What Is A First Look At A Wedding: What To Expect

The answer to what is a first look at a wedding is at the name itself. It is when the couple sees each other before the wedding ceremony; hence the first viewing of their partner before anybody else sees them. 

We will talk about where it usually happens, how long it takes, and if it’s even necessary to have a wedding first look. Then, for grooms who don’t know what to do, feel free to check what a groom needs on his wedding day

what is a first look at a wedding


Everything To Know About The Wedding First Look


What is the first look at a wedding?

The wedding first look refers to when a couple sees each other for the first time on their wedding day, hence the name. It is an intimate moment between the bride and groom as they see each other right before the wedding ceremony. 

The first look at a wedding is often planned in advance regarding its location. Ideally, you want to have it close to where the wedding ceremony will take place to avoid issues with travel and time. 


Where to have the first look?

Select a remote location to have a more intimate moment between the bride and groom. It’s also best for the first look to happen somewhere that makes a fantastic backdrop for the photos. 

Finding the location for the first look matters not just for photos. It should also be an area where the couple can freely move and be themselves without feeling insecure from onlookers. 

This way, the wedding photographer can take the best wedding portraits during the first look. If you haven’t yet, read when to book a wedding photographer so you can arrange what you want, including potential recommendations from them for the venue of the first look. 


When should you do a first look?

First looks happen before the wedding ceremony. Ask your wedding planner about the time you must start the first look to ensure that it won’t affect the schedule for the rest of your wedding day. 

You can also consider the location where you’ll do the first look. For example, if it’s 5 to 10 minutes away from the wedding ceremony venue, you must schedule the first look accordingly to ensure that you’ll arrive at the ceremony on time. 


How long do you need for a first look?

A wedding first look typically takes up to 30 minutes, sometimes shorter or longer, depending on the included moments and activities that the couple wants. That being said, you still want to allocate one to two hours for the wedding’s first look. 

This also helps the wedding photographer if they want to do certain moments, locations, and poses to get the portraits that the bride and groom want. It would be best if you also had some time to get ready to ensure that you and your partner look your best. 

Usually, photographers also do formal family wedding photos after the first look. 


What Is The Point Of First Looking At A Wedding?

The point of the first look at a wedding is to do a pre-reveal between the couple. They get to see each other for the first time before the ceremony, where they might not have a moment for themselves. 

Another reason why the bride and groom should have a wedding first look is that it serves as a break and motivation before the duties and stress of the wedding day started. There are many things to do from the ceremony to the reception, and seeing the love of your life beforehand can give you the stress relief and boost you need for a tiring day. 

And of course, it wouldn’t hurt to get fantastic memorable photos taken during this intimate moment. You can look back on these photos with sentimentality as you remember the first time you see your bride or groom on the day you decide to marry them. 


How Does The First Look Work?

The first look is essentially a sweet and intimate moment as the couple sees each other before the wedding. This is also typically included in the wedding photographer’s package to capture the sweet moments when the bride and groom first see each other. 

The wedding first look photo session typically includes pictures of the groom in his best outfit, the bride in her elegant bridal wear, and the moment where they see each other for the first time. A familiar portrait is a groom standing in front of the camera with his bride behind him. 


Who Attends The First Look?

Traditionally, only the bride, groom, and photographer are present during the first look. After all, it’s supposed to be the couple’s time before the wedding ceremony. 

However, some couples follow a different approach. Instead of seeing each other, they may choose the bridal party to attend the first look for an element of surprise once they see each other at the aisle. 



And that’s it! To recap what is a first look at a wedding, it’s a photography session capturing the intimate moment as the bride and groom see each other for the first time before the wedding ceremony. 

It takes around 30 minutes and is best done at a remote and quiet location for the best portraits. Let us know how yours go in the comments below. 

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