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Considering The First Look For Your Wedding Day. Is It Right For You?

Bride and groom first look at Chattooga Belle Farm South Carolina wedding from Destination wedding photographers Matthew Druin + Co


Traditionally, the groom waits to see his bride on the wedding day until she is walking down the aisle. The tradition originated with arranged marriages. When a couple was chosen for one another they were not allowed to see each other until the ceremony so that they wouldn’t have a chance to back out once they saw what each other looked like. Although these days couples marry for love, some still like to uphold this tradition.


The trend of waiting until the wedding ceremony to see each other is moving to spending more time together. Actually, only about 15-20% of the weddings I shoot, the bride and groom wait until the ceremony to see each other. Yes, this means seeing each other before the wedding ceremony, but as an Atlanta wedding photographer, I really believe this is the best option for a number of reasons:

1. You Get A Chance To Really Enjoy Each Other Before The Craziness Of  The Day Takes Over

If you don’t see each other before the ceremony, you likely won’t get a chance to talk with the most important person in your life on your wedding day. You see each other during the ceremony, say your vows, then you’re off with the love and praise from your family and friends. If you see each other before the ceremony, you are able to have a private moment where you can see each other, alone, and truly enjoy what you are both feeling. You can hug, kiss, talk and even cry!  This is one of the amazing parts of the day, when the couple sees each other for the first time, and where the best emotional images come from.

2. You Lose The Stress Before The Ceremony

All of the months of stressing and planning have led up to this day. Couples that see each other before the ceremony are anxious, but as soon as they see and talk with their best-friend, all the stress they were feeling, falls away. From this point on, they are much more comfortable, relaxed, and able to truly be themselves.

3. Portraits Can Be Quick And Painless

If you see each other before your ceremony, we can include all your formal portraits before the wedding ceremony so you are free to do what you and your guest really want to do after the ceremony…celebrate!

Getting people together before the ceremony is easily done with good communication before your wedding day. There are no additional guest present to work around. After the ceremony, everyone wants to love and congratulate you. Many times during portraits after the ceremony, no one can find Aunt May, and it’s much more difficult to get everyone’s attention to accomplish the task. It’s just more stressful for everyone.

4. You Can Plan Your Wedding Near Sunset

Many brides and grooms want a sunset wedding, but natural light is vital for quality portraits. If you take care of all the portraits before the ceremony, you have the flexibility to plan your wedding near sunset. Natural light is not needed after the ceremony. If you still want to wait to see each other until the ceremony, that’s ok, just plan your wedding earlier in the day so that there are at least 2 hours of daylight post-ceremony for your portraits.

Bride and groom first look at Old Fourth Ward Park in Atlanta, GeorgiaBride and groom seeing each other at first look at destination New York fusion Indian wedding

Quick Recap Of The “First Look”


– If your extremely traditional, the First Look could take away from the build up and suspense of walking down the aisle.

– Your guest won’t be able to see that “first look” you and your groom have walking down the aisle.

– Chances are good that you might cry walking down the aisle  and seeing each other for the first time; result, runny mascara.


– You can rejoice while seeing each other for the first time, soak it up, and enjoy some quiet, intimate moments alone with each other. Cry, laugh, dance – what ever you want to do! The moment is yours.

– You will get some awesome photos of you and your soon-to-be-husband and have ample time to do so. The emotions are truly once in a life time.

– Having a First Look will allow you to have most of your photos done before the ceremony. Then you can enjoy your cocktail hour and have fun with your husband and the bridal party.

– You won’t feel rushed getting photos taken after the ceremony.

– Have time to touch up your make up and relax before the ceremony starts.

As you can see there are A LOT of pros to having a First Look, and it is completely your decision, but it is something to consider.

If you like these tips you can find other wedding planning tips on my blog at Tips For Clients. If you have a topic you would like to see covered, please let me know! :D

Bride and groom looking at each other at first look by east river with New York City skyline

Ready to hire your Atlanta wedding photographer or destination photographer? Contact me now to check availability, ask questions, and to talk about your unique wedding experience! Use the form below or send an email to [email protected].


My name is Matt Druin and I’m an Atlanta wedding photographer that specializes in unique, offbeat weddings for all awesome people! Not only do I shoot amazing Atlanta weddings, but I also travel frequently for destination weddings, and weddings all over, with no travel fees in the US for amazing wedding photography. I also shoot Atlanta engagement sessions for newly engaged couples. I’ve even been known to travel, and far, for engagement sessions too!

Contact Atlanta Wedding Photographer Matthew Druin

Email [email protected]

Phone 678-551-0115

Address 225 Parkway 575 #66 Woodstock, Georgia 30188




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  • ShonaMarch 14, 2011 - 12:05 am

    It is always hard to find practiced people on this subject matter, however you seem like you know exactly what you are talking about! RegardsReplyCancel

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