First Look Pros and Cons: 10 You Should Know

3. A first look will make for some incredible pictures — and save time down the road.

If you want to kick back and enjoy cocktail hour with your friends and family, then a first look might be for you. Some couples don’t get the opportunity to pal around with their guests until dinner so they can take care of wedding photos during cocktail hour. The first look allows couples to get the photos out of the way and just enjoy the moment. Plus, first look photos are absolutely precious.

4. First looks open the door for creativity.

Unlike first looks that occur at the altar, behind-the-scenes first looks give couples additional opportunities to be creative. Take this excerpt from Emily Kyle Photography’s blog as an example:

“I’ve had couples read letters to one another from opposite sides of a door before seeing one another. Another bride did a first-look with her father before the first-look with the groom. With others, we’ve played up the uniqueness in architecture or location for special photos.”

5. A first look will allow you to freshen up before the ceremony.

Are you worried about possible waterworks when you first see each other? If you get teary-eyed at the altar, you’ll have little chance to compose yourself or freshen up before saying your I dos. A first look gives you the opportunity to enjoy the emotions of the moment without worrying about walking down the aisle with running mascara (but that’s totally OK, too!).

Cons of a first look

1. You may have to fix your hair and makeup after a first look.

While potentially getting the waterworks out of the way can be viewed as a first look pro, it can also be viewed as a first look con, because you may have to set some time aside to fix your hair and makeup between the first look and the ceremony.

2. A first look may make your wedding day schedule more complicated.

Doing a first look takes time, so you’ll need to find a window and squeeze in some extra time into your busy schedule that day. This may mean waking up and getting all of your hair and makeup done earlier than you might have originally planned or perhaps switching up the wedding day order of events. It’s nothing that a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator can’t handle, but it’s still worth noting.

3. A first look may be too private for some.

Some couples love the idea of sharing that special moment with their soon-to-be spouse, but others may feel like their closest friends and family are left out. However, there are no rules here! Want to include your parents and bridal party in your first look? Who says you can’t?

4. A first look may feel awkward.

While a first look is incredibly private, as mentioned above, it usually includes a photographer or videographer, too. For some couples, that could make the situation feel a bit awkward and staged.

5. A first look isn’t considered “traditional” to some.

A first look is a more recent phenomenon. Some couples simply want to keep their big day more “traditional,” which includes the dramatic unveiling of each others’ ensembles and smiling faces during the ceremony. If you’ve always dreamed of this magical moment, don’t change it for the sake of changing it.

Now you know a few first look pros and cons!

Remember, there’s no right or wrong decision. What works for one couple may not work for another. It’s up to you and your partner to determine what works best for you and roll with it! We know it will be amazing no matter what you choose.

Up next, check out our 25-step guide on how to plan a wedding.

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