The million dollar question for the millennial wedding.

First look or no first look? Probably the most asked question since “to be or not to be” haha just kidding, but it is definitely the million dollar question for people getting married nowadays and a big point of discussion that I want to address with you today. Before we dive in let’s go ahead and rule out “but it’s tradition,” “I can’t see the groom beforehand it’s bad luck,” “my grandma told me I shouldn’t,” “he must cry when I walk down the aisle.” hahaha trust me, I have heard it all and although they are valuable answers, here are some of the reasons that should be truly considered in my humble opinion.

A lot of brides ask me “are you a first look advocate?” and my answer is: “I am a have a relaxed wedding day advocate”. Does that mean always doing a first look? Nope! So, buckle up and let’s dive in:

Things to consider:
  • Season of the year
  • Time of sunset
  • Time of ceremony
  • Amount of time you would like with your guests

  • All of these things are connected, so let’s go one by one and you will see how they all play a different role in the big picture.
    Depending on what season you are getting married you have to consider until what time you still have daylight. For example, if it is during winter on central time it gets dark at 4:30PM. So if you have a 4:00PM ceremony you will need to do a first look in order to have enough light for pictures. But if you want to do pictures after the ceremony, all you have to do is have an earlier ceremony at 2:00PM or 2:30PM.

    During the summer it is important to consider the heat as well. If you don’t want to do a first look that is totally fine, just once again, think about the time the ceremony will be and how much time you will have after for pictures. I do like to point out that during the summer you want to consider how much you sweat, HA. You might not want to do pictures after the ceremony because you will be sweaty, make up and hair won’t be as fresh, and the groom might have sweat through his suit. Might not be the same for inside ceremonies but still something to consider. Another important factor for summer weddings are afternoon showers. This might be more common in the South, but it is common for pop up showers to appear. So you might consider a first look just to leave a little more wiggle room in case of rain.
    To sum up, if you don’t do a first look make sure you take in consideration the time of the ceremony and the time of sunset so you leave yourself with time to take picture after the ceremony. Same goes if you do a first look. If the sunsets at 7:30PM and your ceremony is at 5PM you might want to consider moving your ceremony to a later time so that your pictures won’t be too early, and if your ceremony is outside it won’t be as hot.
    pictured on the left is Ruthie and Michael.
    - no first look
    - winter wedding
    - 2:00PM ceremony
    - pictures done right after ceremony with plenty of sunlight!
    Lastly, another very important factor to take in consideration is the amount of time you would like to spend with your guests. Whenever you don’t do a first look it can take from 40min to 90min to get pictures done depending on size of family, wedding party and location, plus couples portraits! A lot of people have guests coming from out of town so they want to spend more time partying it up with them. I, for example, had a lot of family coming from Brazil, so I knew I wanted to spend a lot of time with them. But if you have a longer reception and that is not an issue to you, then the time you spend taking pictures after the ceremony won’t matter!
    So all in all, is a first look mandatory? In my books, absolutely NOT! But are there certain scenarios that need a first look? Yes.
    Talk to your photographer and ask for their opinion. Tell them what you are thinking for the ceremony and if you want to do a first look or not. We are all here to capture your day and would love to help you!
    If you are one of my future brides reading this and have any questions, don't hesitate to email me so we can chat more about it!

    pictured bottom right is Lesli and Jack.

    - no first look

    - winter wedding

    - 2:30PM ceremony

    - pictures done right after ceremony with plenty of sunlight!

    pictured on the right is Lauren and Albert
    - first look
    - 5:00PM ceremony during fall
    - 6:45PM sunset
    - we also did a 10min sunset sneak away after ceremony. click here to see more.
    Below you will find testimonies from grooms that did a first look and a few examples from weddings that did one and didn't do one.
    FIRST LOOK OR NO FIRST LOOK?

    The million dollar question for the millennial wedding.

    FIRST LOOK OR NO FIRST LOOK?
    First look or no first look? Probably the most asked question since “to be or not to be” haha just kidding, but it is definitely the million dollar question for people getting married nowadays and a big point of discussion that I want to address with you today. Before we dive in let’s go ahead and rule out “but it’s tradition,” “I can’t see the groom beforehand it’s bad luck,” “my grandma told me I shouldn’t,” “he must cry when I walk down the aisle.” hahaha trust me, I have heard it all and although they are valuable answers, here are some of the reasons that should be truly considered in my humble opinion.

