snap shots of the newlyweds, bridal party and family portraits before the sun begins to set.

Cocktail Hour

If you choose to have the first look you can also get your bridal party and family shots done in this time. So you’re able to move straight from your ceremony into cocktails or the reception and maximise on the celebrations. Your guests will be itching to see you, and you’ve invited them along because they are your nearest and dearest! So why not get started on the mingling as soon as possible?


Mind At Ease

By opting for a first look, there will be one less thing to worry about as you head down the aisle. As much as you won’t want to be stressed out on the day, there will be lots of things on your mind. At least if you have a first look and are able to take the time to enjoy each other’s company. Also, without worrying about running behind schedule. You can check that off the list and simply relax and live in the moment at your ceremony.


Aisle Style

You might think if you choose a first look then your husband-to-be won’t have “that look” when he sees you down the aisle. Your photographer will still be able to capture that memorable moment down the aisle. Though, while it’s great in theory, if all you’re thinking about is “don’t trip on your dress” and he’s thinking “don’t pass out”  this might show on your faces. Plus, it won’t necessarily be the shot you hoped for anyway!

Don’t underestimate your future husband! His reaction to seeing you for the first time down the aisle may not be diminished by seeing you prior to that moment. He could still get teary-eyed and emotional (as could you)!

Seeing each other alone for the first time, rather than in front of your guests, takes the pressure off the moment. Not to mention it allows for a much more genuine and natural reaction as you won’t be feeling self-conscious.


It’s up to you whether you would prefer to photograph a first look, or to save the big reveal for your guests to witness. Consider which option will make you and your husband-to-be feel most comfortable on the day. As he may want to save the surprise for when you walk down the aisle. You can then talk through the pros and cons of both options with your chosen photographer. The main thing to remember is that this is your day. So don’t feel you need it to be dictated by tradition. Your wedding is a celebration of you and the man you love joining your lives together. So however you want to capture that on film is your choice entirely!