More Categories

Browse Posts


Browse Posts


Browse Posts


find me elsewhere

Hi there! Welcome to my blog, a place where I share my life, weddings, and my journey through building a life-giving business. Stay a while and say hello!


The First Look: 3 Reasons to Consider One

Wedding Wednesday

April 10, 2019

Let me explain to you how much I LOVE First Looks on a wedding day. I loved when other couples chose to share a First Look, but once I experienced it myself on my own wedding day with my husband, I love them even more. Lavon bawled when he saw me in my wedding dress, we laughed together, cried together, and that’s even when we read our letters we wrote to each other. It was, by far, our favorite part of the whole day; that says a lot because the WHOLE day was so special to us. Here are a few of our favorite images that our wonderful photographer, Seneca Epley, captured for us!

Can you tell how excited we were?!?!?!?!?!?

One quick thing I want to say before I share several reasons why I always recommend a First Look to my couples: some brides and grooms REALLY love the thought of the more traditional “the first time he sees her is her walking down the aisle during the ceremony” option. And that’s OKAY! I always tell my couples to do what they feel will be the most special for them; it’s their wedding day, and they need to plan it the way they have always dreamed of. I realize that not everyone will love First Looks the way I do, and I also know that not everyone will have the same reaction I got from my First Look with my husband. I will always explain why 90% of my couples love the First Look, but I never ever want to force this on anyone.


1. They are usually MORE intimate, special, and emotional.

When the bride walks down the aisle and her groom sees her for the first time, they both have about 75-400 guests staring at them; each guest already has expectations for what their reaction will be, and they’re watching and waiting to see what it’s like. This is the farthest thing from an intimate and emotional moment! Because Lavon and I did a First Look, he wasn’t nervous – he had already spent several HOURS with me. There wasn’t pressure for him to have a certain kind of reaction in front of so many people; he could actually live in the moment because we had already seen each other. Because we did that, he actually had ANOTHER “Oh Wow!” moment when he saw me walking down the aisle during the ceremony; we cried, smiled, and laughed AGAIN! When nerves are gone, true emotions can be expressed. The reason I recommend a First Look is because when it’s private, with no on-lookers and no distractions, and the bride calls his name or taps him on the shoulder, he can turn around and see the love of his life for the first time! Except, not only would he get to see her, he could hug her, cry with her, kiss her, tell her how beautiful she looks, etc. These are things a bride and groom can’t do if they wait until the ceremony to see each other.


2. You can spend MORE of your wedding day together instead of being apart.

By sharing a First Look, you can usually spend at least TWO more hour together (sometimes three!) during the day that you would normally spend apart. This will also be your ONLY alone time together the entire day! If you think about it, this is the biggest day of your lives and something that you will never get to share together again. Despite this, most couples may only get to spend half the day at most with their future spouse. Spend as much time with each other as you possibly can because it will go by fast!


3. You will get MORE portraits of the two of you in your final gallery.

Wedding photography is one of the biggest investments for a couple on their wedding day. No matter what the circumstances, I always work as hard as I can to get as many portraits for my brides and grooms as I can. Even if they opt out of a First Look, or maybe the timeline ran behind, or someone was missing in a picture and we have to do it over again, they still deserve that. For me, if my couples want to see each other before the ceremony, I can usually plan the timeline to have at least an entire hour just for your bride and groom portraits. If you decide not to do a First Look and we plan bride and groom portraits for after the ceremony before the reception, the most we can usually do is about 30 minutes. This could be even less time if the ceremony ran behind schedule, bridal party took longer than expected, or you don’t want to keep guests waiting at the reception too long. I don’t say this to try to persuade couples, but I do always educate my brides about this. I want them to know from the very beginning that if they want an ABUNDANCE of portraits like what they see on my blog, they may not receive as many images if they decide not to share a First Look. If I have less time, you will have less portraits and images of the day, so this is something to consider when you’re deciding to have a First Look or not!

My couples are never required to share a First Look by any means! However, after shooting dozens of weddings, I’ve seen firsthand how many couples absolutely LOVE doing this! I truly want the very best for all of them, and that’s why I wanted to share the benefits of considering a First Look!

xoxo, Summer



Follow along