Toronto Wedding Photographer | Toronto to Haliburton + Worldwide | Genuine, Intimate, + Affordable


Should I Have a First Look at My Wedding?


Before we begin let's clarify by saying that a first look is when a couple decides to see each other for the first time before their wedding ceremony. Every couple we work with, and every wedding we shoot is always different, and while we recommend doing a first look- for all the reasons you'll read listed out in this post, and because it's one of our favourite moments throughout a wedding day, ever!- it's in no way a make or break for us.

The general rule of thumb used to be that a bride and groom can't see each other until their ceremony, but so many couples now are opting to forego tradition and spend time with each other throughout the day or even get ready together!

Because the times are a changin’ and you're probably on the fence about whether or not you should have a first look at your wedding (hence reading this, right?) today we're listing out a few reasons on why you should have a first look at your wedding day!

Continue reading more below…


A lot of people think that doing a first look will take away the emotional reaction of seeing your significant other for the first time at the ceremony and while we can't say that there is or isn't a definitive answer (it's different for everyone and that's ok!) we can tell you that from our experience the magic. is. still. there

In truth, you're actually going to have a lot of emotions on your wedding day: anxiousness, excitement, nervousness, being overwhelmed, the list goes on and on. If your partner is the one person in this world who knows how to calm you like no other, this first look will allow you to see your number one rock and subside all of the nerves that have been building throughout the day, and together you can get each other through the most difficult part of your wedding (because once the ceremony's over, it's all smooth sailing!)

Case and point: Julie + Dave legally got married a few days before #CampBabarr and were just as, if not more, excited to see each other on their "wedding day" even after spending all morning and afternoon together!


Another big reason we encourage couples to do a first look is because it allows for some buffer time into your schedule. We recommend 15 minutes for your first look which of course is way more time than you actually need, but it gives you both an opportunity to take a few minutes with each other and should things end up running behind- it's ok because you've scheduled that little bit of extra time (which on a wedding day every, believe us when we say that minute counts!)

Also depending on the time of your wedding it might make more sense to have your couples session and family photos before the ceremony and so a first look becomes the perfect opportunity to kick start your day together with your soon-to-be husband/wife.

Rachel + Brandon (above) decided that they wanted to spend their cocktail hour, after the ceremony, present and with all of their guests so shooting their first look, couples session, and family photos all happened before their ceremony. All throughout the evening they kept saying that they were so happy to have gotten all of those photos done beforehand!


When you're walking down the aisle at your ceremony you'll have so many people watching and looking at you. Having a first look will allow you to see your other half for the first time alone. In our opinion, there's more magic and more intimacy in being alone than trying to keep it cool in front of all of your friends and family.

A large part of expressing your emotions is- naturally- touching. It's strange to be typing, and maybe even strange to read at first, but having your first look beforehand allows for you to touch and embrace each other for a few minutes. You finally get to show your fiancé the dress you've been keeping a secret, you can quickly talk about how crazy the morning has been, and even express how excited you are for the rest of the night to come!

Even following the ceremony so many people will want to congratulate you it's difficult to get away and have a few minutes just to yourselves; a first look allows you both to decompress, alone, before things get hectic.

Pam + Tyler (above) went into a private room to do their first look and take a few minutes to themselves before walking out the door behind them to all of their family waiting!

What are your thoughts- are you for or against a first look? Past brides, did you have a first look- why or why not, and are you happy that you did or didn't? Share your thoughts with us down below!