    A lot of brides ask me “are you a first look advocate?” and my answer is: “I am a have a relaxed wedding day advocate”. Does that mean always doing a first look? Nope! So, buckle up and let’s dive in:

    Things to consider:
  • Season of the year
  • Time of sunset
  • Time of ceremony
  • Amount of time you would like with your guests

  • All of these things are connected, so let’s go one by one and you will see how they all play a different role in the big picture.
    Depending on what season you are getting married you have to consider until what time you still have daylight. For example, if it is during winter on central time it gets dark at 4:30PM. So if you have a 4:00PM ceremony you will need to do a first look in order to have enough light for pictures. But if you want to do pictures after the ceremony, all you have to do is have an earlier ceremony at 2:00PM or 2:30PM.

    During the summer it is important to consider the heat as well. If you don’t want to do a first look that is totally fine, just once again, think about the time the ceremony will be and how much time you will have after for pictures. I do like to point out that during the summer you want to consider how much you sweat, HA. You might not want to do pictures after the ceremony because you will be sweaty, make up and hair won’t be as fresh, and the groom might have sweat through his suit. Might not be the same for inside ceremonies but still something to consider. Another important factor for summer weddings are afternoon showers. This might be more common in the South, but it is common for pop up showers to appear. So you might consider a first look just to leave a little more wiggle room in case of rain.
    pictured above is Lauren and Albert
    - first look
    - 5:00PM ceremony during fall
    - 6:45PM sunset
    - we also did a 10min sunset sneak away after ceremony. (click here to see more.)
    To sum up, if you don’t do a first look make sure you take in consideration the time of the ceremony and the time of sunset so you leave yourself with time to take picture after the ceremony. Same goes if you do a first look. If the sunsets at 7:30PM and your ceremony is at 5PM you might want to consider moving your ceremony to a later time so that your pictures won’t be too early, and if your ceremony is outside it won’t be as hot.
    pictured above is Ruthie and Michael.
    - no first look
    - winter wedding
    - 2:00PM ceremony
    - pictures done right after ceremony with plenty of sunlight!
    Lastly, another very important factor to take in consideration is the amount of time you would like to spend with your guests. Whenever you don’t do a first look it can take from 40min to 90min to get pictures done depending on size of family, wedding party and location, plus couples portraits! A lot of people have guests coming from out of town so they want to spend more time partying it up with them. I, for example, had a lot of family coming from Brazil, so I knew I wanted to spend a lot of time with them. But if you have a longer reception and that is not an issue to you, then the time you spend taking pictures after the ceremony won’t matter!
    pictured on the left is Lesli and Jack.
    - no first look
    - winter wedding
    - 2:30PM ceremony
    - pictures done right after ceremony with plenty of sunlight!
    So all in all, is a first look mandatory? In my books, absolutely NOT! But are there certain scenarios that need a first look? Yes.
    Talk to your photographer and ask for their opinion. Tell them what you are thinking for the ceremony and if you want to do a first look or not. We are all here to capture your day and would love to help you!
    If you are one of my future brides reading this and have any questions, don't hesitate to email me so we can chat more about it!
    Below you will find testimonies from grooms that did a first look and a few examples from weddings that did one and didn't do one.
    1

    Rachel & Taylor
    First Look
    Summer Wedding (May)
    __
    "I wasn't so sure when my wife first told me we were going to do a first look. First looks are such a new thing now, and growing up you always hear about not seeing each other until the ceremony. I was also unsure because I wanted that moment of her walking down the aisle to be so special. Well, after a half ceremony, a crazy storm, a long break to get our plan B set up and another ceremony, I am so glad we did a first look. Not only did we get all of our pictures done before the storm (which by the way came out of nowhere and was not on the radar), but we got to spend so much more of the day, our day, together, and that time was so special. And the worry I had about the first look taking away from her walking down the aisle, it didn’t. Each time I saw her that day it was more and more special and emotional. I got to see my now wife walk down the aisle twice and both times my breath was taken away." - Taylor Norman
    - Picture by: tindallfarmerphotography.com

    2

    Paige & Ty
    First look
    4:30PM ceremony
    Summer Wedding (May)
    __
    "We decided to do the first look because of multiple reasons. The first reason is because we didn’t want our friends and family waiting over at the reception for us for very long after the ceremony. We also knew once we got married we would be so excited and ready to go over to be with everyone and celebrate. We didn’t want to rush the pictures. I am so happy we did it because we had time to do all the pictures we wanted and never felt rushed. Also, this was just a bonus, but if we had waited, the rain came down hard right after the reception so that limited pictures outside after ceremony." - Paige Keenum

    3

    Dani & Alex
    First look
    5:30PM ceremony
    Summer wedding (August)

    4

    Lesli & Jack
    No first look
    2:30PM ceremony
    Winter Wedding (January)

    5

    Eliza & Patrick
    No first look
    2:00PM ceremony
    Summer wedding (May)
    Pictures done after ceremony

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