Still debating whether or not to do a first look?

Hi friends! I'm Hope and I am a wedding photographer based in Virginia. I was a COVID bride in 2020 and I have since fallen in love with capturing the small and big moments. Your wedding day is SO special and I absolutely love getting to be a part of each and every love story.

First looks have always had mixed reviews for couples and their family's, but at the end of the day; it's all about what YOU want. With that being said, here's what I think about first looks!


To First Look

I'm going to be fully transparent with you; I LOVE first looks! First looks give the opportunity for you and your significant other to have that special moment just between you guys. If you're worried about not having the same emotion; I have seen plenty of weddings where they had a first look beforehand and were still tearing up when it came to that walk down the aisle! Of course, everyone is different, but you know what works best for you and what makes you feel more comfortable.

First looks can help ease a lot of the anxiety before the ceremony. All those jitters and nerves are released before-hand, and you'll be a lot less stressed when it comes to processional time. It'll also give you time before the ceremony to spend together and relax a little bit!

Another great reason to have a first look is so that you can take your bridal party (if you have one) and any other portraits you'd like BEFORE the ceremony! This way you don't have to rush your portraits after the ceremony/during sunset or the family photos.

Not to First Look

In some cases (not all), doing a first look can take away from the moment down the aisle. For example, if you're having a smaller wedding with just people you're very close with, you may actually want to have this moment all together! After all, that's why you've invited everyone closest to you, right? They'll be able to see your genuine reactions to seeing each other for the first time and that is just as special as having the moment to yourselves.

You can always do something in place of a first look! I'm sure you probably have seen some of the alternatives. Just to name a few you can do a gift exchange or a first touch without seeing each other to pray or exchange your vows ahead of time. The only thing that really changes the timeline is adding the bridal party photos (if you have one) after the ceremony, so you would need to account for an extra 15-30 minutes for those.

The traditional route is still a great option to go about if you want that first reaction to be with those you love at your wedding.


I hope this helped you make a decision or just gave some good insight from a photographers perspective! Either way, your wedding day will be perfect for YOU.

Below are some photos from my most recent first look!