The First Look


Debating on whether or not to see each other prior to the ceremony? While I firmly believe the first look is a personal decision, I’m here to shine the light on why a first look might be ideal for your ceremony.

What is the First Look all about? This is a special moment when the groom is able to see the bride for the first time before the ceremony. Usually the groom is looking away out over a field, or at the end of pier, or even by a beautiful old oak tree. Most photographers like to “tell the story” by capturing photos of the bride approaching the groom and then to see both of their expressions as they see each other for the first time simultaneously. It is a wonderful and precious moment. This isn’t a replacement to the walking down the aisle experience but it is actually in addition to that moment. So in essence you are adding to the day by getting a second special look instead of replacing it.

The benefits to doing a First Look are countless and can dramatically impact the flow of your day, allowing you to optimize time together, for photos, and with your guests.



chrishowardimagery-97Photos by Chris Howard Photography

Scheduling – A first look allows a much more relaxed wedding day timeline, giving you the ability to take all of your formal wedding party and family photos pre-ceremony. Instead of corralling everyone for formal photos post-ceremony during cocktail hour when there are many distractions, you can instead spend that time alone soaking in the “just married” feeling, eating dinner, or mingling at cocktail hour.

Privacy & Nerves – Doing a first look is easily one of the quickest ways to settle pre-wedding jitters. Nothing soothes you like being able to wrap up in one anothers arms and take a deep breath together, to tell one another how good you each look, how excited you are, or to be able to laugh, hug, pray, or exchange gifts or letters in private.




Photos by Doug Miranda Photography

More Time Together – A first look affords so much more time together on your wedding day. It really is crazy to think that often times you are spending the majority of your wedding day apart! Sometimes you’re waiting until 4, 5, or even 6 in the evening to finally spend together! And those few minutes at your ceremony are all business. A first look allows you to spend so much more time together, as well as with your wedding party and family.

More Time With Your Guests – Many of your guests have traveled long distances to celebrate with you at your wedding, and a first look (and in turn having all formal photos done pre-ceremony) gives you the ability to spend as much time as possible with them.

More Photos Together – Couples who have a first look typically have 50%, if not more, portraits in their final gallery than a couple who has an aisle reveal. We’re able to not only capture some of the most emotional images of the day, but we can also capitalize on that extra time together for more portraits of just the two of you.

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Photos by Dee and Kris Photography

Ideal For Winter Weddings – A first look is the perfect solution for weddings where daylight is limited and it’s most often dark even after a 4pm ceremony.

Being Present – Since you’ve gotten rid of the nerves, had your private moment, relaxed together and with your wedding party and family, you are so very present for your walk down the aisle. You’re making eye contact with not only your guests and family but with your groom. You are in the moment and more than anything, you’re EXCITED. As for the groom, not one single one has ever said he wished they hadn’t done a first look. It simply does not take the gravity of seeing your future wife walk toward you during your marriage ceremony…that is a moment that is uniquely it’s own.

And for those not entirely sold on the idea of a first look, this couple met around a door frame to just have one moment together prior to seeing each other walking down the aisle. Such a sweet moment.


Moment Captured by Tra Huyn

If you are interested in the First Look concept, check out our pinterest board HERE for more inspiration.

Interested in hosting a wedding or event at the Pavilion at Haggin Oaks? Call Rebecca Kirtlan at 916-870-8597 for more information.

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