Filed in: Tips

Jun 19, 2018

What is a First Look and Why You’ll Love it

What is a first look, first look, wedding photographer

What is a First Look?

A First Look is a prearranged moment a few hours before the ceremony when the bride and groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day. It’s typically in a cute private location chosen by your photographer away from friends and family.

This moment is meant for the two of you (and me in hiding) to experience all of the raw emotions of seeing each other for the first time before becoming Husband and Wife. Traditionally, walking down the aisle is considered the most important and emotional part of a wedding day, and while it’s an important and emotional moment, it’s not the only option. Allowing yourselves to see each other before the ceremony relieves you (and especially your fiance) from the built up nerves of the wedding day and hundreds of people watching your reaction.


As soon as you arrive at the altar, you typically have to stand quietly hand in hand for 20-45 minutes while the Officiant conducts the ceremony. As time passes, the initial feeling of excitement wears off and you no longer have the same intense emotions. With a First Look, you’ll be able to tap on his shoulder and get an immediate reaction. The reaction usually involves tears, twirls, laughs, tight hugs, lots of kisses and maybe even a prayer. This is almost always my favorite part of the wedding day because I absolutely love how priceless it is! Having a First Look allows you to sincerely react and embrace one another.


Seeing each other prior to the ceremony will eliminate your nerves and allow you both to truly enjoy the moments before you become Husband and Wife. Many people don’t think they would be nervous before the ceremony until the few hours leading up to it. The tension builds when the coordinator steps in to get everyone in order and the music starts playing while the crowd watches. With a First Look, this moment is no longer nerve-racking, but it becomes exciting and joyful because you had a chance to embrace each other and relax together before walking down the isle.


With a First Look, we take 5-10 minutes to snag some gorgeous shots of the two of you then proceed to meet up with both bridal parties and get all those fun and exciting portraits done without the need to feel rushed back to the reception. We can even get the whole family together and get all of those taken care of! (Quick tip: make sure to have a designated friend or family member to round everyone up for Family Formals to make sure it runs smoothly!) Having all those portraits done before the ceremony gives you another hour or more to enjoy the company of your best friends and soon to be Husband before saying “I do.”

first look, San Diego wedding photographer

YOU GET TO ENJOY IT! Without a First Look, we have to set aside one hour after the ceremony for photos of the bridal party and family formals while the rest of your guests are drinking and eating your favorite appetizers. Couples who forego the First Look usually feel pretty constrained trying to get all the portraits done on top of setting aside even more time to sign the marriage license in order to make it back in time for the grand entrance into reception. Although we’re pretty great at staying on schedule, it’s hard to not feel rushed back to the reception. Best part about having a First Look is that when the ceremony is over, you can head straight to Cocktail Hour (and eat the food) with all your friends and family!


Couples who have a first look receive 40% more images. On top of beautiful pictures of your First Look, you’ll also have your intimate and romantic sunset portraits! Who doesn’t love more pictures?!

Disclaimer: While It’s not a requirement to do a first look with Areeg Spencer Weddings, I feel the need to share all of the benefits because I truly want my couples to have the best possible experience on their wedding day with me. Contact me today so I can help you put together a custom timeline for your Wedding Day!

Based in San Diego – Travel Welcome!

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