First Look Pros and Cons


Remember in “Along Came Polly” when Reuben Feffer created a pros and cons list for dating Polly Prince? … Well we heard you were torn between doing a first look or not, so we pulled a Reuben and "pro and con"ed it for you!

There are absolute pros and cons to doing a first look. It all boils down to what is best for you, your partner and the flow of your wedding.

Of course we love to see the reaction of the groom seeing his bride for the first time as she turns the corner to walk down the aisle but there are some serious time saving and special moments caught on film during a first look, so what to do…

First, think about what is important to you. As tradition goes, the groom does not see the bride at all on the day of the wedding until she walks down the aisle, this leads to that epic moment when the two of you lock eyes and you both get to share your reactions with your guests. Throwing tradition to the wind, during a first look, this moment can become much more intimate and gets to be shared with just the two of you. With doing a first look, the planner and the photographer have control of placement and camera angle to ensure that his reaction is captured. Waiting till ceremony to capture reactions can impost obstacles of getting the perfect angle. With bridal party, guests, moving parts and timing to work around, “the shot” isn’t always as flawless.

PRO - intimate moment between the two of you

CON - No“reaction”photo at the aisle, tradition to the wind

Doing a first look can save you some serious time after the ceremony and even allow you to enjoy part of your cocktail hour. By having your couple portraits done ahead of time, this can give you the option of having your bridal party photos done ahead of time as well, if time permits. Having your couple portraits done before ceremony also helps ensure that all of your family portraits can be done quickly and efficiently just after ceremony, freeing up time to enjoy that cocktail lounge you had to have, or even just relaxing in the bridal suite for a moment before grand entrance!

If you are having a a bit of a “I want it all moment” we have an idea. When you're watching “Say yes to the Dress” and the bride is like, ”Yeah, I love it but I’m just not sure” and then Monty says “Let's jack her up” and they add the veil and bouquet and everything changes and they all cry!? Well, we already know that your dress is incredible and you want to see your man already, so first look can be done after you are in your dress but before you get all jacked up, and then the element of surprise is still achieved when you walk down the aisle with your stunning veil, incredible bouquet and the extra sparkle in your eye, win-win!

PRO - you (and bridal party) can enjoy cocktail hour

CON - Best Man gets extra time at Cocktail hour ;)

Ok, so you are still set on the groom NOT seeing the bride before the wedding, but can’t get the “intimate moment” photos out of your head, there are alternatives! Instead of doing a first look with the bride and groom, you can do a family first look. This opens up options like, Daddy-Daughter, Mother-Son, Grandparents, Bridal party, or any other special guest to have that intimate “first look” moment with the bride OR groom, still keeping tradition alive and bride and groom separate. There are also options like “first touch” where we keep those eyes closed (or covered with a cute blindfold) and the bride and groom get to touch or even smooch for the first time on their wedding day. If you want to save the smooch for the altar, prayers, love letter and lyrics are also precious words you can share without seeing each other!

Blissfully Styled Events Orange County Wedding Planner Family Reveal Dad First Look

PRO - Intimate moment photos with family member

PRO - Keeping tradition alive

CON - Less time at cocktail hour with guests for Bride and Groom

Are we Pro or are we Con First look? Ultimately, we are PRO! First looks lead to incredible portraits and keep the flow of a wedding day timeline in check, while giving you plenty of time to celebrate and enjoy your wedding with your guests!

Blissfully Styled Events Orange County Wedding Planner First Look Couple Portraits

Just remember no matter WHERE you are when you see your partner for the first time on your wedding day, you are going to get all the feels, and there will be photos to remember it. Doing a first look has great time saving, and logistic benefits, but we get it, there is something to be said about the way tradition goes and the look on a grooms face when she turns that corner!

Remember that it is your day, your flow, your choice!


Karen Sieger