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What is a First Look?

First Look | Frequently Asked Questions

No matter what your background is, you want to have genuine, candid wedding photography.  A first look is a great way to get that flawless look and have an intimate moment between you and your loved one.  We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions on the first look that a lot of brides and grooms have come to us within the past.

What is a First Look?

A first look at a wedding is an intimate moment where the bride and groom see each other before the wedding ceremony.  The wedding photographer will set up the couple at the right angles for the best photos.  Usually, the first look and its location are decided far in advance before the wedding day.

first look

How long do First Look photos take?

A first look normally takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. That time fits in the wedding timeline one to two hours before guests start arriving.  You want to make sure that your wedding ceremony happens at the right time so you have enough time for everything.  A good wedding planner will make sure there’s enough time to get epic wedding pictures.

Wedding Family Formals

On most wedding timelines, it’s common for the family formals to be scheduled after the first look.  Most family formals take about 30 minutes, depending on how many people you want in those portraits.  Having the family formals right afterward helps speed up the process after the wedding ceremony.

mother of the bride and groom after ceremony

Where to have the First Look at a Wedding?

The best place for a first look is in an intimate or remote location.  An epic wide open location is usually best for an elopement in a national park or a destination elopement.  Make sure that it’s a place where you two can be together and be yourselves without holding back.  We want to make sure that you two can share a private moment without onlookers.  A lot of our favorite wedding venues have intimate places for the wedding portraits to happen.

During a Destination Wedding?

When you’re having a destination wedding, it’s can be hard to have a moment alone.  Everyone that’s traveled with you wants to spend time with you.  Sometimes a private first look in a remote location is best.  Whether it’s a cliff on the Amalfi Coast or a forest in a National Park, you can have a private moment with little to no one there but you and your loved one.

destination elopement

Why should I have a First Look?

A lot of couples want a private emotional moment between them and their soon to be spouse.  A first look is a perfect way to truly share your emotion without being the center of attention.  You two will be able to enjoy a private moment where all there is you two.


You’ll be able to truly be alone with your loved one and celebrate the magnitude of your wedding day together.  For us, our goal has always been comforting.  We want to make sure that you two are comfortable enough to show us your true selves.  There will most likely be tears, and we can’t wait.  We want to be there to capture it all in its candid nature.

intimate first look

Amazing Pictures

You will most likely get the best photographs of you two throughout the entire wedding day in this little time frame.  At this moment, you two will be alone with your wedding photographers, and we’ll be there to capture it all.

bride crying wedding portrait outdoors bramble

Your Only Portraits

As your wedding day starts to unfold, your wedding timeline might not go exactly as planned.  We’ve photographed weddings where the first look was the only time we had for wedding portraits.  Sometimes the wedding guests are late because of traffic, the weather just doesn’t fly, or the officiant is late.  Have those portraits done beforehand will help keep things going stress-free.

cypress grove estate first look

First Look Vs Traditional Aisle

Some couples want the first moment that they see each other down the wedding aisle.  The first look is when the couple goes to a remote location and have a private moment together.

Traditional Aisle Wedding Ceremony

Wihe the traditional aisle, you’ll be able to keep wedding tradition in tact.  Most of the time, grooms are less expected to show emotion during the first look down the aisle.  Especially, if all their friends are watching.

First Look

When Couples see other before the wedding ceremony, they’ll be able to take care of any stomach butterflies they have.  We’ve had couples change their mind and have a first look moments before the ceremony.  Right at the last moment, all they wanted was to just to see their significant other.

One of the best things about having a first look at a wedding is that you’ll be able to go straight to cocktail hour and spend it with your friends and family.

first look marina del rey


The First Look at a Wedding is something to consider, whether you’re having a traditional wedding ceremony or a modern and contemporary one.  After everything is said and done, it’s your wedding day and you should make it your own.  Have a moment where you two can just breathe and not have a million eyes on you.  We think it’s best when couples can run away and take some time to themselves.

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