4 Fun Ways To Do Your First Look

Have you thought about whether or not you’ll do a First Look at your wedding?  Perhaps you’ve thought about it and you’re on the fence.  Maybe the idea of your fiancé seeing you for the first time as you make your dramatic walk down the isle has been a dream of yours.  On the other hand, maybe you’ve been to a few friend’s weddings and are already sold on the idea of a First Look.  It’s a personal decision that only the two of you can make together and at the end of the day, you have to do what feels right for the two of you!

While this article is focused more on the HOW rather than the WHY, let’s talk a little bit about the pros & cons of having a First Look.


-gets nerves out of the way early

-more time at your cocktail hour

-the choice to do it in private, or have wedding party and family standing off at a distance

-more time together just the two of you

-more great photos of the two of you

-they’re FUN!


-they require some advance planning

-they’ll take a bit of time (15-30 minutes)

-it can feel awkward for the groom to stand and wait while everything is being set up

OK, so let’s say you’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided that you definitely want to have a First Look.  Now what?  Well, read on for some fun ideas and examples of how you can arrange or customize the First Look experience for yourselves.


The Shoulder Tap is probably the most common way to do a First Look. It’s also pretty straightforward and easy to set up.  First, the groom is stationed with his back towards the direction of the bride.  She’ll walk up behind him, tap him on the shoulder and he’ll turn around to see her.  Viola!  Pretty easy right?




Next up: the Hand Hold.  This is one of my personal favorites, because it’s as easy as it is cute.  In this scenario, we’ll position the groom on one side of an object, such as a large tree, pillar, door or wall.  Then we’ll place the bride on the other side of the wall or tree.  Without seeing each other, we’ll have them hold hands for a minute while we snap away.  Then we’ll have them turn and see each other for the first time!




The Back to Back is a variation of the Hand Hold. In this case, there is no object separating the bride and groom.  Like the Shoulder Tap, we’ll first position the groom with his back facing the direction the bride will be coming from (so he doesn’t see her).  We’ll then place the bride with her back gently touching his.  At this point, and without turning just yet, they’ll exchange cards.  For the next minute or two, they’ll each open their card and read quietly.  This one can get kind of emotional, but in the best way.  After the cards are read, the bride & groom will turn to meet face to face.  First Look success!



This one’s a little more dramatic.  Instead of the bride & groom already being close before they turn and see each other, in this scenario the groom will turn around when the bride is standing away a few yards.  She will then walk to him to meet him while he stands, watching and waiting.  Sound familiar?


FROM A DISTANCE is a bit trickier to set up with the lighting, unless it’s a cloudy day which would make it easier.  It’s also a challenge to coordinate with the  second photographer and especially videographers in the mix.   The idea is to capture the action without getting one of us in each other’s shot!  So this one requires a bit more time, but in my opinion it is totally worth it if this set up sounds good to you!

Here is another example of the FROM A DISTANCE, below:



So there you have it.  Four fun ways to plan your First Look.  Do any of these ideas stand out for you?  Is there one that seems to fit in more with your personal style and your relationship?  If you’ve seen another fun way to do a First Look, definitely let me know in the comments section below.

Hopefully this article will have given you some inspiration and has you thinking about how you want to do your First Look.  Are you excited yet?  You should be!  No matter what way you choose, your photographer will be able to help guide you in your decision, choose a beautiful location beforehand and schedule your First Look effortlessly into your timeline.  All you need to do then is show up and enjoy the ride.

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