Pros and Cons of a First Look at Your Wedding

In your wedding timeline, you may be debating whether or not you should have a first look.  I strongly suggest you don’t let anyone sway you either way!  The decision is between the two of you.  From my experience, I can provide a list of pros and cons for both sides.  Regardless of wether you see each other for the first time before the ceremony or during the processional, we will ensure it is captured beautifully.

First, here are the pros of a first look:

Calming the Nerves

First looks can help ease tension and calm nerves. On your big day, your nerves along with your excitement may be running at an all-time high. Seeing your partner before the big day really begins will help ease both of your nerves and minds. Whether you or your partner tear up or laugh a little, being in each others’ arms and next to each other can help you both on your wedding day. You two can take a second to not only cherish each other but, to talk each other through this exciting yet, nerve-racking day.

More Time for Pictures and Fun

While on your big day you want tons of pictures, it’s important to make sure to get pictures of the most important people- you, the newlyweds. First looks open up the opportunity to capture a special moment and get more photos of you and your significant other. It also provides you with the ability to attend your full cocktail hour. It also helps alleviate the need for photos later in the day, when everyone is ready to party.


Some people get really nervous being in front of a crowd.  We can help to create a private setting where the two of you will have some quiet time together for the first look. Your wedding day is not just a ceremonial tradition, it’s a transition into the rest of your lives. The love present during a first look is indescribably pure and beautiful. Creating a private first look allows you the time to take a moment and soak it all in.  It’s an honor to be able to capture it.

DC Wedding Groom First Look

Fresh Faces

At the start of your wedding day, makeup is fresh, hair is tidy and clothes are pressed.  Especially on those hot days, it is nice to have your portraits taken when you are looking your most pristine!


Here are the benefits of NOT having a first look:


The heightened emotions flowing through you as you lock eyes with your partner-to-be are unequalled to any other moment in your life.  The guests fade away and it’s only the two of you.  Experiencing this moment and allowing your guests to witness it is a special gift.

Chesapeake Bay Beach Club ceremony

Avoid Smile Fatigue

When you choose a first look, typically there is a two hour time block before your ceremony for portraits.  Sometimes this can be tiring for the couple.  When you don’t do a first look, we split the portraits to do the individual parties/families before the ceremony and all the combined photos afterwards.  This breaks up those two hours so you don’t feel like you have a marathon portrait session all at once.


For photographs, the best time for light is close to sunrise/sunset.  If your ceremony is say at 4pm we would have to start portraits several hours beforehand when the light is really harsh and, in the summer, really hot.  Splitting up your portraits can allow time for softer light and cooler temperatures for the wedding party and couple portraits.

Regardless of what you decide, we will be there to capture all the wonderful emotions present on your wedding day so you can look back at your photographs and relive those moments again and again.

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