Wedding Planning Tips, Weddings

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Why You Should Consider a First Look

Why Brides Should Consider a First Look

Why should brides consider a first look over a traditional aisle reveal? Today I photograph many brides who choose aisle reveals and many brides who choose first looks so I definitely don’t think there is a right or wrong way when deciding how to plan out a wedding day. Ultimately it is the bride and grooms decision because it is their day!!

The traditional aisle reveal originated in times when arranged marriages were custom. The wedding symbolized the union of two families where both gained something from the other (land, money, etc). The couple wasn’t allowed to see each other before the wedding because the families feared that they would meet and decide that the other wasn’t attractive enough and call off the wedding! Because of this, they weren’t allowed to meet until the walk down the aisle so that there was no option to back out…so romantic.. ;)

Today when couples are deciding between a first look and a traditional aisle reveal, I want to make sure their decision is based on what THEY want to do, and not because of some tradition that originated because of a fear that the wedding would called off. When I consult with a couple before booking, I always ask if they have decided whether they want a first look or an aisle reveal. If they say they are leaning more towards an “aisle reveal”, I always ask why they chose that option. If they chose it because that’s what they really want, then that’s GREAT!! But if they chose it because it’s tradition or to please other people, many don’t realize that there is another way.

Related: 5 Wedding Consultation Tips



The hours leading up to a wedding for a bride (and groom) can be stressful which may even increase anxiety. Seeing your sweetheart before the wedding is the perfect way to calm nerves!


Most of the time when couples do an aisle reveal, we only have an hour between the ceremony ending and the reception beginning to get all the portraits. This includes family photos, wedding party photos, and bride + grooms portraits. By the time we have finished up with all of that, the cocktail hour has ended and the guests are starting to file into the reception (and neither have been photographed yet). This can be a very rushed and stressful time for the couple. With a first look before the ceremony we are able to get more portraits of the couple, wedding party, and family, while stilling having time to get everyone hidden away again before the guests start arriving. So much more time flexibility with this option.


Lastly, many couples don’t realize that after the ceremony when we are taking all the family, wedding party, and bride + groom portraits, all the guests are off at cocktail hour enjoying the appetizers and drinks without them. Some couples really didn’t want to go to cocktail hour to begin with, but for others this could be the deal breaker! They choose to do the first look solely because they want to enjoy drinks with friends and family after the ceremony instead of missing everything because we needed photos.

I hope that this information helps give brides and grooms some options when they are deciding whether to do a first look or an aisle reveal on their wedding day. As I mentioned before, there is no right or wrong way! Just make sure that you are doing what YOU WANT TO DO and not what EVERYONE ELSE WANTS YOU TO DO. Let me know if you have any other questions about first looks or aisle reveals!


  1. […] whether you want to do a first look or an aisle reveal. Don’t know what the difference is? Check out my post about it HERE! This question makes a big difference on how much coverage you’ll need on your wedding day. […]

  2. […] Click here to see the pros of a first look and why I always recommend it to couples! […]

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