5 specific Reasons every couple should do a first look!


Hello KGP Fam, and welcome back to another daily blog post!

Today we are going to discuss first looks, and why I believe every bride should do one!

Traditionally a bride and groom would wait until the processional to see one another. First looks aren’t traditional, but this nontraditional trend is taking the wedding industry by storm! Let’s explore why below…


1 | first looks

are private

Let’s be honest, unless you are completely comfortable with being in front of people and have zero stage fright, you’re going to be nervous about standing in front of all your beloved family and friends. I know I was! Then let’s add to the nerves by seeing our future spouse for the FIRST TIME that day IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. This method is traditional, and it works wonderfully for some couples who want to keep it traditional, but let me tell you…if you’re at all nervous about the ceremony having a first look will make it much easier. Having a first look just takes the edge off. You’ve already seen each other, the emotions have been let loose, now you can just focus on getting married.

2 | more time


This is probably my favorite argument for doing a first look! Let’s say you wait to see each other until your 3pm ceremony. Your wedding will probably run until around 10, so you can assume you’ll get a minimum of 7 hours together that day. But here’s the thing, almost ALL of that time will be spent with other people, not just the two of you. Here’s something most people don’t realize about weddings—there’s no privacy. You’re always with someone else! Unless of course, you do a first look. So let’s say you have a 3pm ceremony, but instead of waiting until then to see one another you opt to do a first look at noon. Now, not only will you get at least 10 hours together, but you’ll most likely be able to sneak some time of just the two of you in there, aside from the first look itself! Your wedding day is a day for the two of you, so wouldn’t you want to be able to spend as much time together as possible?

3 | ideal for a stress-free


Let me just say, when I am trying to form a timeline for a wedding day it is MUCH easier when the couple decides to opt for a first look! Let me give you an example of how logistically a first look is a phenomenal idea.

Let’s stick to our 3pm ceremony time, and say that the reception is at 5:00. If you decide to keep it traditional and wait until then to see each other this is how your post ceremony schedule will look:

3:00 - Ceremony

3:40 - Family Formals

4:00 - Full Bridal Party Portraits

4:15 - Bride & Bridesmaids Portraits

4:30 - Groom & Groomsmen Portraits

4:40 - Bride & Groom Portraits

5:00 - Reception begins


Now while there’s nothing wrong with this timeline, it is very rigid, and it will only work if the ceremony and reception are either at the same location or within 10 minutes of one another. Also, if there is 10 minutes of travel time, there’s only ten minutes of portrait time for the bride and groom alone! Otherwise, we will have to take time away from each portrait slot to allow for adequate travel time.

Also keep in mind that there is always someone who runs late. This is why I always try to build as much “buffer time” into the timeline as possible so that if we happen to run 15 minutes late because the groomsmen took a wrong turn, it doesn’t push back the entire schedule. This schedule doesn’t allow for very much “buffer time”, so people better be on their toes and running on time!

Also, as a photographer, I know I most likely won’t be able to get really “creative” with this schedule. I will still produce gorgeous images for you, I just (most likely) won’t be able to do anything out of the box or super creative.

Now let’s look at what a timeline could be if you did a first look. Let’s stick with our 3:00 ceremony and 5:00 reception times.

3:00 - ceremony

3:40 - family formals

4:00 - bride & groom portraits

4:30 - alone time for bride and groom

5:00 - reception begins

Doesn’t this timeline look much more relaxed and stress-free? There’s TONS of buffer time built into this schedule, and I’ll explain why! When you do a first look, you’re able to see one another before the ceremony. This means, all those group portraits that require both of you we can now do before the ceremony as well. While I always do family formals after the ceremony (I’ll do a blog post on this later) I will definitely do bridal party portraits before if I can! This is a HUGE time saver! If you don’t do a first look then we have to wait until after the ceremony to take bridal party portraits, and this can easily eat up a lot of time in the schedule. This timeline also allows for some alone time for the bride and groom, which like I said in reason #2, is very rare on wedding days.


4 | more




will thank


As a wedding photographer it is my job to deliver you with as many wonderful portraits of the two of you as possible. This is much easier with a first look because now instead of waiting until after the ceremony to take portraits (and probably only having a short window of time), we can take some before and after! It also means we can go to different locations, have more time to get creative with shots, and we don’t have as much of a time limit so you can relax.

5 | you can relax!

No matter how chill of a bride/groom you are, you will always be nervous before seeing your future spouse! Everyone is! It’s normal. :) BUT if you do a first look, you can get rid of those nerves a few hours early and truly relax for the rest of your day! It also takes some pressure off the ceremony (I touched on this before). No need to be a bundle of nerves all the way up until the ceremony! We want you to enjoy your day as much as possible!

There you have it, my top 5 reasons every couple should do a first look! If you have any other reasons comment them below! Also, did you do a first look or no? Both methods work well, I just obviously have a preference, haha!

Thank you again, everyone, for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend!

Katie xx

Kathryn GrahamComment