Jayna Watkins Photography

The First Look

I was talking with a good friend of mine recently about what a first look is. She is getting married soon, and someone mentioned to her the idea of having a first look with her soon-to-be husband before the ceremony. She had never heard of this concept and asked me what I thought.

Jayna Watkins Photography

Let me explain what a first look is by telling you exactly what happens during this part of the wedding day. After the bride has finished getting ready, she will be taken to a spot where her groom is waiting with his back turned and eyes shut. When they are both ready, he will turn around to see his bride for the first time on their wedding day. During a first look, there won’t be dozens or hundreds of guests staring at the two of you. Instead, it will be the bride, groom, photographer, and any one else that you wish to have near you during this moment. For some brides and grooms, they choose to have this moment without any family or friends nearby. This way, you can enjoy this first moment together on your wedding day without the distraction of other people. You can tell each other just how excited you are to become husband and wife!

Jayna Watkins Photography

Many of my past brides have told me that some of their favorite photos from their wedding day were of their first look, and I think that makes total sense! Who wouldn’t love photographs of their husband seeing them in their wedding gown for the first time?

Jayna Watkins Photography


“Will he feel pressured to react a certain way if he knows the cameras are on him?”

To be honest, I’ve never quite understood this question. The cameras will be on the groom to get his reaction, whether it is during the first look or the moment the bride walks down the aisle. If he feels pressured to cry or show a lot of emotion during the first look, he would probably feel pressured to do so when you walked down the aisle. I would hope that a groom would be so focused on his bride that he doesn’t care about how people want him to react.

“What if he doesn’t cry? I’ll be so disappointed!”

If your future spouse is not a very emotional person, he may not cry. And that’s okay. Even if he doesn’t mind crying in front of others, he may be so happy that he jumps up and down! I’ve even seen some grooms stand there in shock. People react to joyous moments in different ways. Let him react to seeing you the first time in his own way.

“I’ve waited my whole life for my future husband to see me for the first time on our wedding day when I walk down the aisle. Why change my mind now?”

You don’t have to. You need to do what is best for YOU as husband and wife. Is a first look amazing? YES! But it is NOT necessary for every couple.


In the end, I let every bride and groom that book me for their wedding day make the decision on their own. If they ask me my opinion, I tell them that I think it is a great idea, but it really depends on the couple. Your wedding day is about you and what how you want to start your journey as husband and wife.

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