Guest Blogger - Should you have a first look?

This blog was written by the beautiful, Danielle Lawson. She drops some serious truth bombs about traditions, and one trend in particular - the first look.

When you are planning your wedding, there are lots of different traditions and nuances to think about. Whether it’s the flow of the ceremony, when to cut the cake, or how to get pictures with all the people you care about; there are many decisions to make. There are also many different opinions coming at you from both of your families and society on how to have ‘the perfect day’.

Here’s the thing: there is no right or wrong way to go about your wedding day. Just talk with your future spouse and choose what you think the best thing for you two will be! It can be fun to talk to each other about how you picture your day together. You will each discover what are the most important moments to capture.

For my husband and I, we wanted more time after the ceremony to hangout and take pictures with our guests. This can be hard if you still have to take pictures with the wedding party and each other. For this reason (and some others), we decided to do a “First Look”. That meant that after we got all dolled up, we met in a picturesque location to see each other for the first time that day. The photographer had Nathan put his back to us, positioned me to sneak up to surprise him with my dashing wedding-day looks, and then we got to see each other before the hustle and bustle of the wedding.

Danielle First Look.jpg

Having a first look has some pros and cons to consider. Here are the ones we had to weigh:


  • Sweet time alone together before the ceremony
  • You are able to pray together over your marriage
  • Super cute pictures surprising your future hubby
  • Time for pictures both together and with bridal party before the ceremony
  • All you need is immediate family pictures before reception
  • You get to eat dinner faster and have less ‘hangry’ guests
  • Extra time to see out-of-town guests and family


  • Walking down the aisle won’t be the first time you see each other
  • Family members can get weird about breaking tradition
  • You have to get ready quicker on the wedding day


For my wedding, doing the first look allowed me to relieve some stress about the timeline. I also got see my future-spouse alone for a few moments before we tied the knot and not have to feel the eyes of all my guests as we saw each other.
Thanks for reading!

All PC: Courtney Stanley Photography