8 Reasons Why We Love A Wedding First Look – and Photos to Inspire!

wedding first look

What is a Wedding First Look?

A wedding First Look is an intimate moment where the bride and groom see each other for the first time – typically before the wedding ceremony.  The wedding photographer will set up the couple at the right angles for the best photos to capture this moment from the wedding day.

First Looks before the ceremony have pretty much become a staple on the wedding day. While we still have love for the old school “see him or her for the first time down the aisle” look, there really is something special about capturing that first incredible moment. Not to mention, every time we ask a couple their favorite part of the day, the highlight tends to revolve around those quiet times together before the craziness takes off.

top photo by Eden Strader

8 Reasons Why We LOVE and Recommend a Wedding First Look

  1. It calms the nerves! Any stress, nerves, jitters or fears will be gone by the time the ceremony starts. You’ll be able to be calmer when walking down the aisle and able to enjoy the ceremony.
  2. The feelings don’t go away. Most couples (us GWS editors included!) mention the walk down the aisle is JUST as emotional for them. It doesn’t take anything away from that special moment.
  3. More opportunities for photos! Depending when you do your First Look, you could set aside 30 minutes, an hour or even 2 hours for portraits! This isn’t possible if you do your portraits after your ceremony as you don’t want to miss your reception.
  4. You won’t miss cocktail hour! This is the time when you would do portraits if you don’t see each other before the ceremony.
  5. You can CHOOSE the location for your first look! Take a look at the photos below and you’ll get lots of ideas where you can do the first look. Maybe it’s outside your venue, in a room with great light, a staircase – or something totally different from your ceremony!
  6. If you are having a winter wedding, you lose light quickly and this will allow you to have the best light for your portraits.
  7. Privacy. I know I wanted to keep this special moment between the two of us – not all of our guests. This really gives you some special time alone on your wedding day as this will probably be the only time you’ll have just the two of you.
  8. Be present at your wedding. You’ve heard it before – the wedding day FLIES by! By giving the two of you time to take portraits before the ceremony and reception, you’re able to enjoy time with your guests and really be able to be present and soak it all in!

So, in the spirit of why we LOVE a First Look, we’ve rounded up First Looks that will make you cry, laugh, and truly feel the joy! Some are creative, some are breathtaking, and all are a peek inside those human moments that make us LOVE love. After all, there’s nothing like the first time, is there?

In 3, 2, 1…you may now see the bride!

Views for Days

wedding first look over the water

photos by Briana Mary Photography + wedding design by Wild Heart Events

Love So Sweet

sweet wedding first look

photos by Anna Delores Photography

She’s Got a Way

wedding first look with bride and groom

photo by Kami Olavarria Photography

Totally Overcome!

sweet first look

photos by Shelby Spencer

On Top of the World

sweet first look

photos by India Earl from this French-Bohemian Wedding

Pure Happiness First Look

sweet first look

photos by Jordan Voth Photography from this Southern Wedding on a Historic Estate

Here She Comes!

first look

photo by Erin McCall from this Modern Wedding with Red Pops

Can’t. Even. Believe.

desert first look

photo by Laura Goldenberger from this Modern Palm Springs Wedding

Love Lookin’ Good

first look

photo by Molliner Photography from this Elegant Farmhouse Wedding

Here Comes the Bride

groom sees bride

photo by KCM Studios

Feel it All

first look

photo by Leah Moyers

Can’t Hardly Wait

first look in a field

photo by Shari and Mike from this Vintage Camp Wedding

Dad + Daughter First Look

first look with father of the bride

photos by Lauren Nicole from this Moody Warehouse Wedding

Parents of the Brides

first look with father of the bride

photos by Magnolia + Ember at The Belle Hollow

Feel the Love Wedding First Look

happy first look

photo by Katch Silva from this Malibu Winery Wedding

Blind Love

blindfolded first look

photos by Phil Chester from this Intimate Wedding Guatemala

Just Behind the Door

first look behind door

photo by Plum & Oak Photo from this Tropical-Bohemian Wedding

Absolutely Epic Wedding First Look

adventure couple first look

photos by Priscila Valentina from this Mountain Elopement in Norway

Come Fly With Me

first look with a helicopter

photo by Shari + Mike from this Wedding in the Canadian Mountains

Made You Look!

funny first look

photo by Feather & Twine from this Boho Greenhouse Wedding

Best Man’s Got Jokes

funny best man first look

photo by Mari Sabra Phtotgraphy from this Backyard Marsh Wedding

Want more First Looks? Check out our gallery for more!