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To Look or Not to Look

The benefits of a first look from a photographer’s perspective!

To Look or Not to Look

By Chris Bailey, Owner of Chris Bailey Photography


The wedding planning has begun! Every detail and guest, the flowers and decor, caterer and band. It’s all going to come together perfectly and your unique vision will shine through! But soon someone is going to ask you, “what do you think about doing a ‘first look?'” To look or not to look… it is the question on every bride’s mind these days.


Tradition says to wait until the isle to see your significant other. For many brides, this tradition hold strong. After all, the anticipation, excitement, and ultimately the grand reveal make for a truly beautiful moment. Some brides are rewriting this approach by incorporating some dedicated, intimate moments together but without peeking. The exchange of notes beyond closed doors and holding hands around a corner are a few ways couples are finding a quiet moment together without ruining the surprise.



Many couples today are breaking away from this tradition entirely. They are deciding they want to find time in the busy day to see each other. The anticipation is still there and the moment of reveal is spectacular! But often the moment is reserved just for the couple rather than all of the guests. Couples also find other advantages to the first look. Photographers enjoy the natural light that is more readily available, even during winter months. Group photos can also be arranged before the ceremony, meaning the bride and groom can quickly scoot off to the party after the “I do’s!” Some couples express how the first look helped them to relax and enjoy the big day even more, since more of the day is spent together.



If you are unsure what you would like to do, talk to your planner and photographer. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages within the context of your day, and be sure to express your feelings on the subject. Regardless of what you decide, make sure it is your decision. Ultimately, this special day belongs to you and your future spouse, and it is always best to remain true to yourselves!


All photos by: Chris Bailey Photography


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