One of the many decisions you will have to make while planning your wedding is whether or not you will see your groom before the ceremony.  Tradition states that the bride and groom will spend the night before their wedding apart and will have the “first look” when the bride actually walks down the aisle during the ceremony.  However, many believe it is much easier to see each other before the ceremony and have a special “first look” moment in private before the busy day begins.

You may be asking yourself, “what the heck is this “first look” moment I keep hearing about?”  Well, the “first look” is where your groom is waiting for you in a designated place; whether it be at the altar or in a special spot outside away from everyone, (or vice versa) usually with his back turned to you.  You walk in and tap him on the shoulder or say something to let him know you have arrived.   The photographer sneaks in to get these special, intimate shots and you never even know they are there.

Here are the Pro’s and Con’s of the First Look….


  • Your photographer can get some really amazing shots of you and your groom seeing each other for the first time alone. You will both be much more relaxed in this private setting, which will make for some awesome pictures.
  • Your photographer will have more time with you and your groom and can get really creative with the poses.
  • Seeing each other before the ceremony gives you a chance to calm each other’s nerves before actually walking down the aisle.
  • Your family members will get to enjoy the cocktail hour since all the formal family shots will be taken beforehand.
  • You and your groom can actually enjoy the cocktail hour!
  • You don’t have to try and squeeze in all the family, wedding party and bride and groom shots after the ceremony. Doing so usually makes you feel rushed and can cut out time for pictures of you and your groom.
  • Your makeup and hair will feel fresher.
  • I have found that weddings where couples see each other before the ceremony usually have a far less stressful timeline.
  • Once the ceremony is over all you have to worry about is enjoying YOUR day!


  • Breaking tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony.
  • Not having that “moment” of seeing each other for the first time while walking down the aisle in front of family and friends.

I hope this helps answer any questions you may have about seeing your groom before the ceremony.  Regardless of when you choose to see your groom for the first time on your wedding day, the decision is ultimately yours to make.