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5 Avoidable First Look Mistakes!

First Look Wedding Ideas

By Jeffrey House Photography


Are you looking for first look wedding ideas? 

The instant you and your partner see each other for the first time on your wedding day is a truly special moment.  Your reactions can vary.  Some couples have beaming smiles from their pure happiness and others express their emotion through tears of joy.  

Most couples envision their first look and imagine their reaction, but until you're in the moment, you never really know how it will impact you!

Approximately 75% of the couples we work with have a first look.  In this article, we are going to share 5 avoidable first look mistakes to help make your first look an amazing experience!  

why should you have a first look?

Traditionally speaking, the first look occurs as the bride comes down the aisle to meet her partner.  This has always been regarded as one of the most significant moments of the wedding ceremony because it tends to evoke a lot of emotion.  

However, many couples are now electing to have their first look prior to the ceremony and we are going to share the most common reasons why.


Many people are uncomfortable being the center of attention.  It makes them feel self-conscious and awkward; therefore, they elect to experience their first look in a more private setting where they can avoid these added stresses.

Display Of Emotion

A lot of couples don't want a traditional first look because they can arouse strong emotions.  They don't like or feel comfortable displaying their emotion in front of people, let alone 100+ wedding guests!  Having their first look  in a more secluded location allows them the comfort to fully enjoy the moment.  


A lot of couples today care very deeply about spending as much time as possible with their guests.  They don't want to spend 2-3 hours taking pictures causing them to miss a good portion of their wedding reception.  Having a first look before the ceremony allows us to capture 80-90% of the "must have" photos that traditionally are captured following the ceremony.  This saves a lot  of time and gives you more time to spend with your family and friends!

Not Keeping It Private

For many couples, privacy is one of the motives behind having a first look.  It may not be the biggest or only reason, but it's usually a contributing factor. 

You may find you get a lot of requests from family or friend to be a witness to your first look.  If possible, I recommend limiting it to you and your partner.  If parents insist on experiencing it with you, that's certainly fine, but keep it to just your parents.  

Unfortunately, many couples regret not keeping their first look private.  When you let too many people watch - even a small group of people - they usually wind up creating a lot of distractions and it detracts from your moment.  

Not Enjoying A Genuine Moment

Your first look is one of those unique moments from your wedding day.  It's a moment in time that can never be recaptured or recreated.  You may have a hundred different worries on y our wedding day, but allow yourself 15 minutes to let them go.  

Embrace this moment.  Be present with your partner.  Enjoy this truly genuine moment.

Don't Wing It

It's surprising how many couples plan on having a first look and they tell us they will just "wing it."  They figure at some point before the ceremony, they quickly decide on somewhere to meet.  

The moment we hear first look, we stress how important this moment is and how important it is to not wing it.  Every couple we've worked with expresses relief when they hear this because they weren't sure what other options they had.  

There are a lot of different ways to have a first look and you're going to want beautiful photos to ensure you have this memory forever!  Be sure to approach your photographer if you plan on having a first look.  They will help you select a beautiful location and they help you in making this a great experience!

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Not Trusting Your Photographer

With so many couples having a first look, it's likely your photographer is well experienced in photographing and coordinating the exact details.  

Discuss with your photographer what you want from your first look and let them incorporate their creative experience and ideas to make it an amazing moment.

Don't Have Unrealistic Expectations

Some couples feel a little let down after their first look and this is especially true when it comes to their partner's emotions.

You may think because you're having a private first look that your partner is going to burst into tears they moment they see you.  But, what if your partner isn't a crier to begin with?  They may be incredibly happy, cry or look like a deer in headlights because they are overwhelmed with emotion.

Bottom line, let go of any expectations you may have and just enjoy the moment.  Your partner's reaction has no meaning of influence over how much they love you.  

Is a first look right for you?

You and your partner will need to discuss the idea of having a first look at some point.  There are many great benefits to having one, but some couples don't want to stray from tradition.  

Whatever works for you and your wedding is what's most important.  If you decide to have a first look, your photographer will be a great resource to help you bring it all together.  Remember, let go of any expectations and immerse yourself in the moment!


what do you think about having a first look?  be sure to comment below!