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Lynnie
WeddingWire Admin October 2016 North Carolina

First Look - Why or Why Not?

Lynnie, on April 18, 2019 at 14:27 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 40
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Are you doing a "first look" and taking pictures before your wedding ceremony? Or are you waiting until you walk down the aisle? Some couples want to save that magic moment for the ceremony, but there's no denying how helpful a first look can be on your photography timeline!

How did you decide? What are your pros and cons?


First Look - Why or Why Not? 1

Photo from Forever After Studios in Vancouver

40 Comments

Latest activity by Lisasmith, on April 30, 2019 at 04:08
  • Lisasmith
    Newbie April 2019 Florida
    Lisasmith ·
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    I think it is very reasonable

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  • Bianca
    Master August 2019 Ontario
    Bianca ·
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    We're doing a first look just for logistics sake. We didn't want a long time between our ceremony and reception, AND I want our photographs to be taken while my makeup is freshest.

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  • Jenna
    Frequent user February 2021 Nova Scotia
    Jenna ·
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    We are doing a first look and walking down the aisle together. I’m looking forward to her seeing me for the first time by herself.
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  • Stephanie
    Frequent user July 2021 Ontario
    Stephanie ·
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    I am leaving this up to my groom.

    Right now he wants the first time he sees me to be when I'm walking down the isle.

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  • Monique
    Devoted August 2020 Saskatchewan
    Monique ·
    • Dispute

    I just finished talking to my FH about this, I thought he wanted to wait until the aisle but he told me a couple of days ago that he wants to do a first look which I'm so excited about!

    Pros: we are both very shy so I think a one-on-one will be amazing and I feel like I would want to run up to him at the altar and start talking and being excited!

    Cons: none!

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  • Donna Yeung
    Devoted August 2018 British Columbia
    Donna Yeung ·
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    We originally wanted to, but the logistics of it didn't quite pan out with timing and all. Plus, my husband already saw me in the dress when we went to pick it up from the bridal shop.

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  • Tori
    Top October 2019 Manitoba
    Tori ·
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    Indeed we are doing a first look!

    We are doing this to avoid me ugly crying (okay, I know I will cry both times...) and to avoid having a cocktail hour.

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  • Cassie
    Frequent user September 2020 Ontario
    Cassie ·
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    First look is when I’m walking up the aisle! It would really emphasize what’s about to happen, making the walk up emotional and real. I understand why people do it before but this is how I’ve always wanted it. Smiley smile
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  • Erin
    Super May 2022 Ontario
    Erin ·
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    We won't be doing a first look, i told my FH that I'm not even going suit shopping with him bc i want to be surprised when I see him. I did give him colour restrictions though!
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  • Stephanie
    VIP May 2019 Ontario
    Stephanie ·
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    Not doing a first look! We dont have time but we both really want the first time to be walking down the aisle! So all that huge emotion we feel we will feel right when we say I do!
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  • Rachael
    Super October 2019 Ontario
    Rachael ·
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    We will be doing a first look, even though our timeline could support bride/groom pictures either way. We want the first time we see each other to be a genuine moment between the two of us (and prefer that to be documented). Neither of us believe that it will take away from walking down the aisle and if anything we won’t be as nervous to having spent some time together beforehand.
    • Reply
  • Valérie
    VIP September 2019 Quebec
    Valérie ·
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    I was open to the idea, but my FH made it pretty clear that he wants to see me for the first time while I'm walking down the aisle.

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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    It works best for our timeline to do the traditional "First Look" during the walk down the aisle. We have enough time between ceremony and reception to get all our photos but we might do a first touch to ease our nerves.

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  • Robyn
    Super June 2019 Ontario
    Robyn ·
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    I was not opposed to a first look but my FH was surprisingly vocal in being against it - he wants the traditional set-up of seeing me for the first time when I walk down the aisle.

    • Reply
  • Maegan
    Super July 2018 British Columbia
    Maegan ·
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    Yes! My thoughts exactly! I am so thankful we did a first look and if anything it was a more powerful moment then walking down the aisle because it was just the two of us and not standing in front of a crowd. And we both cried all over again when I walked down the aisle and I felt it did not take away from that moment at all.
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  • Megan
    Curious September 2019 Ontario
    Megan ·
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    I’m doing a first look mostly for time issues. I don’t want my guests sitting around for 1.5-2hrs after the ceremony while I’m taking pictures. My wedding is more of an evening event so we also want to get pictures more in the daylight. My whole wedding party was on board with the idea so we could spend more time enjoying the wedding and guests rather then spending time taking pictures. Sure we lose that moment of walking down the isle but we will still have a moment during the first look that will be just us and not a crowd.
    • Reply
  • Aisha
    Newbie September 2019 Ontario
    Aisha ·
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    We won’t be doing a first look either. We want to see each other for the first time at the altar.
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  • S
    Curious August 2020 Alberta
    Shyrelle ·
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    We're both really sentimental and enjoy fun little traditions so we never even questioned the first look thing, it was just assumed it'll be at the isle. I think it would almost take away a little something for me personally.
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  • Rachael
    Beginner August 2019 Alberta
    Rachael ·
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    We are not. My FH has been very open about the fact that he will probably be a mess seeing me already so to not make the tears worse. I like that seeing him the for the first time all dressed up when I walk down the aisle as it will make that moment for us much more special.

