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Welcome to our blog! We are a husband & wife photography team based in Madison, Wisconsin who document weddings & anniversaries for joyful couples who believe in marriage. This blog is a journal about real love stories, marriage & our own adventures along the way. We are so glad you're here — please stay awhile!




Wedding Day First Looks | How to Know if it’s Right for You.

March 26, 2018

Should you do a First Look on your wedding day, or not?

It is a question that many ask as they are planning. Oftentimes, I find that couples are split on the idea; one partner wants to do a first look and the other does not. My hope for this post is that it will help guide and bring clarity to those who are currently asking themselves this exact question.

As photographers, as long as you have an intentionally and well-planned timeline, with enough opportunities for the amount and type of photos you are hoping to receive, it doesn’t matter whether or not you do a First Look! My ultimate answer to this question is that you should follow your gut. However, over the past decade(+) of photographing weddings, we have noticed that more and more couples are opting to do a First Look.

Why are couples choosing to do a First Look? Here’s what they’ve told us:

1. They want to spend more time together throughout the day! Oftentimes, if couples wait to see each other until the ceremony, they are spending the majority of their wedding day apart.

2. They want the first time they see each other to be private and intimate. When they’re in front of all their guests at the ceremony, they cannot hug, kiss, and share happy tears as openly. With a First Look, she gets to ask him if he likes her dress and he gets to tell her just how incredible she looks : )

3. They want the flow of their day to be mindful of their guests. Not only do they want to spend their cocktail hour with their guests (enjoying those drinks they picked out in the first place!) but they also want the cocktail hour to actually be just an hour. By doing most of the photos before the ceremony, they can avoid waiting around or wasted time for their guests.

4. They want their bridal party to enjoy as much of the day as possible, too! Let’s face it — as soon as the ceremony is over, the bridal party is thinking about having fun at the reception and not as much about taking photos. Getting bridal party photos completely done before the ceremony prevents problems that can arise with too much drinking and photo-taking after the ceremony.

Finally, what we’ve personally experienced is this: most couples who are hesitant about a First Look are hesitant because they want that emotional response as the bride is walking down the aisle. We get that … completely! But we’ve found that if the groom is going to cry … he is going to cry whether or not he has already seen her. The moment when she’s walking down the aisle is an emotional experience all in itself. The music is playing, you are standing in front of all your guests, and, most importantly, you are about to finally become husband and wife! Having a first look has never taken away from this stand-alone emotional experience.

Please leave any questions or comments below! I hope this post was helpful : ) To conclude, I have to share some of our favorite First Look moments from the last few years — of course!


For more planning tips, be sure to check out our ‘For Brides’ posts!

For Brides

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