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Should you have a first look at your wedding?

For Brides

September 18, 2020


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A wedding photographer based in Charleston, SC specializing in dreamy and true to life imagery for couples planning their dream wedding. 



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Should you have a first look at your wedding? This is a question many of my brides ask themselves before their wedding day.

First let’s dive into what a first look is!

The first look is a schedule time before the ceremony for the bride and groom to see each other for the first time. It usually takes place in a private area where the couple can enjoy some alone time before their day begins to unfold. This is not the traditional way to do things, but it is becoming more popular for a few reasons.

first look at the island house wedding in charleston south carolina

So what are the benefits of having one?

  1. You will have time to enjoy your wedding after the ceremony. When you don’t have a first look, we won’t have time to take portraits of the two of you together until after the ceremony. I can often knock them out fast, but majority of the time it consumes all of your time during cocktail hour. Which means less time you have to interact with guests. If you do have a first look you can take a few quick few portraits after the ceremony and have time to jump in for some drinks with guests or time to sit down and grab a snack!
  2. It takes away some of the nerves. And adds to the excitement! You would be surprised how nervous the grooms usually are before the ceremony. Having a first look calms their nerves a little and helps them to enjoy watching you walk down the aisle!
  3. There will still be just as much emotion. If the groom cries at the first look, there’s a pretty good chance he will cry when he sees you walk down the aisle too.
  4. You will have double the photos. Yes really! You can have bride and groom portraits during your first look and after the ceremony! Which means you have more time to go to different locations and have a larger variety of bride and groom portraits!

In Charleston, a lot of couples have multiple locations for their weddings.

In those situations it makes more sense for those couples to have a first look. It’s definitely not required and I would never push you to do something you don’t want to do! But it would save time and allow y’all to enjoy your wedding day a little more.

fall wedding at middleton place bride and groom holding hands

And the last plus side to having a first look on your wedding day is having the time to take beautiful pictures like this one. ^

I’ve been photographing weddings for a few years now and I’ve seen a pattern when it comes to couples who opt to do a first look rather than go with the more traditional way. The day tends to go smoother when the couples don’t do it the traditional way. This isn’t always the case! It really depends on what happens the day of and what your timeline looks like.

In the end, it is up to you and your fiancé. You both decide what you want to do the day of and your vendors will make it happen! I would say about 50% of my couples don’t do a first look and that’s perfectly fine! Everything goes perfect either way.

Do you have any other questions about your wedding or are you looking to chat about me photographing your big day? You can reach me on my contact page, through email (, or by simply submitting a comment below! I can’t wait to hear from you and start planning your dream wedding together!

If you liked this blog you may like these:

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Go follow along on Instagram to get more tips and inspiration for your wedding!

Should you have a first look at your wedding?

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I'm Jessica and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal about our lives, travels, fashion, and style. Stay a while and say hello!




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