The Logistics of a First Look

The more bridal consultations that I have, the more I find myself talking to my couples about what a first look is and what the process looks like. As a photographer, I see beautiful photos of first looks while scrolling on Instagram or flipping through the latest edition of The Knot — but I have to remember that one of the only reasons that I’m aware of what a first look is is because this is my job, haha! That being said, I don’t think that first looks are as widely known about in my area as I had originally thought. Today’s post is dedicated to what a first look is and what the logistics would look like on your wedding day!

After the bride & groom are dressed (but before the ceremony) the second photographer takes the groom to a location where he will see his bride for the first time. This location might be a park, the venue, or even the getting ready spot. The groom faces away from the direction of where the bride will be coming from and anxiously awaits for his bride to arrive! Once she does, she’ll either tap on her grooms shoulder or call out his name. From there, my second photographer and I will photograph each of your reactions (without any instruction from us)! The grooms reaction is always priceless when he sees his bride for the first time, and I just love capturing that. After you’ve enjoyed the special moment together, we’ll start taking posed bride + groom portraits! I ask my couples to schedule 45 minutes for the first look & the bridal portraits into their timeline.


Right after the bridal portraits, some couples choose to do family formals or bridal party portraits before the ceremony. Usually these happen in the same location and take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour. After the ceremony, the bridal portraits, family formals and bridal party portraits are done, which means that you get to enjoy cocktail hour with your guests! I hope this helps to better explain how a first look would come together on your wedding day 🙂 Click HERE to read about five reasons why you should consider doing a first look!

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