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Wedspiration > Advice > What’s A First Look At A Wedding?
What’s A First Look At A Wedding?
Considering a first-look for your wedding, or simply wonder what it is? Click through to read why we’re loving these private moments pre-ceremony, more and more.
first look
Words by Melany Mashman
28 January 2020

Heard the term ‘first look’ floating about in relation to weddings? Not sure what the hell is going on?

A ‘first look’ refers to a couple choosing to share a private moment alone before their wedding ceremony, vs. only seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day as they walk down the aisle. It’s a special, private moment shared only with the couple’s wedding photographer (if they choose to have it captured).

We’re seeing increasing numbers of couples opting for a ‘first look’ and quite frankly, we love it. Not the newest trend of late at weddings, this pre-ceremony preview is becoming more and more popular, and there are a few good reasons we recommend you consider this alternative way to kickstart your day.

Featured photography by Zoë Morley Photography.

Scroll on to read three reasons to consider a first look at your wedding.

first look
  • Your wedding photography

Wedding photography is one of our top reasons to consider a first look. There’s a rawness and sweet intimacy captured in this private moment – it’s just the two of you (and your photographer, of course). Having the opportunity to see each other before the ceremony commences creates that holy-crap-this-is-actually-happening feeling, and that excitement makes for some of the most treasured pics you’ll keep from the whole day.

  • It’s a heat-friendly option

Getting married on a sweltering hot 35-degree day? A private moment between you two will allow you to knock out photo hour before you sweat off makeup/build up sweat patches, giving you time to touch up before the ceremony starts.

  • More time to celebrate with your guests 

Additionally, having your portraits done and dusted before the party takes off means you won’t need to step away from your guests and miss a minute of cocktail hour. Or at least, make the ‘golden hour’ sunset photo session more efficient.

  • To calm your nerves

Already feeling a wee bit nervous about the day? Don’t really love the thought of having all eyes on you? Having a private moment between you and your significant other before the ceremony will take the pressure off a busy and emotionally charged day. Any pre-wedding jitters will be eased after doing the first look, and if you’re concerned that there won’t be any teary eyes or emotional moments in your ceremony, don’t be. It’s bound to happen when you meet each other at the end of the aisle.

  • The timing works well for winter weddings

Getting married in winter is something we wholeheartedly recommend. Something to consider here though is timing your photos for sunset. During winter, the sun generally sets between 4:30-5:30pm, which is when you want to get away for those epic golden hour photos. However, it’s also happens to be right after your wedding ceremony if you’re getting hitched in the afternoon, making that whole ‘just married’ period a bit of a blur.

The beauty of a first look here is that you can do the majority of your portrait photos before the ceremony and only duck away briefly after the ceremony for a shorter sunset session, leaving you more time to relish in those special “we did it!” feels with family and friends.


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