First Look Wedding Photos: Is it a “Do” or a “Don’t”?

by | Oct 12, 2017

First Look, Portland Maine Wedding Photography

One of my most favorite moments as a Maine wedding photographer is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time.

This special moment can happen one of two ways – first – the more traditional way is when the bride steps through the doors and the groom sees her from the front of the ceremony space. 

The other way – which is a more recent addition and tradition – is staging a semi-private meeting of the bride and groom prior to the wedding ceremony also known as a “first look”.

Which way is best? 

I’ll leave you to decide – but here’s why I recommend the “first look wedding photos” option myself as a wedding photographer. 

Here are reasons why I think first look wedding photos are a DO!

1.      It allows you to enjoy a private moment with your fiancée prior to the ceremony

  • Your wedding day will be full of craziness.  Setting aside this time can help you focus on why you’re here and see your fiancé in private before all the hoopla begins. (You can even take part in the trend of taking first look photos with Dad)

2.      It’s a great wedding photograph opportunity

  • Granted – I’m a bit biased – but the reactions you see on the faces of the bride and groom when they first see each other is pure bliss and truly – a raw reaction – which when captured – make for the best photos – at least I think!

3.      It can free up the post-wedding photography schedule (and free some of the stress!)

  • If you see each other before the ceremony, this will also allow you to get some of the planned wedding photography you want out of the way before the wedding (think wedding party photos, with bridesmaids, and/or family photos). Then you will have more time after the wedding ceremony to get the party started.  This can also alleviate stress as you know a big part of the “to-do” list for the day is already checked off.

4.      It allows you to look your best on your wedding day

  • Of course, you’ll look your best on your wedding day, but this gives you time to freshen up prior to the ceremony if needed.  Now, I’m not saying you’ll cry upon walking down the aisle (or when you see your bride or groom for the first time) but if you do a first look and happen to shed some tears – you’ll have some time so that you’ll be able to put your best face forward before walking down the aisle – which is what you want when you’re looking back at your wedding photographs on your 50th wedding anniversary! 

Alas, whatever you do and wherever you decide to see each other on your big day – don’t forget that it is YOUR day and what you decide is most important. What do you think of first look wedding photos? Are they a Do or Don’t?



P.s. Below is one of my favorite first look moments!

 first look wedding photos

Catherine Gross

Catherine Gross


My name is Catherine and I specialize in wedding photography and videography in Maine and the rest of New England. From the rugged New England coast to the scenic interior views of lakes and mountains, I will be there with you every step of the way to capture all the special moments.

Book with MeMy Service Areas in New England

Join the Conversation


  1. Carol

    I LOVE this – I so wish I would have done this for my wedding. Now that my daughter is older I can’t wait for her to have a first look!

  2. Shawndelle

    I love the first look tips.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Me

Catherine Gross
Bold, personable, and whimsical are three words that adequately describe the works of art captured behind the lenses of Maine wedding photographer Catherine J. Gross. Every interaction, session, and experience holds an element of uniqueness, as Catherine captures the moment before her with a keen understanding that every moment or person in life is unique and special.

Keep On Reading

More Posts From The Blog