Should I Do a First Look?

Amanda Rai Photography | NH Wedding Photographer

More and more brides and grooms are choosing to do a “first look” before the ceremony.

Before we get started, let’s define what a first look is. A first look is pretty much what it sounds like. It is a time carved out before the ceremony where the groom sees his bride.

What about tradition?

The groom stands at the front of the ceremony waiting for his bride to walk down the aisle. I get it. I’m a traditional girl. Personally, I didn’t do a first look. I didn’t even know that existed, but even if I did, I’m not sure I would have chosen to do one back then. I didn’t know all that I know now. I now know all the benefits of doing a first look!

I will walk you through what I think the benefits are in hopes to help you make a decision that is right for you and your honey! I know that this can make you feel defensive if your mind is already made up, I totally get that. Always remember that ultimately whatever you choose will be perfect! This is your day!

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1) Raw Emotion

If you want your groom to let his guard down, be vulnerable, and show his true emotions the first time he sees you in your wedding gown, I highly recommend a first look! There is something intimate and precious about this moment just being the two of you instead of being in front of hundreds of people.

After the first look you both will feel more at ease and less nervous about the aisle walk, actually enhancing it! Many brides and grooms (me personally included) have so many nerves racing through their body on the traditional aisle walk and throughout the whole ceremony that they can’t fully appreciate and savor the moment. I know I felt like I was going to pass out the entire time! The first look will take the nerves away.

2) More Time Together

Did you know that you will probably spend more time with your photographer on your wedding day than your new husband? Fact! If you choose not to do a first look, then the only time alone you two will have is your half hour husband & wife portraits with your photographer.

The day goes by so fast. You should be able to spend as much time together as possible to savor those precious fleeting moments!

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3) More Photographs

Of course I am going to talk about this point! If you have ever been a part of a wedding party, you probably know how rushed and stressed the time right after the ceremony can be. It is a lot to process. Imagine your wedding day, right after the ceremony ended.

You just experienced one of the happiest moments of your life, guests are trying to come up to you to chat, you know you need to get away to get your photos done, your family is waiting for you, your bridal party is trying to sneak away to cocktail hour, and the caterer is wondering when they should start plating. Whoa. Of course your photographer will help shoo away the guests and wrangle everybody to get your portraits done on time, but what if you weren’t rushed and could cherish these moments instead?

The “first look timeline” includes getting most portraits done BEFORE the ceremony. That way, after you say your vows and walk down the aisle with your new husband, your bridal party can go straight to the bar, your family can go mingle, and you can actually thank your Great Aunt Millie for traveling all that way to come to your wedding. I love to then whisk my bride & groom away for a romantic sunset portrait.

This session will be quick because most of the portraits have already been done. This means…you get to actually JOIN your cocktail hour!

Whatever you two choose to do, your day will be perfection. The real gold is what happens after your wedding day, starting your life together as husband & wife!



meet amanda


My name is Amanda and I am a Light and Airy NH Wedding Photographer serving couples and families by creating authentic and classic images that they will cherish for a lifetime. Lots of people are anxious about getting their photos taken but I create a no stress fun experience that will leave you feeling confident. 

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