first look wedding photos

20+ Best First Look Wedding Photos for Your Inspiration

Among the most emotional parts of a wedding day is the first look, a moment where the soon-to-be-married couple sees each other for the first time on their wedding day prior to the wedding ceremony. The moment can take some of the pressure off of the wedding ceremony. Without all the eyes of your guests, the bride and groom can enjoy a quite moment together prior to the main wedding events.

The benefits of the first look include less stress on the day of, an emotional connection with your partner, and a chance for more pictures without the time crunch of squeezing all of the photos into the post-ceremony timeline.

The main disadvantage is that it may break with tradition, depending on your cultural beliefs. In addition, some believe that the first look can detract from the authenticity of seeing each other down the aisle.

Whether you decide to have a first look or not, one thing that’s for certain is this: the wedding day will be a whirlwind of emotions. If you opt for a first look, here are some images for your inspiration:

First Look Photos with The Wedding Couple

first look wedding jared gant

Image by Jared Gant

first look dave shay

Image by Dave Shay

first look megan allen

Image by Megan Allen

first look dave shay

Image by Dave Shay

first look lin jirsa

Image by Lin and Jirsa

first look megan allen

Image by Megan Allen

first look angie nelson

Image by Angie Nelson

first look jason vinson groom

Image by Jason Vinson

first look jason vinson

Image by Jason Vinson

first look dan dalstra

Image by Dan Dalstra

first look kevin holding bride

Image by Kevin Holding

first look kevin holding

Image by Kevin Holding

first look jay cassario

Image by Jay Cassario

First Look Photos with Family and Friends

The concept of the First look is most commonly associated with the wedding copule. However, these “first look” moments are happening throughout the wedding day, whether it’s the father seeing his daughter for the first time or the bridesmaids seeing the bride walk into the room with every detail of her hair, makeup, and wardrobe put together. Here are a few of our favorite first looks between the bride and her closest family and friends.

first look bridesmaids jess

First Look with the Bridesmaids, Mom and Aunts | Image by Party of Two

first look wedding dad angie nelson

First Look with Dad | Image by Angie Nelson

first look dan dalstra dad

First Look with dad | Image by Dan Dalstra

first look uncle wes shinn

First Look with the Uncle | Image by Wes Shin

first look grandpa scott josuweit

First Look with Grandpa | Image by Scott Josuweit

Fun First Look Photos

Remember to have fun with your first look photos. We’ve seen brides put on fake crooked teeth and even full on dinosaur costumes. In the images below, the groom’s brother played a prank on the groom and dressed up as a bride.

first look prank raph nogal

Image by Raph Nogal

first look prank raph nogal

Image by Raph Nogal

First Look FAQs

How Long Does a First Look Take?

The actual first look is usually under 5 minutes or so. However, the setup and preparation can take a bit longer. In addition, the first look typically blends right into the couples session. So we recommend budgeting around 15 minutes for the first look itself, and another 30-45 minutes for the pre ceremony couples session. Of course, these are just general guidelines, and the actual time should be based on the individual circumstances and timeline of your wedding.

Where should we have a first look?

The first look should be in a quiet, private area with good lighting. While it’s nice to have a beautiful, epic background for your first look, it’s not actually necessary. If you look at many of the best images above, you’ll notice that the focus of the images are on the expressions and emotions.

Should I set up first looks with my parents or family members?

The typical wedding has 0 to 1 scheduled first looks. We recommend that you limit your scheduled first looks to a maximum of 2, one with your life-partner-to-be and, if you would like, another (optional) one with a family member such as mom or dad. Any more than that can slow down the day. Keep in mind that a good photographer will be documenting the reactions of your family and friends as the happen organically throughout the day.