5 Reasons Why First Looks Are Beneficial | Memphis Tennessee Wedding Photographer

Why Should I Do a First Look??

I know, I know. You've all seen a billion posts from wedding photographers as to why you should do a first look. They essentially all say the same thing, right? Well, I just wanted to take the time to speak to my clients and future clients and explain why I advocate so much for doing a first look. 


 1. Alleviates Stress

I will be the first to tell you that the weddings I have shot with a first look have gone 110% smoother than weddings where the couple opted not to see each other before the ceremony. Why is this? Well honestly, because trying to keep the bride and groom separate on location is freaking STRESSFUL. Especially when venues have the bridal suite and groom's quarters directly next to each other. (I mean did they really not think that through??) Having to run back and forth and keep the groups separate is a huge headache, but doing a first look can complete alleviate that stress and can definitely help your big day to run more smoothly.

2. "But it's against tradition." Not quite... 

Okay, clearly you have not met me. I am the epitome of nontraditional. Of course I completely respect everyone's opinions and not all my clients will be eccentric like me, and that's okay. I'm not asking anyone to go against their values or beliefs whatsoever, however, I am asking that you at least consider it for other reasons. Do you actually know where this "tradition" comes from? It all started with arranged marriages. The wedding symbolized a business deal between two families (romantic, huh?), and a father would have been pleased for his daughter to marry a man from a rich, land-owning family. But he also feared that if the groom met the bride before the wedding and thought she wasn’t attractive, he’d call off the wedding, casting shame onto the bride and her family. Therefore, it became tradition that the bride and groom were only allowed to meet at the wedding ceremony so that the groom did not have the opportunity to change his mind. Totally not a fan of this or the origin of why it came about.

3. More Photos & More Time to Spend Dancing

You get to do all your family formal photos before the ceremony and get them OVER WITH. Family formals are every wedding photographer's least favorite. Of course we want you to have your wonderful posed photos with your family, but they are a nightmare because they take WAY LONGER than they should because it is so difficult to gather that amount of people for something like this. (Especially the grandparents.) So you get family formals out of the way, as well as wedding party photos, and bride and groom portraits done, so that after the ceremony you don't have to spend an hour and a half doing all these photos while your guests wait on you at your reception. And I say 9 times out of 10, doing bride and groom portraits before the ceremony with a first look, you usually get 50% more photos, because there is no rushing off to get to the reception. Time constraints are real, y'all. It's a win win.

4. Real Expectations

I know some of you ladies have extremely high expectations of seeing your man's expression as you start walking down the aisle. But let me be frank here. You know your man better than I do, so do you really think you will get that amazing emotional response from him? If you answered yes, that's great! Because guess what. Even after having a first look, if your man is just emotional like that, he will still get emotional during that moment!! I promise first looks do not ruin that moment. I don't want any of you ladies to get your hopes up and expect something magical like your groom crying and then he doesn't. Most times grooms usually smile huge or they have that deer caught in the headlights kind of expression. I just want to be real with you. If you know your man isn't a crier, don't expect him to magically be on wedding day!

5. Less Nerves, More Time Together

Last but not least, you get some intimate time together on the happiest day of your life. During the middle of it. To soak it all in. It is SO easy to get caught up in the excitement and feel rushed (like I said, time constraints are no fun!) because we are on a schedule for the whole day. But having that first look time blocked out and then doing your couple photos right after allows you time together to not only reflect, but also get your nerves out!!! I have never ever had a couple say they regretted doing a first look. In fact, I have some couples that I persuaded to do one and they thanked me after because it HELPS. I promise it does.


Overall, it is YOUR decision. But I just wanted to take the time to educate my clients and everyone else who simply doesn't know these things. A wedding day schedule completely revolves around doing a first look or not. Don't let wedding planning overwhelm you! Hopefully my thoughts on first looks could help you decide what is best for you on your wedding day!