Wedding Day “First Look” Lets You Share An Intimate Moment with Your Babe

Two of my friends just got married. Before the wedding, I asked them if they were planning to have a “first look.”

A first look is when the soon-lyweds see each other before the actual wedding ceremony. Rather than waiting to see each other walk down the aisle, couples opt for an intimate moment with each other before the big day ahead of them. Typically, this means the photographer will arrange a surprise reveal of sorts for the brides/grooms.

Photo Copyright Erin Hoyt Photography

They were both pretty opposed to the idea because it goes against tradition — one of them even insinuated that a first look was “cheating.” I was shocked that these 20-somethings, living in New York were so keen on first looks being fraudulent. Naturally, I gave them my two cents.

Whenever I get wedding submissions and the couple does a first look, they always mention that it was hands-down, the best moment of their day. If you are going the traditional route and not seeing each other until your both fully ready (hair, makeup, dressed to the nines), it’s even more powerful. Since there aren’t a sea of eyes all on the couple, the pair is more likely to express their emotions. Who is going to break down crying in front of 150 guests if they can avoid it? If it’s just you and your spouse-to-be, it’s going to get raw. And beautiful. My favorite images are always those from the first look. They are so genuine, unfiltered and moving.

Outside of the emotional realness, it’s the only time you have together during the day! Every other moment of the day will likely be spent making sure things are going okay, talking to guests, being in the spotlight. I love the idea of being able to take a deep breath together as you prepare for a huge step in your lives and a very hectic day.

If you opt to not do a first look, try a mini portrait session after the ceremony with just you and your spouse — get away from the craziness, leave the cocktail hour and spend a few minutes enjoying each other’s company. After all, this day is all about you two.

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Kate Schaefer

Kate Schaefer grew up in Minnesota & moved to New York City for college. While interning at Gothamist, Kate realized that there was a lack of wedding resources for the LGBTQ community. She decided to combine her love of online shopping with her desire for LGBTQ visibility by creating H&H Weddings!

Kate has written 2 articles for us.


  1. Ah, so like the opposite of a high caste Castithan wedding?
    That’s cute ‘n’ tooth-rottingly sweet, maybe one could include like an anti-telo fer this first look thing.


  2. Beautiful photos! I also highly recommend taking some time, just the two of you, immediately post-ceremony. No photographer, no one. It’s a good time to take a breath and reflect together in between all of the very public other stuff.

    • Yes! Definitely built this into our timeline so that we had some time for just us before joining our guests at the cocktail party.

  3. I’m getting married in March and am SOOOO excited for this moment. We’ve kept our dress purchases secret from one another and plan on spending the night before our wedding apart so that our first look really is the first time we’ve seen each other all day!!! <3

  4. We just booked our photographer the other day and are planning to do a first look! Very excited for it as we’re spending the night before in different places :)

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