First Look or No First Look - Colleen Bies Photography

First Look or No First Look

September 26, 2019

First Look or No First Look?

Your first look is an amazing part of your wedding day! If you aren’t sure about this tradition, I will help explain why it would be an intimate addition to your wedding day celebration that not only adds to the experience but also reduces stress.

As always, I never want to place any pressure and am always happy either direction. But it’s still important to know and understand both sides before choosing. Please know that we would never want any of our couples to feel pressured to go with this option. However, I want to fill you in on all the goods of a first look because 50% of my couples do it and LOVE it!

Love for First Looks

Admittedly, I love “First Looks”. But sadly, not everyone is really aware of why and how great they can be. So many folks get caught up in the “tradition” of it all. Heck…I was almost of of them that wanted to keep the tradition. I wanted Andy to be so surprised and overcome with joy that he bawled at the first sight of me! Isn’t that EVERY girl’s dream? Luckily, I was able to have the most amazing moment, because on a whim, we decided to elope. We had only invited a handful of guests to join and it was so perfect for us.

My Story

For Andy, he is a quiet and shy person. He doesn’t enjoy crowds or being in large groups of people, and especially hates being the center of attention. It just feels uncomfortable for him and he gets so caught up in what he’s supposed to do that he isn’t himself anymore. So, he was thrilled with a small ceremony where he got to be him and I got to see his true reaction and his love for me come through his sweet smile in his eyes.

With my own wedding and then having photographed over 100 others, I think it’s fair to say that most brides…what they really want is an unforgettable reaction. I think there is fear that that reaction gets lost because of a first look, but really, it’s kinda nice because you now get two totally different reactions. First look is all about the shock and the love and excitement. While the walk down the aisle is all about the joy of knowing that when you walk back, you are now connected for life. And it’s an amazing experience and feeling.

Not only this, but wedding days are stressful. This is a perfect time to let time slip away and just BE for a moment. It’s not going to be often that you’ll get a private moment together on your wedding day. Let this also serve as that.

So here’s the skinny.

Not only are there amazing emotional and intimate moments formed from a first look. I’m not gonna lie that there are a ton of other benefits too.

  • Calms nerves: especially grooms, they are way calmer afterwards and knowing that they no longer have to have that added pressure of reacting a certain way during the ceremony.
  • Intimate moments together: one of the only times you’ll share a private moment together all day
  • 30% more epic images: way more images plus, we get to take them when we have fresh hair and makeup and when you are looking your absolute best on your wedding day.
  • Time with guests: your guest take time out of their weekends to join you in your celebration. This doesn’t leave them hanging while you are out taking photos. When you knock out a majority of the photos ahead of time, you actually have time to mingle with your guests and thank them for sharing your day with them.


Just an FYI but I do not require first looks by any means. I simply want to educate all my couples in the benefits should they choose to take this route. Half my couples do a first look, so there’s got to be something about it right? First look or no, I want all my couples to be truly comfortable and enjoy their day.

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