For Brides

Why You Should Have a First Look

I’m Allison.
Welcome to my blog! This is where I'll share past weddings, my favourite wedding tips, and sometimes I'll even throw in some sage photography advice or a personal blog post or two.
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Imagine, walking through a field towards your groom. The grass softly rustles as your dress brushes along. You have butterflies in your stomach and you know that your groom, the love of your life, is feeling the same. His back is turned to you and he’s eagerly waiting for you to call his name so he can turn around and see you, his bride, for the first time. 

You push down those excited nerves so you can speak, and when you do it’s his name that leaves your lips. He’s smiling before he even turns around because he just knows how beautiful you are in your messy hair and yoga pants and he is already picturing how breathtaking you’ll be in the gown you spent so much time choosing. 

A breathless ‘wow’ escapes his lips the moment he sets eyes on you. You slowly walk towards him, the train of your dress trailing behind you. Your eyes are twinkling and your smile is so bright, so brilliant, that it threatens to outshine the moon and all the stars. Suddenly you’re not nervous anymore, all you feel is joy and excitement.

Seeing him there in his tux brings a tear to your eye. You pick up the pace because you can’t wait any longer, you want to hug him and kiss him and tell him how good he looks! He takes a few steps towards you, closing the gap, and wraps his arms around you. That moment, that feeling, when his arms close around you, is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before and you never want to forget the way it felt when you saw each other, embraced each other, for the first time on your wedding day.

And now that we’re allllll a little misty-eyed (I’m not crying, you’re crying!), I want to take a few minutes to talk about why the first look is such an amazing new tradition and why you should consider having one on your wedding day!

What is a First Look

The first look is a relatively new tradition and so, before I dive into #allthethings, I should talk a little bit about what a first look is. A first look is when you and your groom choose to see each other before the ceremony. It’s an intimate and private moment for just the two of you, with only the camera to capture this special moment as it happens. It comes with many benefits and I’m going to get into those next!

It’s Super Romantic

What I love most about first looks is it’s this quiet, super romantic moment that you’re not going to get at the end of an aisle, with hundreds of family and friends looking at you. To be able to embrace each other and say exactly what you’re thinking, with no one but the camera to capture it, that’s something that’s so special and it’s time you wouldn’t get together without a first look. One other thing I love is because you don’t have to wait until the ceremony to see each other when you choose a first look timeline you actually get to spend more time together on your wedding day! 

It Helps the Nerves

A lot of time, leading up to the first look, there’s a nervous energy that is hanging out with all of the excitement. When you have a first look, in the moments right after, you can feel how relaxed everyone is. The tension is gone and only excitement is left and, when you walk down that aisle, you only feel love and excitement at marrying your best friend. 

You’ll Get More Portraits

When you have a first look, it creates more opportunities for portraits of you and your new husband! When you do a first look, we take bride and groom portraits immediately following the first look and then we sneak away either after the ceremony or for sunset, to get some husband and wife pictures! This way, you have two different sets of portraits instead of just one!

You’ll be Fresh for Pictures

When you have a first look nearly all of your pictures are taken before your ceremony! This means that your and your bridesmaid’s make-up and hair will still look fresh, your feet won’t be in immense pain from those beautiful but uncomfortable shoes, and the groomsmen won’t be so drunk they’re unable to follow directions. It really is a win for everyone!

It’s Your Timeline’s Best Friend

First looks can often be your timeline’s best friend, especially if your ceremony and reception are happening at the same location, for a couple of reasons. First, it cuts down on travel time. You’re not coming and going from the same location multiple times because all of your pictures are done before you get there! The second way this helps the timeline is it allows you to have your ceremony and reception timed much closer together which means that your guests don’t have to leave and then come back. This is especially helpful at locations like Stepstone where they are further from town but have the capability to host both the ceremony and reception.

I know there’s a lot of them, but I truly believe that first looks are one of the best new traditions to come about! Typically, most of my couples decided to do a first look and with all of these benefits, it’s not hard to see why! Are you doing your first look on your wedding day?

bride and groom see each other for the first time during their first look at their Thunder Bay wedding


Until next time,



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