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  • Writer's pictureSTP Weddings

Does a first look make sense for you?

We often get asked what a first look is and if it makes sense to do one. A first look is where the couple chooses to see each other prior to the ceremony. While this breaks tradition, we typically see if done more often than not now. Today we dive into the details of a first look to help you decide if it is something you should consider or not. Every couple is different, so it is a very personal decision that you should make with your partner.

Are you having a church or on-site ceremony?

If church

Church ceremonies tend to be earlier in the day, which means an earlier hair and makeup start time for your bridal party. If this is the case, we would recommend skipping a first look for a few reasons. You don’t want to have to rush your first look or ask your wedding party to start hair and makeup super early. Also, you will likely have a good amount of time between your ceremony and reception start for photos. Talk to your photographer and if they feel there is plenty of time, you may want to skip a first look.

If on-site

For on-site ceremonies we often recommend doing a first look primarily so that couples don’t miss out on their cocktail hour. Your photographer will need some time with you for couple photos, which is typically done right after the ceremony. If that is the case, the couple tends to miss the first half or most of their cocktail hour. If you do a first look, you can get those photos done in advance and enjoy mingling with guests and the delicious cocktail hour food!

Are you a traditional couple?

If traditional

One thing we often hear couples say is that they want to stick with tradition and not see their partner until the ceremony. We totally understand that and think it’s very romantic!

If you don’t mind ditching tradition

There are lots of traditions you can stick with, but if you are ok ditching this one, you should consider a first look. Your first look can be a private moment with just you and your partner or you can invite the wedding party and/or family to watch the moment. Your photographer can capture the moment (or not if you’d prefer!) in a pre-determined location. Typically the groom stands in one place while the bride approaches from the back and taps him when it’s time to turn around. Such a fun new tradition!

First looks aren’t just for the couple!

We love seeing brides do first looks with their fathers and/or wedding party. Grooms can even do first looks with their mothers. There are a lot of fun ways to do a first look with all of these people who are special to you, just make sure you speak to your wedding planner and photographer in advance about these requests to make sure there is plenty of time for all of them!

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