Top 7 Reasons to Do a First Look on Your Wedding Day

If you’ve landed here, you’re likely a bride researching reasons to do a first look on your wedding day. Being a Nashville and destination wedding photographer, I can’t hide my love of first looks! And listen, I get it…this is a fairly new trend, bucking the ages old tradition of not seeing your groom until you meet at the altar.

I was a bride not too long ago, so I was in your shoes and did the same research! What I’m sharing today is a combination of having been a bride and also a wedding photographer and the knowledge I’ve gained from both. For our wedding day, I went back and forth on doing a first look. I literally changed my mind the day of and decided against it. By the time it was time to do portraits after the ceremony, I regretted that decision. I still wish we had done the first look! So, today I’m sharing my top reasons to do a first look.


1. You get the nerves out earlier!

It’s no secret that wedding day jitters exist. Wouldn’t you rather see your bride to be or groom earlier in the day to have them help calm your nerves? I think this is way better than relying on alcohol to calm your nerves before you walk down the aisle. Or having your groom take shots with his guys!

2. More time with your guests.

The whole reason you invited your guests to your wedding was to spend time with them. When you do a first look, you’re able to get MORE time with them. It gets you to your reception faster…and who doesn’t want longer to celebrate with the people you love the most?

3. With a wedding first look, you’ll get more wedding images of the two of you.

The reality of a wedding day, is that it goes so quickly. And even when it’s super well planned, the timeline is usually a little thrown off here and there. Planning a first look is the best assurance that the two of you get amazing, uninterrupted time to snuggle in close, and love on each other. And with that, it mean’s that you’ll get first look photos, plus all of your portraits, and we’ll even sneak out from your reception to grab a few sunset portraits, too! These will be the images you hang in your home and that grace the pages of your heirloom album.

4. Bridal party portraits done sooner.

Which means your bridal party (ahem…groomsmen) won’t be complaining that they’re hot and sweating after the ceremony for more portraits. They’re able to escape to the reception and start celebrating sooner.

5. Lengthen your reception time.

Let’s get really honest for a second. Yes, you’re looking forward to being someone’s wife, and calling him your husband. BUT you’re probably equally as excited to party on down during your reception! Amirite? Getting your couples portraits out of the way before the ceremony means you’ll get to spend more time and can even add time to your reception!

6. Look your best.

By doing a first look earlier in the day, your makeup will be fresh, your hair perfect…and if you’re getting married and it’s hot outside, your groom won’t already be over hot in his suit. You’ll look and feel your absolute best if you take your portraits earlier in the day. And no worries, we can schedule a quick portrait session later in the day to make sure we get the beautiful, golden hour sunlight, too!


Can you tell this is my #1 favorite reason to encourage couples to do a first look? If you do a first look, this will be intimate, uninterrupted time together. And typically it is the ONLY time you will get with just you and your bride or groom alone on your wedding day! During your reception, you’ll be bombarded with guests to hug and say hello to. Take the time to have a quiet, intimate moment together. Plus, the couples portraits we take immediately after your first look are always full of emotion. There’s no denying reasons that first looks help the flow of your wedding day, but these romantic portraits are the ones you pass down. It’s not as rushed. And truly makes for a more enjoyable portrait experience (especially if you have a groom who hates photos!).

Are you still searching for your Nashville wedding photographer? I’d love to chat with you!

Love this? Check out this post on how to plan your engagement session!


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