The First Look Explained

March 9, 2017

I have a deep love for “First Looks”. They are AWESOME. However, not everyone is aware of how awesome they are because they get caught up in how “non-traditional” it is and they immediately write it off. I can talk about those brides because I was one of them. I wanted a REACTION….I wanted Tannan to be so surprised and overcome with joy when I walked down the aisle that he would bawl at the first sight of me! Isn’t that EVERY girl’s dream? Who doesn’t want that reaction?



However, after experiencing my own wedding and shooting over 50 others…. I’ve come to this conclusion. Some brides love “traditions”…. but what a bride REALLY wants when it comes to her groom seeing her for the first time is a REACTION. Those who are not interested in a First Look usually think that by seeing each other beforehand, they will lose part of that reaction. They also assume that it will not be as emotional or as intimate as it would be if they were coming down the aisle. What I have found (this is starting to sound like a research paper!) is so ironic!



Everyone knows that wedding days are a bit stressful for the bride and groom. The whole day is focused on them, they need to look their best, they need to be on time, the groom has no idea what side the boutonniere is supposed to go on and little by little… the tension grows.

It’s before the ceremony and the gravity of what is about to happen starts to sink in and the calm, collected groom who was playing golf just a few short hours ago is now starting to feel a little anxious. So what happens next? The groom waits in a little room somewhere for his que from the coordinator. It seems like it’s taking FOREVER. Finally, the coordinator leans her head in and hurries the groom to get ready. With clammy hands, the groom enters the ceremony and what does he see? He sees anywhere from 80-300 people and they’re all looking where? Right at his face… because everyone has expectations and anticipation about his first reaction. It is the farthest thing from a private, intimate moment. Sure, it’s SO powerful and SO wonderful. … walking down the aisle was one of the BEST PARTS of my WHOLE wedding day!! It’s magical!! ….. But it’s been so nice to see other brides take this advice and so when they walk down the isle it’s still magical, but their groom isn’t a nervous wreck…he has spent the morning with his bride and their best friends and the pressure is OFF. By the time the ceremony rolls around the groom is ready to ENJOY their beautiful day!



The nerves are gone and when the nerves are gone… true emotions are free to be expressed. So if I were to condense what I just wrote… basically, Grooms normally become incredibly nervous on wedding days…. even if they seem cool and collected.

For most grooms, the nerves kick in before they see their bride because when they see her, everything becomes VERY real! So when the nerves start creeping up, instead of keeping the groom in a secluded space until his time to enter the ceremony, what if you took him to a private place… no people, no on-lookers, no distractions…. and you let his beautiful bride, the love of his life, quietly call his name and have him turn around to see her for the rst time. He would turn around and finally get his first look at his stunning bride and not only would he get to see her… he could embrace her… cry with her…. kiss her… and ENJOY that moment with her for as LONG as they wanted. As she shows him her dress, twirls a few times and then asks him what he thinks… his nerves start to diminish. After all, she’s the one who can make him most comfortable anyway.



Because they aren’t on a time crunch… they casually move into their romantic portraits. No one is around, the coordinator isn’t announcing “15 minutes left”, and there is no pressure. It’s just the two of them and their photographer….. capturing the excitement and the joy of their wedding day. It is their time to be TOGETHER…and to be ALONE. When does that happen on a wedding day? Without a First Look…. it doesn’t. After their romantic portraits are done, they meet up with their best friends. Their bridal party joins them and because they still have plenty of time to spare… the bride touches up a little makeup while the boys act like boys. After a few minutes the bridal party portraits begin and they’re FUN because there is time to make them FUN.

There aren’t any guests waiting impatiently at the cocktail hour and there isn’t a DJ coming to find the photographer to get a time check. It’s wonderful!



After portraits are done, the girls and guys separate and prepare for the ceremony. The guests begin to arrive and the ushers are in place. Pretty soon it’s time for the processional music to begin and one by one, the bridesmaids make their way down to the front of the ceremony. As the groom clasps his hands… they aren’t clasped out of nervousness but excitement. The music builds, the mother of the bride stands and all of the guests follow her lead. The groom looks up and here comes the BRIDE!!! His best friend, his companion, his sweetheart…..she’s stunning…. ABSOLUTELY stunning. The closer she gets, the bigger he smiles.



Not everyone of my brides and grooms do first looks, and that’s totally ok, it’s not a mandatory thing! I just always want them to feel fully educated on both ways to do it! There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to different options during the day, and I always want my couple to be informed to help make their day the best it can possibly be!

The smoother the day goes, the more you don’t feel rushed, the less rushed it is then the more you remember! Every wedding day goes by like a flash, but doing a first look helps slow it down just a bit and gives you more time with each other. You’ve been planning this day for a very long time, so we want you to enjoy it (together) for as long as possible 🙂

Feel free to comment below with any questions!

Want to know why I have to do a bridesmaids reveal at every wedding? Learn more about it here!