Are you interested in sharing a first look with your significant other on your wedding day? If not, there are SO many benefits to consider as you make this decision! I have an entire blog post dedicated to why it’s worth it, and you can read it here.
If you know you want to do a first look, why not personalize it? This blog post will list out a few alternative options for making your first look unique to you and your wedding day!
What Does a Typical “First Look” Look Like?
The tried and true first look consists of having the groom stand and face away from where the bride approaches. The bride then walks up behind the groom and either (a) calls his name, or (b) taps him on the shoulder to have him turn around. The bride and groom then have 5-10 minutes to take each other in before moving on to romantic portraits. If this is the way you want to do your first look, that is great! I personally LOVE both of these options!! They’re classic and timeless and always result in beautiful imagery.
Recently, I’ve come across a few different options for ways to personalize your first look as I browsed for inspiration. The traditional first look options are excellent (and probably the way I would have done mine on my wedding day), but if you’re on the lookout for something else then keep reading!
Alternative First Look Ideas
- Add in additional first looks! Many of my couples elect to have a bride & bridesmaids first look and/or a father-daughter first look. I’ve also had a bride do FOUR first looks before! She first had one with her bridesmaids, then one with her biological father, her step-father, and her grandfather. We definitely touched up our makeup before the ceremony that day! I think it’s also extra special if the groom has a first look with his mom. But why not a groom & groomsmen first look? Have fun with it!!
- Exchange gifts or letters/vows during your first look. I call this one the Deluxe First Look! One of my couples had two sets of vows for their wedding day, one to exchange in private to each other and one to share during the ceremony. This was such a special way for them to connect and release their nerves before the ceremony started.
- Maybe the first look isn’t for you–that’s okay. Consider a First Touch instead! I’ve worked a few weddings where the couple decides to hold hands back to back or around a door/corner and not see each other. I think this is such a great happy medium between the tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony while also spending time with each other beforehand. It’s an intimate opportunity to pray together and exchange letters or gifts to each other as well! The downside to this option is that because you don’t see each other before the ceremony you won’t have as much portrait time. We’ll still have to photograph family formals, wedding party portraits, and bride & groom portraits between the ceremony and the start of the reception.
- Pull a prank! I haven’t seen this option in person but I have seen it online! The groom stands facing away and is approached by a groomsmen in a bridal gown or a T-Rex costume. Tons of laughs ensue, nerves fade, and then he gets blown away by his gorgeous bride walking toward him. If you decide to do the prank yourself, I would plan to add an additional hour of photography coverage because you’ll need time to get ready afterwards.
- Share a first dance during your first look. How romantic would it be to go to your reception space and dance together on the dance floor before anyone else is around? I’ve done this with a few couples right before the reception started and before guests were let in and we LOVED it! They got to practice their first dance before their big moment, I snapped a few extra photos, and it was another quiet moment together. Venue permitting, it would be so fun to have your first look on the dance floor and then embrace for a short dance together with no one around!