Over the past several years there has been a vigorous debate over whether a couple should have a traditional wedding where the groom sees the bride for the first time as she is walking down the aisle or, in the alternative, where the couple see each other for a private moment before the ceremony.  This most recent adaptation of a wedding ceremony includes what is called the “First Look”.  A “First Look” is when a couple sees each other on their wedding day before their wedding ceremony. It is a private moment for the couple, away from the eyes of family and friends.

Both ceremonies have their Pros and Cons which are outlined below.

First Look

First Look


It allows you to have a private, intimate moment with your partner before the ceremony.

This is truly special!

You will get almost all of the artistic photography done before the ceremony.

It is quite the relief for most couples to know that all of their photographs are done. This allows you to head right into your cocktail hour to mingle with your guests. Couples seem more relaxed and enjoy their night more!

You will enjoy more time on your wedding day alongside your partner.

Typically, when going the traditional route, you don’t get to spend any quality time with your partner until the reception. This problem doesn’t exist when a couple chooses to do a first look because this moment happens before the ceremony takes place.

It may help you get rid of any pre-wedding anxiety.

There are plenty of nerves that you may feel on your wedding day. Most couples share that those pre-ceremony jitters calm down once they have that moment of alone time with their partner. It’s a true calming moment for both. Your wedding day should be enjoyable!


No one (other than a discreet photographer) will see that emotional “First Look” between you and your partner.

If you were planning on showing off your emotional moment to all of your wedding guests, then the first look is not for you. The First Look is meant to be a true private moment between you and your partner.

It’s very non-traditional which could go against either family, religion or beliefs.

It’s always difficult when family, religion, tradition goes against what you would like to do on your wedding day, but this happens a lot. Most couples want to stick to what they and their family thinks is best.

Traditional Wedding

Traditional Aisle Wedding


It can be quite a magical moment.

This is the biggest reason to do the “First Look” because, although all eyes are on the bride, the bride’s focus is on the groom. However, the moment is truly magical as the doors open and the bride enters the room walking down the aisle. All of her guests are on their feet, but her focus is on the man she is marrying.

Everyone attending your wedding ceremony will get the opportunity to see the moment you first see your partner.

This magical moment between you and your partner is always beautiful when it’s seen by all of your family and friends. The tears and the emotions amaze your guests and you have a moment you’ll remember with the rest of your life.

You have more time to get ready.

If you choose to do the “First Look”, you would have to be ready a considerable amount of time before the ceremony begins. Going the traditional route allows time for relaxation while getting prepared for the big day.


You will most likely not have a lot of time for artistic photography.

Most couples typically will have their guests go right from the ceremony to a cocktail hour or reception. This means, you, the wedding party, and immediate family will have to miss out on those first moments with family and friends in order to capture all of the wanted photos. Couples have to rush these photos in order to make it to their event on time.

You don’t really get a chance during the ceremony to have a “moment” with each other.

Due to anxiety, you may have many things going through your head as you walk down the aisle.  Some brides have even noted that the magical feeling is dulled by all these invasive thoughts.  You don’t completely see your partner and get lost in the moment with them.

You will really only get to spend quality time with your partner during the reception.

Artistic photographs begin directly after the ceremony.  These include photographs with your family and wedding party. This doesn’t really give you time to take in that special moment as a married couple together.  This moment may cause stress on the couple, especially if the wedding party or family aren’t cooperating.