5 Pros & Cons of A First Look | Orlando Wedding Photographer

We know that wedding planning can be a ton of fun but also at times a little daunting but hopefully, we can help answer

some of your questions.  As Orlando wedding photographers one of our most commonly asked questions is should we do a first look?


For those of you that don’t know what a first look is, it’s essentially seeing each other before the ceremony happens.

It allows you to get the majority of your portraits done before the ceremony and may even give you the opportunity

to enjoy some or all of your cocktail hour.


Ghastly I know to break with the superstitious ideas that seeing your fiance before the wedding is bad luck. Despite the ever-changing

trends of the wedding industry this myth has stuck around for decades but a crack has started to develop in its concept.

Now I know I’m a little biased as a wedding photographer, but I’m always over the moon when a couple tells me they want to do a first look!

However, it’s your day and your choice.  So here are a few pros and cons of doing a first look.


Bride walking up to groom during first look in front of rustic barn doors at the Mulberry in New Smyrna, Florida shot by orlando wedding photographer

Bride and groom holding hands during their first look at the Mulberry House in New Smyrna

Black and white shot of bride and groom kissing during their first look shot by orlando wedding photographer

Pro: Wedding Day Jitters

From personal experience, this is the main reason we did a first look at our wedding.  I was so nervous about walking down the

aisle and standing in front of a bunch of people that I just needed to see Jacob to calm me down!  A first look is such a great way to

get rid of the nerves. Your fiancé is your best friend and what a better way to take a deep breath before your walk down the

aisle than to share that moment with your future spouse.

Con: Your Traditional Ideals

Many women have dreamt of their wedding day since they are little girls. One of the first things they conjure up is how our fiance will

react when they see them for the first time walking down the aisle. This idea can be hard to part with if you are a true traditionalist.


Bride and groom seeing each other for the first time under arbor at Lake Mary Events Center in Lake Mary Florida. Bride walks up behind groom and next frame groom turns around, shot by wedding photographer in Orlando.Moments after bride and grooms first look at their wedding. Couple is laughing and holding hands under greenery at Lake Mary Events Center shot by Orlando Wedding Photographer.Bride and groom hugging after seeing each other for the first time. Groom is buried in brides neck crying after first seeing his bride at Lake Mary Events Center shot by Orlando Wedding Photographer.

Pro: All the Awesome Photos

Ok, so full disclosure I’m a little biased about this one! But, when I get 1 hour of portrait time with you instead of

20 minutes it makes for one super happy photographer.  You are also typically getting two different types of lighting and might

even be able to explore a few extra spots at your venue. It also allows you to get a little comfier in front of the camera if you have

a little extra time to do it.

Con: Marching Down the Aisle May Feel Different

Little game of true and false; True, you will feel different after you see each other first and then walk the aisle. False, that its a

bad different. The moment is still climactic and the symbolism is the same. You are walking towards your new life & your

partner that will stick with you till death do you part!


Side note, we did a first look for our wedding. And my favorite image is still when Jacob sees me

walking down the aisle for the first time <3


Bride and groom share a first kiss during their first look in Winter Garden, FL shot by orlando wedding photographerBride and groom share a first kiss during their first look in Winter Garden, FL shot by orlando wedding photographer

Pro: Less Stress During Cocktail Hour

Sometimes the cocktail hour can feel a little stressful. We have a lot of portraits to do in a small amount of time…family, bridal

party photos, and portraits of the two of you.  Typically this means we have about 15-20 minutes with family, 15 minutes with the

bridal party and the remainder left with the couple. Along with portraits of the couple, doing a first look will generally also allow

me time for the bridal party. This makes for a more relaxed cocktail hour; all we have left is family portraits and few 

amazing pictures of you and your spouse!

Con: Finding The Perfect Location

We know brides and grooms already have pages of checklists to go through and adding a perfect first look location may be the

last thing you want to worry about! But if you have an experienced photographer they can give you suggestions on locations

so you don’t even have to think about it!


Bride touching the groom's shoulder during their first look at Cypress Grove shot by Orlando wedding photographerBride and groom kissing during their first look shot by orlando wedding photographerGroom looking at the bride's detail of her dress during their first look shot by orlando wedding photographer

Pro: Fresh Hair + Makeup

You’ve spent a lot of time and energy picking out all the perfect things to wear on your wedding day and you have your hair and

makeup professionally done.  Why not do the photos of you and your fiance when it’s the freshest?!? Make sure you add in a

little extra time for some quick touchups before the ceremony in case we had any tears shed.

Con: Your Family May Disagree

Family will nine times out of ten have an opinion about how you run your wedding day and they may have a hard time getting

around the idea of a first look. You may have to do some explaining but no worries read off this blog post to them and hopefully,

they’ll get the idea 😉 !


Bride and groom at first look on their wedding. Bride is walking up to groom taps him on the shoulder and in the second image the groom turns around to see his bride. Beautiful greenery in the background shot by Orlando Wedding Photographer.Bride and Groom moments after their first look. Arms are outstretched but still holding hands while the groom admires his bride in her dress, shot in Maitland Florida.Bride and groom caught up in the moment after just seeing other for the first time on their wedding day. Groom is twirling bride around so he can see her dress, shot by wedding photographer in Orlando


Pro: Private Moment

You may have heard that the number one fear amongst humans is public speaking. Well, your wedding day is declaring your love

in front of all the people that matter most to you and it can be a little nerve-wracking. A first look is such an intimate moment

that only your wedding photographer has to capture. It not only will calm the nerves but it’s a few moments on your wedding

day that it is just the two of you and it will turn into a special part of your day that you and your loved one will cherish forever.

Con: Earlier Wake Up Call

With more time added to fit in a first look means you may have to start getting ready a little earlier. If your wedding is in the

early afternoon, say 3-4:30 you may be looking at a 7 am wake up call if you’re the bride. To be honest, this doesn’t matter a whole

lot if you anticipate sleeping a full 8 hours the night before your wedding. In my personal experience, I only slept a total of

what felt like 5 minutes the night before because I was too excited 😀


Ultimately the choice of doing a first look is completely up to you! So don’t let anyone sway you one way or the other.


 If you have any specific questions please reach out.  And if you have any blog topic suggestions comment below we’d love to know!


Photography: Ashley Jane Photography.

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