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Why You Should Consider a Wedding First Look

A wedding first look is that joyful moment when the couple sees each other for the first time before saying ‘I Do.’ It’s so intimate, emotional, and oh-so-beautiful! It’s usually just the two of you (and your photographer 😉), capturing every glance and teary eye.

It’s become a modern tradition, and I’m SO here for it! Let’s discuss why you should consider including a first look in your wedding timeline, the pros and cons, and alternatives if you’d like to save the big reveal at the altar.

The Pros of Having a Wedding First Look

Calms the Nerves

Your wedding day is one of the most beautiful, exciting days of your life. However, it can also be a bit stressful and overwhelming. Seeing the love of your life for a moment before the whirlwind of your wedding day can help you both relax and soothe those wedding day jitters!

More Alone Time

You’ll spend most of your wedding day surrounded by your loved ones, who are excited to celebrate both of you. Having a wedding first look would give you a sweet and private moment to enjoy each other’s company.

More Wedding Photo Opportunities

Having a first look allows you to have more wedding photo opportunities! Usually, my couples opt for a first look + wedding portraits and then, after the ceremony, for the golden hour shots!

Weddings can be a rollercoaster full of surprises and, yes, sometimes delays. It would not be ideal to rush your portraits after your ceremony if the sun is already setting or the ceremony ran a bit longer than expected, for example.

Getting some wedding portrait time before the ceremony will ensure you have more beautiful photos to look back on!

More Time With Guests Later On

Without any unexpected delays, a wedding first look will save time for you later when it’s time to transition from ceremony to reception. With most of your couple’s photos done, you get extra time to mingle with your guests for a cocktail hour!

The Cons of Having a Wedding First Look

Time Management

The biggest downside of having a first look is needing to be ready earlier. Most couples have to be ready 2-3 before the ceremony to have their first look and snap some wedding portraits beforehand.

Wedding First Look is “Not Traditional

If you’re a sucker for tradition, this might not be your jam! While a first look feels more and more traditional these days and doesn’t fully ruin the big reveal of walking down the aisle, it may be the moment you want to share with all your guests.

Wedding First Look Alternatives

If you read through the pros and cons and feel like a first look is not the perfect fit for your big day, here are some alternative ideas to consider!

First Touch

It’s like the best of both worlds! Hold hands around a door or a corner, hear each other’s voices… You get to share an intimate moment with your partner without actually seeing each other! 

bride and groom first touch in a beautiful field, Bemidji MN

First Look With Your Loved Ones

A first look is not limited just to you and your partner! You can still have a first look with your mom, dad, bridesmaids, grandmother – whoever you’d like to share this special, emotional moment with!

The first looks with dads always make me tear up behind the camera. 🥺💖

Amelia Jo Photo | Minnesota Wedding Photographer

Whether you opt for a wedding first look or stick with tradition, remember it’s YOUR DAY! Make it special, and make it YOU!

And if you’re still looking for someone to capture your Minnesota wedding, I’d LOVE to hear from you! You can learn more about me here! And if you’re ready to get this party started – inquire with me here! I can’t wait to learn all about your love story!


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Minnesota based wedding and lifestyle photographer living in good ole Bemidji, MN. I specialize in capturing moments of love from birth to marriage and everything in between.

hey you!

I'm Amelia








Minnesota based wedding and lifestyle photographer living in good ole Bemidji, MN. I specialize in capturing moments of love from birth to marriage and everything in between.

hey you!

I'm Amelia