BridalPulse: From One Bride-to-Be to the Next: Weighing the Pros and Cons of a First Look | Photo By: Anastasiia Photography | Follow @bridalpulse for more wedding inspiration!

From One Bride-to-Be to the Next: Weighing the Pros and Cons of a First Look

by Katherine Callaghan

As I begin to plan the timeline of my big day with my photographer, one of the first predicaments I’m running into is whether or no I should do a first look.  A first look photo breaks the tradition of seeing each for the first time at the altar, and for some couples, this isn’t an issue and for some it is.

I’m choosing to follow many wedding traditions for my big day, however, I can’t decide if I want to follow one of the biggest wedding traditions of all: a first look. Since I can’t decide if I want to see my fiancé before the ceremony, I’ve decided to create a pros and cons list to (hopefully!) make a better decision. Here’s why I want to do a first look at my wedding and why I don’t.

Feature Image via Anastasiia Photography


  • Calm your Nerves

One of the reasons I’m contemplating the first look is that I know seeing my fiancé before I walk down the aisle will help keep my nerves in check. I’m not one who enjoys the spotlight so I know the added attention is going to be very overwhelming. I also believe that I’m not going to enjoy our first moments down the aisle because I’m going to be concentrating on everything else happening. This is one of the most important days of our lives. I’m going to be overcome with emotions and I truly want to savor the moment. I want to be able to clearly remember everything from our first look.

  • Capture the Moment

As I browse the web, Instagram and photographers portfolios, the first look photos truly make for a sweet photo. The emotions are palpable and genuine. When you take a first look photo, there are no onlookers watching this moment, except your photographer. You two want to truly embrace this moment and each other and really take in the awestruck expression between you both.

  • Can Help with the Timeline of Your Day

For many couples, a first look will help with their wedding timeline. Of course, no couple wants to miss their cocktail hour, but if you’re sticking to a tight schedule between your ceremony and reception, some couples have no choice but to miss part of their cocktail hour for pictures. Unfortunately, my fiancé and I fall into this category. A first look would allow us to take a lot of intimate photos before the ceremony that way, in-between the ceremony and reception, we won’t have to take as many pictures allowing us to not miss a second of our cocktail hour.

  • A More Intimate Moment than Meeting at the Altar

Once you make your way to the top of the altar there’s no physical contact exchanged, like a hug or a kiss. After your walk down the aisle, the ceremony begins immediately.  A first look gives you and your partner an opportunity to simply take a few moments and be together.


  • It Goes Against Tradition

There’s something really touching about your first look happening as you walk down the aisle to marry your soon-to-be husband. Meeting at the alter is special. It’s a magical moment you’ll remember forever when the ceremony doors open and you see your partner for the first time.

  • An Emotional Moment that You Can Share With Your Guests

Playing devil’s advocate, having your first look as you walk down the aisle for you and your guests to enjoy is a really enchanting moment. Your guests are there to celebrate your wedding, and for them, this is one of the most magical parts of the wedding that your guests want to enjoy with you.

  • This is the Moment You’ve Dreamed All Your life

When you think back to your childhood years, you most likely imagined yourself as a bride, arm-in-arm with your dad, walking down the aisle to meet your soon-to-be husband. Walking down the aisle is the moment you’ve thought about for as long as you could remember. There’s a reason that seeing each for the first time as you walk down the aisle is a tradition. It’s moment in your life unlike any other!

What’s the verdict, you ask? Even after writing this post, I’m still torn. I really want to do the first look, but I feel like I might regret not taking the traditional route and seeing my soon-to-be husband as I walk down the aisle. My gut, however, is telling me to do the first look because I don’t want to wait any longer to see my soon-to-be husband! I guess I still have a lot more thinking to do.