You might’ve read the title of this post and been a little confused (especially if you haven’t experienced a wedding day as a bride or groom first hand): isn’t it a given that you’ll spend the whole wedding day with your friends and family?

Well… yes and no.

Of course, you’ll be spending your wedding day with your family and friends in the same vicinity as you, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be actually spending time with them. And to be honest, sometimes wedding photography takes up a significant portion of a wedding day. And it’s challenging, because as a wedding photographer, I want to get the BEST images possible for my couples – and of course, getting the BEST images possible takes a little bit of time, between bridal party photos, family photos, and photos of the happy couple.

But what if I told you there was one magic way to spend more time with your family and friends on your big day? ONE thing that you can add into your day that will give you that time that you so desperately want?

That “thing” is a first look.

WAIT. Don’t go. Don’t click out of this post yet! A first look can evoke a lot of different emotions in a lot of different people. But before I go into why a first look might be the best thing you could do on your wedding day, let me explain what a first look is:

A first look is where the bride and groom have a private moment together before the ceremony. Yes, you read that correctly. The bride and groom will see each other before the ceremony even starts, but the beautiful thing is – they will get to have that moment together. They can talk together, laugh together, hug each other, kiss, and cry with just the two of them present.

I understand that a first look isn’t for everyone. Heck, my husband and I didn’t even do a first look at our wedding! But a few weekends ago, Nick and I photographed another wedding with a first look, and on our way home, he looked at me and said “I kind of wish we would’ve done a first look. Those two got to spend so much more time with their family and friends and shared in that moment together. I wish I would’ve been able to tell you how beautiful you looked and hugged you when you came down the aisle!”

Bingo! Though Nick and I decided to opt out of a first look for our wedding, looking back on our day – we realized that it might’ve actually been a better decision for us. We took our wedding photos right after our ceremony during cocktail hour (which is a normal time for photos!), so we didn’t get to spend that time with family and friends who had traveled so far to celebrate with us.

BUT – if we had done a first look before our ceremony, before all of the guests had arrived – we could’ve been a part of cocktail hour and would’ve had much more time to talk to our loved ones.

So the moral of the story is: if you want to spend more time with your guests, a first look might be the best option for you. We’ve heard time and time again how much more relaxed and at ease our couples have felt after having a first look on their wedding day, which is the most important thing.

Have a question about a first look? Feel free to email me at with any questions!