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Should I do a First Look with my fiancee before the ceremony? Pro's and Con's


The PRO's and CON's of doing a first look with your fiancée before the ceremony.

When we first started photographing weddings nearly 20 years ago, first looks were not all that popular. Couples tended to keep the wedding timeline and photography more traditional and less was considered more back then. But there is also a good reason for this. Back in the film days of photographing a wedding, package pricing was largely determined on how many rolls of film you wanted to purchase. With only 24 images per roll of film, and at an average cost of $250-$500 per roll, couples were used to getting 50-150 images for an entire wedding day total.

Then came the world of digital wedding photography and everything changed overnight. Now it was possible to shoot thousands of images in a single day due to the new digital medium. And with this change came the desire of Both the photographers and couples to create so many more images that weren't possible before.

Hence the birth of the "First Look" which nowadays is common with 9 out of 10 weddings that we capture.


In our ideal timeline we put together for our clients, we allow sufficient time to capture the getting ready moments of both the bride with her bridesmaids and groom with his groomsmen. Next, we stage a first look which allows the couple see each other beforehand privately and share the excitement together before walking down the aisle. We then capture fun photos of the wedding party together followed by immediate family photos ....ALL this before the ceremony takes place.

Let's start with the reasons why you SHOULD do a first look on your wedding day :

1. Allows much more time for capturing creative portraits of the bride and groom on wedding day. So if creative photography is important to you, then this is a must.

2. Allows more time to capture fun wedding party photos of the bridesmaids and groomsmen all hanging out together.

3. Allows time to capture the immediate family beforehand so that they can enjoy the majority of cocktail hour and mingle with the guests and not spend the entire hour taking photos.

4. Couples now have a choice to either mingle with their guests during cocktail hour or run off to do some more couples photos without the rush and pressure of squeezing it all in. *Bonus if this can be timed during a sunset for some really romantic shots!


There are no cons in our opinion of doing a first look, but there is a big con for NOT doing one. If the timeline sticks to a more traditional method, then after the ceremony, during cocktail hour, the bride and groom have to rush to squeeze in as many photos as possible. This usually starts with immediate family on both sides followed by extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) This alone can easily take up 20-30 minutes of the cocktail hour.

Next, the couple would pose with the entire weding park together. (All the bridesmaids and groomsmen) A few traditional and fun poses takes us to the 45-50 minute mark of the cocktail hour.

Lastly, we have 10 minutes left to take photos of bride and groom together alone on their wedding day. Now I think I can speak for all photographers out there and say that we all desire more than 10 minutes in order to capture some beautiful images of our bride and groom together alone.

So you can see how incorporating a first look into your wedding day really allows your photographer the time they need to capture all the wonderful moments of your wedding day without having to rush and squeeze it all in. Win-Win!

If you're interested in chatting with its regarding your wedding photography needs, please email us here:

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