I thought I would share my thoughts on whether a couple should discuss to have, or not to have, a “first look” at their wedding. With so much to plan and think about leading up to and on your wedding day, why would you want to add more to think about? Well, this one thing could be the stress relief you need. After all of the planning, calls, emails, meetings at the venue, going over the song list with your DJ and a possible shot list with the photographer,  you want to just let go of all the stress and have a fun day together, right? But wait, you have to spend half of the day apart. That seems a bit unfair, right? What if I told you that I have a way to get you an extra hour together?  Are you ready to know more about this magic I speak of? It is called the “first look,” and it is a growing trend in wedding photography.  It can be a very special part of your day, creating a whole set of images you would normal not have. 

The first look, is for me, a great way to see a side of a couple that few get to see. It is the first time that the couple sees the person they are about to marry, on their wedding day.  For me, the photos tell an important part of the day. It is also one of the best parts of many young couples wedding day.   I have been able to witness some truly amazing “first looks!”  From couples in tears, to having the biggest smiles I have ever seen, when a couple sees each other for the first time at the ceremony, there can be 100’s of people present. It can be very stressful and can also mask the true reaction from the couple.

Where do you do a first look? Every venue has at lest one great spot to do a first look. You can have it in a garden, the court yard or even in the streets outside of a downtown venue. I have also done first looks in the hallways of hotels  and on the opposite sides of doors of the bridal suite. If the couple knows of a spot they saw on their visit to the venue, then great! If not, then I take it upon myself to find a place that has a nice backdrop, that will make the moment that tells a bit of the love story from your wedding day. Some couples and families may be more traditional and want to keep the first look for he ceremony and that is fine too. I just want the couples that I talk to, to know of this trend and to give them the option.  This will not take the place of the walk down the aisle, but will give an extra element of the day that many couples miss out on, if their photographer has not done the job of sharing every option about their day.  

Benefits of the “first look”: 

  • Takes a lot of stress off of your meeting at the alter 
  • Gives you something that not everyone has from their wedding day – that something extra 
  • Create a special set of one-of-a-kind photo
  • Gives time to do the family portraits and some bridal party photos, freeing up time for the couple to enjoy their cocktail party 
  • Getting a bit of time alone together , its your wedding you should be together. 
  • Gives more time, after the ceremony, to be with your family and guests. 

Below are some images from some, “first looks” moments that I have captured and a photo taken shortly after at the pre-wedding photo shoot. 


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The first look is something I offer to all couples.  If you want to know more about how I photograph a, “first look,” I would be happy to discuss it with you.  
Call me anytime for more information and with questions. I am always happy to talk to share more.
603-367-4657 or email me. 

Published by Joe

I am a New Hampshire wedding and senior portrait photographer. I love to travel so give me a chat to see if we can work together.

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