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To First Look or to Not First Look…that is the Question?

DISCLAIMER: We feel like it is important to say that we will NEVER force our couples to choose a first look! While our preference is for a first look and we would have one at our own wedding…tradition is tradition.

Here are your two options and the pros / cons for each:

Option #1 | FIRST LOOK


  • The biggest advantage is having an intimate moment with just the two of you. It’s important to note that this is more than likely the only time of the day that it will be just be the two of you.
  • You would have just gotten ready…so you will look your freshest! You shouldn’t be a sweaty mess, your hair hasn’t fallen and make-up is still on point.
  • If you are having a later in the day ceremony, your timeline will allow for photographs to be taken during daylight hours.
  • More time for couple portraits…means your gallery will be filled with more pictures. When the day runs late it’s almost always the couple getting the short end of the stick. More time = More picture!
  • Additional bonus is that you will be able to enjoy more of your cocktail hour since bridal party, couple portraits and the vast majority of family picture will have been taken prior to the ceremony. Let’s real cocktail apps are usually the best food of the night.


  • Because it’s tradition…who wants to upset their beloved and oh so cherished grandma who’s all tradition!
  • If you or your partner are introverts, you might not get the emotional reaction that you were hoping for. There’s nothing worse than having something built up to be let down.

Option #2 | No First Look


  • You are keeping up with tradition!
  • If you are wanting to have a cocktail hour for guests only at which you do not want to attend before the reception, it will leave you time to get your pictures taken while you guest mingle, drink and eat appetizers.


  • As eluded to before if the ceremony runs late, you can run the risk of cutting family or portrait time short, especially if you are running out of daylight hours.
  • This can be very dependent on family and guest list size, but typically the larger the family photo list is or bridal party size the photography time after the ceremony will take longer. It is important to note that without a first look you are looking at the minimum of an hour to capture family, bridal party and couples portraits. (Don’t be worried that we are restricted to get all those portraits you dreamed about…we have been known to be a magician and you would be surprised what we can accomplish in 10 minutes)

If you choose to not do a first look with your partner, here are some other options that can make your day extra special:

Enjoy a first look with your dad

Say a prayer or read a letter to your partner without being seen







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Aspen & Elm Wedding Co.