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Alicia DiPerri

Should I Do a First Look?

Wedding Tips

Should I Do a First Look

Want to know the very thing that my couples ask my opinion on the most? Well, refer back to the title! Should I do a first look at my wedding? Over the weekend, I was talking to one of engaged friends who’s wedding I’m shooting! I asked her and her fiance if they were planning on doing a first look and they said they hadn’t decided.

As we began talking, I saw that similarly to most of my clients, they didn’t know how much having or not having a first look could greatly impact the timeline of their wedding day. After our talk, they had a game plan and told me how much they had learned that they wouldn’t have even thought about. Which is why I am here with you lovelies today to try and help you decide if you would like to do a first look on your wedding day! I truly don’t think there is a “right” answer for this, but it is good to know how each play a role in your wedding day. With that being said, let’s begin!

The Moment Of The First Look

Before the Ceremony

You will have this time to slow down and take in the moment, just the two of you. This time also takes off some of the pressure and nerves of walking down the aisle. It is just the two of you, sitting in the sentiment that is your wedding day. You can truly take each other in and spend as much time as you would like. And friends, as crazy as it sounds, finding time for just you and your husband on your wedding day can be HARD. So, this can be a great choice if you are really hoping for that time.

During the Ceremony

Let me tell ya, I am a girl that loves traditions! So, I understand this desire to want to wait until you walk down the aisle! It is a special time for your groom to see you in front of everyone who made you who you are. You are able to share that moment with all of your loved ones. Not to mention those photos of the groom crying at the alter as his bride walks down are to die for!

Photo Timeline

With First Look

90% of your posed photos will be finished before your ceremony. You will be able to get your full bridal party photos, and half of your couples portraits done before hand. This comes to about 35-40 minutes of shooting. This is nice because, people. get. tired!! Not to mention, your makeup will be fresh for more photos! There comes a point in your wedding day when it is nice to just enjoy the time and celebrate with loved ones! And typically people feel this way after their ceremony. You are married and just want to enjoy! The last thing some people want is MORE pictures! 35-40 minutes worth to be specific.

Without First Look

The truth of not doing a first look, is that you will need to expect to take more photos after the ceremony. Some people don’t mind this at all! They LOVE pictures and just want to live in the joy of “We just got married!!” in their photos! If that is you, I say go for it!! But if you know ahead of time that either you or your groom will not be in the mood for as many photos right after the ceremony, I would consider looking into a first look.

Cocktail Hour

With First Look

The last point leads me right into my next point, of cocktail hour. If you have a first look, you will only need to spend 20 minutes tops to take photos. This time is used to take combined family photos. Your guests can use this time to head over to the reception, find their seats, and mingle with others. There is no need for cocktail hour, which can end up saving you a lot of money. Not to mention, your guests won’t just fill up on cheese and crackers before the meal!

Without First Look

If you are tacking on an additional 35-40 minutes worth of photos, then you have to feed your people. This doesn’t mean to let them go ahead and eat dinner, because that should happen after the bridal party introductions. But, you should provide a cocktail hour for your guests. Because on top of the 35-40 extra minutes, you will also need to do combined family photos, which could take up to 20 minutes. Hence the hour for cocktails! The last thing you want are hangry guests!


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the artist





Wedding and lifestyle photographer, rescue dog mom, Disney lover, and a type 2 BFF. I'm glad you're here! Now let's get to know eachother!