Top 4 Reasons Why Weddings Should Have a “First Look”

A “first look” at a wedding is exactly what it sounds like; an opportunity for the bride and groom (or groom and groom, bride and bride) to see each other for the first time in a controlled, calming atmosphere away from everyone else. We at NuView love this moment because it can  lead to some very cute pictures. 

A typical set up has the groom facing the camera. In the distance the bride walks toward him. She taps his shoulder, he turns, and we capture all the emotions. It can be such a sweet, intimate moment on an otherwise hectic day. Not sold just yet? Don’t worry, here are some great reasons why a first look may be right for you.

  1. We cannot control the weather
    NuView will do everything within our power to get you your perfect shot. But there’s at least one thing not in our power: the climate. New England weather is confusing at best. It goes from sunny to rainy, clear skies to cloudy within a matter of minutes. This time of year, in the dead of winter, is especially brutal when the sun sets at 4:30pm. We have limited daylight to work with. For couples that want formals done both inside and outside, we have to ensure we have enough time to get those outdoor shots. Trying to coordinate a  post-ceremony/pre-reception time frame is not always possible this time of year. Preplanning to get formals done while it’s still light out will save the newlyweds and their entire wedding party from getting stressed, while still saving time for those gorgeous night shots as well.
  2. There will be tears
    Weddings are emotional! And seeing your soon-to-be-spouse, completely decked out in their wedding attire, looking absolutely perfect can cause some waterworks. For those of us who wear makeup, getting the first big cry out of the way prior to the ceremony leaves plenty of time for mascara tears to be covered. Plus, it’s hard to let out emotions in front of a hundred of your closest family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances. Having a private moment lets you express yourself.
  3. More time, more pictures
    This one is self explanatory. But think: the sooner you get formals done, the more time we can dedicate to candids at the after party. When you book with NuView, we’ll go through a preliminary questionnaire, during which we’ll note if you want a first look or not. That way, we can include it in our timeline for your wedding day and be prepared to take lots and lots of pictures.
  4. Traditions, superstitions, and more!
    We’re aware that while it’s trendy, it’s also not traditional for the bride and groom to see each other on their wedding day until they’re getting married. But why is it bad luck for a groom to see a bride before the big moment? It comes from the horribly outdated idea that a groom can’t see the bride before the ceremony so that he cannot back out if she isn’t up to his standards. Charming, really. Of course, like so many things, the meaning evolved over time and ultimately became a fun tradition. But I promise, it’s not bad luck. It’s your wedding and your choice to have the day the way you want it.

For every beautiful first moment reveal photo we’ve taken, we’ve had an equally awesome hilarious moment. For example, this bride from earlier this year knew how anxious her groom was. No problem. She sent out the best man in a wedding dress to do a prank first look. We loved seeing everyone’s smiles at the ridiculous situation. 


Another amazing surprise we captured was when a bride chose to hold an elaborate plague doctor mask over her face. The groom was completely delighted when he turned around to see her. And that’s what weddings should be about! Joy, not stress. Adding little details to make your day yours. If that means walking straight to the love of your life because you can’t hold back anymore or shocking them into laughter, we’ll be there to capture those memories.


Of course, not all of you reading this want to do a First Look. We respect that. So for you, we have some alternatives:

  1. The aptly dubbed ‘false first look,’
    In this case, the bride and groom are near each other, but no one’s actually looking. We’ve done several shots like this with spouses standing on opposite sides of doors or around separate corners. It’s a beautiful way to be together and present in the moment without having to break tradition. It also lends itself to some really sweet moments. One of our photographers likes to call this moment the ‘first touch,’ as so many couples use it as a way to hold hands, reassuring each other of their presence. Being able to hold your loved one’s hand and know that they’re there without worrying about losing that candid first look at the altar is so special. Many couples use this time to talk to each other, or read letters or vows that they’ve written. It’s a magical moment for our wedding couples to receive these photos after the ceremony and see the anticipation and glee in their partner’s face.
  2. Family member First Look
    Having your father walk you down the aisle is a very special moment. Take a private time to spend with someone you love and trust by having a first look with your mother or father. Alternatively, we’ve also seen couples do this with their young children to help them be a part of the ceremony. A groom of ours who had his young daughter in his wedding did a first look together. The pictures are simply too precious for words. Weddings are about celebrating love in all forms. Why not get your family members or best friends involved?


As photographers, we encourage first looks. It’s just another moment you get to spend with your forever-person. But remember, your day isn’t about us. No matter what you choose, your NuView photographers will adapt to give you the best experience possible.

Interested in booking NuView as your wedding photographer? Click here to read some of our client testimonials! Follow us on Facebook @NuView Photography and Instagram @nuview_photography

Read more about First Looks in this article


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    Callie is a contributor of all facets at NuView Photography. Along with writing articles for NuView, she works with customers, organizes events, and keeps everything moving along. A writer by day and a reader by night, Callie logs at least 100 books a year.