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  • Rachel
    Frequent user July 2019 Ontario
    Rachel ·
    • Dispute
    We are doing a first look. My FH really wants to. I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but he hasn't been vocal on many things, and has been VERY vocal about this particular subject. (He isnt one to be openly emotional and I think he's nervous about having that emotional reaction in front of a lot of people, so I want to respect that). The one thing I appreciate about it is that since we won't be doing a cocktail hour (since our reception is just a cocktail reception) we won't miss very much of the reception. Our photos will be done at our venue so we can just do the family photos and then head to the party!
    • Reply
  • Chelsea
    Super June 2020 Alberta
    Chelsea ·
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    We won’t be doing a first look, i want that moment where my FH sees me as i come walking down the aisle
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  • Cherry
    Devoted October 2019 Quebec
    Cherry ·
    • Dispute
    We won’t be doing first look. FH’s family is very traditional. Said it’s bad luck to see the bride in wedding gown before the ceremony.
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  • Michelle
    Expert April 2019 Alberta
    Michelle ·
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    We did a first look- I am so glad we did. My Husband cried both at the first look and when I walked down the aisle. It didn't take away from the moment. I felt a lot of relief having that moment with him beforehand, and he got to really look at my dress and we could hug lots which I would feel weird about at the ceremony.

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  • Amelia
    Super September 2020 Ontario
    Amelia ·
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    We're not - we want the special moment of seeing me for the first time when I walk down the aisle too.

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  • Holly
    VIP June 2019 Ontario
    Holly ·
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    Yeah definitely! One of the best parts of a wedding ceremony is seeing the groom's reaction to his bride..makes me cry everytime!
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  • Peggy
    Super May 2019 Alberta
    Peggy ·
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    Haha, I'm doing SO many first looks!


    I'm doing a 'Princess Peek' with my two nieces/flower girls (aged 2.5 and 5), then a first look with my mom (she wanted a first look instead of helping me get dressed) and dad, and THEN a first look with my fiancé!

    I want my fiancé and I to do the first look because it gives us a special moment for the day, he doesn't feel self conscious in front of a bunch of people, and we can actually talk to and absorb the other in that time.

    • Reply
  • Alix
    Expert June 2021 Saskatchewan
    Alix ·
    • Dispute
    I thought about doing a first look but then a couple people told me they like to see the grooms expression when he finally sees his bride walk down the aisle. So I decided not to do one.
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  • K
    Expert June 2019 Ontario
    Kim ·
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    No first look for us... I dont think my fh would care either way but I want the first time we see each to be when I'm walking down the aisle.
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  • Caitlyn
    Super January 2020 Ontario
    Caitlyn ·
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    View quoted message

    I agree with you. We'll also be doing a first touch instead with us on opposite sides of a wall or door holding hands but unable to see one another. I also think that it's a little treat for the guests to be able to witness our first reactions to seeing each other in person.


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  • L
    Frequent user February 2020 Ontario
    Liarra ·
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    Also came down to logistics for us. Winter wedding, evening ceremony meaning we wanted our pictures done 1. while still light out which isnt very late in the winter here in Ontario, 2. didnt want my guests to wait for pictures to be done between evening ceremony and cocktail style reception.
    I did always picture my FH seeing me walk down the aisle for the first time however i'm also super excited to do a first look. It will be so much more intimate and personal. Not to mention the photo's are super fun!

    • Reply
  • Casey
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Casey ·
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    Completely agree! We are doing a first look because of logistics as well.
    We chose a 5pm ceremony time as our wedding is on a Friday. The ceremony will only be 30 mins max. The ceremony will then lead right into the cocktail hour and then reception so we didn’t want to miss out on that time.
    Plus our wedding party photos will be done before hand and we only have to worry about family pictures.
    Since our wedding is in October, and the sun starts setting a little earlier we would run out of sunlight if we didn’t do a first look.
    I am actually looking forward to it!
    • Reply
  • Becky
    VIP September 2019 Ontario
    Becky ·
    • Dispute

    I wanted to see him before hand as have bad anxiety with the crowd. I feel like regardless of when we walk down the isle will still be more emotions. It also did help with photographer time line and wanted to be able to have a minute to relax during cocktail time.

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