Should I Have a First Look at my Wedding?


One of the most special moments on your wedding day is when you and your partner see each other for the first time.

This is called the "first look"

and it's a wonderful way to share a private and intimate moment before the ceremony.

First look at Black Star Farms wedding.
Couples first look in Manistee, MI at their fall wedding
Bride and groom share their first look at Good Harbor Bay Beach

Why we love it

To have a first look, or not to have a first look?

That is the question that many couples face when planning their wedding. As a wedding photographer throughout Michigan, I have seen firsthand the benefits of having a first look.

First and foremost, having a first look makes your photography timeline way easier. Instead of trying to squeeze in all of your portraits between the ceremony and reception, you can do them ahead of time and then enjoy your day without interruption. This also means that you can take advantage of the best light, which is usually earlier in the day.

But beyond the logistical benefits, having a first look can also be incredibly emotional and meaningful. Many couples worry that their fiance's reaction won't be as authentic if they see each other before the ceremony. However, I have found that most grooms are actually more connected to the moment when their anxieties have been soothed after a moment with their partner ahead of the ceremony. It's a chance to calm any building anxiety and spend a few intentional moments together making memories on your wedding day.

One of my favorite ways to incorporate a first look is to have a private vow reading. This is a special moment that is often reported back to me as the most significant and memorable part of the day. It allows you to express your love and commitment to each other in an intimate setting, without the pressure of an audience.

Of course, if tradition is calling your name and you want to wait until the ceremony to see each other, that's okay too! Ultimately, the decision to have a first look or not should be based on what feels right for you and your partner. As your wedding photographer, I am here to support you and capture your day in a way that feels true to you.

you can also incorporate a first look with other important people in your life

There are many ways to incorporate a first look into your wedding day without spoiling the traditional first look down the aisle. Whether it's with your parents, siblings, kids, grandparents, bridal party, or even your pets, these special moments will add an extra layer of joy and emotion to your wedding day.

First and foremost, consider a first look with your parents. This is a beautiful way to honor your parents and to share a special moment with them before the ceremony. Seeing your parents' faces light up as they see you in your wedding dress for the first time is a memory that you will cherish forever.

If you have siblings, a first look with them can also be incredibly meaningful. Whether it's a brother who has always been your protector or a sister who has been your best friend, sharing this moment with them can be a touching way to start your wedding day.

Incorporating a first look with your bridal party is another option to consider. This can be a great way to share a private moment with your closest friends before the ceremony. Not only will it give you a chance to take some fun and candid photos, but it will also help calm any nerves you may have before walking down the aisle.

And let's not forget about the furry members of your family! A first look with your pets can be a whimsical and fun way to incorporate them into your wedding day. Whether it's your loyal dog or your curious cat, including them in this special moment will make your day even more special.