The Benefits of Having a “First Look” on Your Wedding Day

This is one of the most talked about questions when dealing with our amazing wedding couples. We have a deep love for “first looks” here at ADP, mainly because they are awesome, but let us explain. While we do have some traditional couples who prefer to see each other at the ceremony (which is absolutely fine!), a majority of couples say “Yes!” to the big reveal and it can be a great, fun, and intimate encounter. And that saying “It’s bad look to see the bride before the wedding..” that’s a bunch of bologna! While we know some brides love “tradition,” what most brides want is “reaction,” and there’s a stigma that the amazingly emotional and special moment of walking down won’t produce that same reaction with a first look.Well, we are here to say..that’s not true!


We know a wedding day can be a bit (or a lot) stressful for a bride and groom.

“I have to have my make-up perfect.”

“What time is it?”

“When are my flowers arriving?”

“What is this flower thing and how do I put it on my jacket?”


As the day goes on, the tension grows and before the ceremony starts, the anxiety builds. As much as grooms can seem cool and collected on the big day, they get nervous too! Is walking down the aisle and having all your guests watch both of your facial expressions and actions private and intimate? Yes, it is powerful and amazing, but some couples don’t want that pressure weighing on them before the ceremony.


So let’s throw a trendy curve ball in. What if the bride and groom went to a private place- no onlookers- no distractions- just the two of them. The bride slowly walks up to her groom, taps him on the shoulder, and he turns to see the most beautiful girl in the world and embrace her in that moment. She ask’s “Do you like my dress?”, he smiles and tells her how amazing she looks, and comfort hits. Sounds like a dream right?



Debbie and Jerome

Jerome and I agreed to the “First Look” prior to our wedding ceremony because it gave us a unique opportunity to be alone as a couple and the ability to have a private, more organic interaction. Andi and Kristin selected an intimate location at our wedding venue void of family and guests and provided us a chance to slow down, be ourselves and appreciate what this day was all about…marrying the love of your life! The “First Look” provided so much beautiful emotion and happiness to our wedding day and proved to be the most memorable moment that was shared between us as a couple that evening. 

Heather and Jonah

 “One of my favorite moments was the First Look. It was the most emotional part of the day for us. Having that private moment really helped ease the nerves too.” 



Now, let me just say that our couples are not required to partake in a first look, that is absolutely up to the bride and groom. We have seen many benefits in taking the time to have a first look and we only want the best for your amazing brides and grooms so we wanted to share a couple of its benefits.

Let’s be honest, couples invest a lot of money in their wedding photography. With a first look, the bride and groom with get more portraits of the two of them, aka. more beautiful images documenting the big day! With the investment of photography, a first look can help make the most of your money!

What else? The couple gets to share some intimate time together! They can talk, and giggle, and hold each other…without having to wait until the ceremony is over. They each get the opportunity to tell one another how amazing they look and how excited they are to be marrying the love of their lives. This also eliminates a majority of nerves and also extends your wedding time! This also gives the couple the opportunity to partake in cocktail hour if they would like to mix and mingle with guests.



Robin and Joe 

“We knew in advance that the day would be busy and that we would be surrounded by the people that we loved most.  But that was the kicker, SURROUNDED.  We really wanted a moment to ourselves, to let it sink in, to take a breath, to have a reaction without others watching… To have a glass of champagne!  
Why HE is glad we did it: 
He was so nervous.  And he said as soon as he saw me all of his nerves went away.  
Why I AM glad we did it: 
I had my private moment with him.  We got to take a lot of our pictures so we could join in on the “happy hour”.  I got to change my hair style and freshen up before walking down the aisle!  And despite what you would think, it doesn’t make seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony any less emotional. “



Kari and Todd

Our “first look” was undoubtedly one of my favorite moments of our wedding day … and probably my whole life. The look on Todd’s face and the tears in his eyes calmed my nerves and made me even more excited to be his wife all at the same time.  I am so glad we took those few minutes before the ceremony to be together just the two of us (plus Andi and Kristin, of course!) and soak it all in. 


Hopefully we’ve shed a little light on first looks, why we love them, and the benefits of having one. If we haven’t, hopefully the testimonials from some of our wonderful couples have! Have any more questions for us regarding first looks? Let us know, we would love to talk about if it would be the right option for your wedding day!


Liz and Darryl 

Darryl says, “I wanted to see her in her beautiful dress before everyone else got the chance.”

There were a lot of people invited to our wedding. Many of them were my parents’ friends. The First Look was a magical time out from a long day- a chance for us to have a private moment to ourselves before all eyes were on us. No one was anticipating our reactions to seeing one another, and we got to just share our excitement and joke around like we always do. It really took away a lot of anxiety before the ceremony.

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