First Look vs Keeping it Traditional & Waiting


First Look vs Keeping it traditional and waiting….

Most people are pretty nervous on their wedding day. You have spent months or even years planning your perfect day; you have the perfect venue, the perfect dress and the perfect man! You have this vision in your head of how you will be when you see each other for the first time, will there be tears, will it be special and will it be before your ceremony or when you are walking down the aisle?

emotional groom seeing his bride come down the aisle photo by Jenny Storment Photography-1

This is one of the first questions I ask my couples when talking about their day…. Realistically this will help you determine your timeline and flow for your wedding day. And once you figure out which one you are going to do then life will be a little bit easier when planning your day of timeline. What is a first look?

First Look

first look reaction of groom seeing bride for the first time photo by Jenny Storment Photography-2

A First Look is a little bit untraditional route and opting to see each other before the actual marriage ceremony, we set you & your fiance up a special place where you see each other for the first time in your dress and him in his tux or suit. Most people are opting for the first look so that they can one get all the nerves out of seeing each other before hand & two then they can do the majority of their photos before the ceremony and enjoy their guest that have come to witness their wedding. When choosing a first look most couples really get to enjoy their guest and their reception pretty much right after the actual ceremony. And as a wedding photographer you really like having a majority of the pictures done before the reception starts it does somewhat make our lives a wee bit easier.

Keeping it Traditional & Waiting

groom seeing his bride for the first time-2

In 2015 and 2016 I do have more couples opting to wait to see each other till the walk down the aisle, which there is nothing wrong with that. It can be a special moment and if you are both emotional people you may even have tears. One the plus side you can wait to do your Bride & Groom portraits till golden hour if you having afternoon/evening wedding. Some of my worries about waiting is that we balance time for photos both bridal party, family and the bride and groom. Realistically couples need to understand that if they wait then they won’t be part of the first 1-2 hours of their reception because of getting those important family photos, whole bridal party and bride & groom portraits.

In the end no matter what you choose to do either doing a first look or waiting till the ceremony the photos will be stunning, the moments will be captured and in the end you will have beautiful photos to look back at and remember how you felt on your wedding day!

I am Jenny Storment Photography a Seattle Wedding Photographer accepting weddings for 2016 & 2017. I am available for local PNW wedding and fun destination ones too. To check out my galleries click HERE, to check out my wedding package pricing click HERE


  1. Great points about the options of a first look! It’s awesome that you give your couples tips on this very important decision of whether or not to do a first look or to keep it traditional. I chose a first look for my wedding and don’t regret it one bit! It eased the tension and I think I was able to enjoy my wedding day WAY more, but it’s such a personal choice!

  2. Corey says:

    I love how each couple is different and how the timing of the first look varies with each wedding day! Both have their benefits, and I agree, they both result in beautiful wedding photos!

  3. Kathy says:

    I see the benefits of both a First Look and being more traditional and waiting to see each other as the Bride comes down the isle. Doing a first look is such a special and personal moment for the Bride and Groom. The photos you posted as examples are breathtaking! I can feel the love!

  4. Casey says:

    Jenny Storment Photography I love that you give tips and tricks on your website for your couples. First Look vs. Keeping it traditional is a tough call. I tend to lean toward a first look myself, but can completely understand if a couple likes to wait to see each other at the alter.

  5. I wish that the First Look was around when I got married several years ago. I remember how stressful that wedding morning was and it would have been nice to sneak away with my fiance for one last little moment together. Getting our bridal portraits done before all the crying at the wedding would have been good too. Lol!

  6. Very nice write up on first looks Jenny! I find that many wedding couples don’t know about first looks, and this is a great resource to educate them on such a wonderful thing! Beautiful shots as well!

  7. Great points about why to have a first look vs keeping it traditional! I see both points and love the surprise, but I also love having the time to get all of the amazing bridal portraits!

  8. Samantha says:

    Traditional first looks are always so emotional. I love this montage of first looks you put together!

  9. Brooke says:

    Such a gorgeous collection of First Look photos! I love how you can make wedding photography so personal for every couple and give them beautiful images whether they choose to do a first look or wait until they walk down the isle!

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