Why Many Couples Choose to do a First Look | Detroit Lakes Area Wedding Photographer

I never want to tell my brides how to do their wedding, however I do tend to give direction and advice so I can document their special day to the best of my ability.  At the end of the day, it is your wedding and I want it to be as beautiful and as amazing as you could have ever imagined and hopefully as stress free as possible. 

Here are a couple reasons couples' typically choose to have a first look and some alternatives if you choose not to. 


There we hit on it stress!  Time crunches, behind schedule...eek.  I know these things can be all too true of a wedding day.  This is why many couples choose to do a first look before the ceremony, no it does not eliminate those problems but it does give us some extra time.  It also allows you to enjoy the rest of the day after the ceremony without having to worry about any more formal pictures.

Here is an example of what a timeline can look like if you choose to do a first look and 8 hours of photography coverage.  Of course every wedding is different, this just gives you an idea.

  • 12:30 - Photographer arrives to photograph the dress and some details
  • 1:00 - Bride puts on dress
  • 1:15 - First look and Bride & Groom Portraits
  • 2:00 - Bridal Party Photos
  • 2:30 - Family Photos
  • 3:00 - Done with formals - hide away before wedding ceremony
  • 4:00 - Ceremony
  • 4:45 - Ceremony over - receiving line and travel time to reception
  • 6:00 - Supper & Social Hour
  • 8:00 - Dance
  • 8:30 - Photographer heads out after capturing some images of the first few dances


Another reason many couples choose a first look, is it makes for some great pictures and video for your videographer.  We are able to in a controlled environment capture the expression and excitement as the two of you see each other for the first time on your big day.  This is a big deal, it should be captured accordingly.


I really do not want a first look, but I want some great bride and groom photos are there other options?

Yes - we can of course try to squeeze them in after the ceremony, but another great option is to do a day after session.  This does not have to be the "day" after your ceremony, but can be after you come back from your honeymoon.  You get all dressed up again, do your hair and make-up and do a bride and groom shoot separate from the wedding day.  This might be a great option even if you do have time to capture images on your wedding day because it is fun and allows you to schedule the session to take advantage of the best lighting and travel to an idea location. 


Speaking of day after sessions, say you want some more pictures in your wedding dress, but your new husband is done taking pictures.  There is a great option for that too.  Bridal sessions, bridal sessions can be scheduled before or after the wedding day and they are all about getting gorgeous pictures of the bride in her wedding dress, nothing more, nothing less.  You likely spent a handsome sum on that dress, why not get some great pictures of you in it!


If you choose to do a first look, that is part of your wedding day coverage, no extra charge unless you choose to buy additional hours of coverage.  Day after sessions and bridal sessions are sold at standard portrait pricing.  Although every photographer might handle it a little different, so I encourage you to ask your specific photographer their policy on day after sessions and bridal sessions.

Wedding First Look

Interested in having me photograph your wedding?  Head on over to my contact page and drop me a message.  I would love to hear about your wedding plans and your story!  If you are just looking to learn more about my wedding and portrait photography services, sign up for my email newsletter to get access to my wedding and portrait photography guide.

~Amber Langerud