The moment the groom first sets eyes on the bride is an intimate situation full of raw emotion between the couple. It’s the perfect time to capture the depth of their connection. Traditionally, the groom isn’t to see her in gown until she’s walked down the isle. In more recent times, to respect the privacy of the emotions involved, an option is for the first look to be set in a room or secluded outdoor setting prior to the ceremony.


The question is, is the wedding photographer invited?


As always, there’s no one rite of passage for everyone. So we’ve put together a few things to consider in this decision for both couples and photographers…


Having the ‘first look’ before the ceremony can be good for the couple. It can give them a chance to calm each other’s nerves about the big event, be there for each other through joyful tears, and admire each other’s stunning wedding attire. It is perfectly okay to want to keep this as an intimate one-on-one thing. On the other hand, sharing it with family and friends can be equally as special.


Photos taken at first looks are often the best captured of the couple. They capture the sincerity that’s expressed upon first spotting each other. Whether that be choking back tears, smiles from ear to ear, eye flashes in awe, or tender embraces. Sweet, stunning photos can be produced and framed.


Inviting the photographer to the first look may add extra pressure to the already big task of shooting a huge day in the lives of two people. However, they know this is what they’re signing up for. Your photographer will be open to talking to you about the number and the content of photos you want from the wedding.


If you want the first look not to be missed, you will need to discuss location, keeping in mind timing before the ceremony, lighting and weather. Thirty minutes to an hour is recommended as it doesn’t rush a special moment and gives enough time for a photoshoot that will do it justice.


The way the reveal is done is something to be considered too. You may want to add something unique to your photos. You may want hands over faces, balloons, or a remote part of the garden where it’s just the bride and groom. A first look photoshoot can be magical and can help capture a one-time moment, so put thought into what you want.