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Everything You Need To Know About First Look Photos

  |  By Alison McGill

Photography courtesy of Mango Studios. Event planning by Lexington & Co.

These photographs certainly are some of the sweetest you will capture on your wedding day. A moment just for the two of you and we’ll admit first look pics are favourites of ours—we absolutely love the realness and the quiet privateness of this moment between couples.

Thought first look photos are definitely the norm with most couples today, it’s certainly not a given. You may prefer the more traditional approach of seeing each other for first time at your ceremony which of course also makes for amazing photo moments! We spoke to Lexi Haslam, prinpcle at Lexington & Co. Events about some things to consider when it comes to first looks and making this photo moment a part of your day.

Do most couples plan for a first look photo session?
“I would say that the majority of my couples do a first look. However, if the couple is getting married at a church, they typically will not do a first look and wait until they lock eyes at the end of the aisle. Some couples love that element of surprise, and I totally respect that. That being said, the first look does have its benefits, especially when you have a photographer you want to spend time with and not feel rushed. The first look allows you to have 45-minutes to an hour together before your ceremony to take some warm, candid and relaxed photos rather than in between the ceremony and dinner reception where the timeline can be a bit tight.”

Photography by Brandon Scott. Wedding planning by Lexingon & Co.

How should this part of the day be scheduled? 
“For couples doing a first look, I would schedule 45-minutes of couple photos, 30-45 minutes of bridal party photos and also get their family photos done before the ceremony too. Before the ceremony it is always good to have a breather and as we know being in front of a camera for a couple hours can be exhausting. I usually give my couples 30-45 minutes before their ceremony to sit, relax, have a bite to eat and do makeup/hair touch ups before their ceremony starts. At this point the couple has completed all their formal photos and is ready to enjoy their ceremony, the cocktail reception and dinner reception without having to sneak off away from their wedding.”

What are some things for a couple to consider for a first look session?
Every couple is different and it's important for couples to discuss the first look and what the expectations are that surround the photo time. If they love the idea of not seeing each other until the ceremony, then wait. If the element of surprise is going to be stressful then do a first look. It's important for couples to choose what feels right to them and not what might just work best for their planner or photographer. We can make anything work so ask your planner their opinion and then pick what feels right.”

What do you love about first look photographs?
“I love the idea of a first look because personally I would love to see my partner, alone for an hour before everyone steals them away from me. With micro-weddings being a trend for 2021, there is less distraction but the first look is a special time that couples get to share without anyone else around. I also don't like the idea of ever being taken away from the party and I couldn't imagine my guests having cocktail hour and enjoying the champagne and appetizers without me. The first look allows the couple to be a part of each other's quiet time and the wedding party time—I absolutely love that!”

This article was originally published on Jan 19, 2021

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