Why Couples Should Consider a 'First Look.' Exhibit A: Lindsey & Ray (Dairy Barn Wedding Fort Mill, SC)

I love our couples.  For whatever reason, we tend to attract a ‘certain type’ of couple we are forever trying to put into words…  They are laid-back and fun, prioritize photography as an important item on their list, they tend to be a little less ‘traditional’ (not in a ‘get-married-at-the-Renaissance-Festival kind of way. But more ‘we want to make this day our own kind of way 🙂 ‘)   And for some of them…a wedding ‘First Look’ is yet another way they do this..
For those unfamiliar with a First Look (though, the wedding mags have given this a lot of editorial action in the past few years..) A ‘First Look’ is a private moment where couples see each other in a pre-determined location BEFORE  the ceremony vs. meeting on the isle.  Jasmine Star, a prominent photographer whom I respect, sums up a first look much better than I can so I will simply borrow her well-worded description and then introduce you to one of our couples whom chose to take advantage of this unique opportunity  a few weeks ago…  (sigh…wait until you see)
When mentioning a First Look, some of our brides initially felt as though this could ‘take away’ something from the moment.  Jasmine states: “Many brides worry about forsaking the moment the groom first sees his bride walk down the aisle, but I think it’s just as special having seen JD (her now-hubby) before the ceremony, if not more. Because we saw each other before the ceremony, I was SO much more calm and relaxed.  It was as if I was truly in the moment, and not just focusing on the man at the end of the aisle.
Jasmine also added; the best part of a couple seeing each other before the ceremony is that it lends to a much smoother layout for family pictures, cocktail hour, and beautiful sunset pictures of the bride and groom after the ceremony. Com’on…how many people want to miss the cocktail hour? Not many. By capturing formal photos before the ceremony, it frees the family and bridal party to mingle, catch up with out-of-towners, and simply enjoy the mood of the day.
And finally, I could not agree more with this:

“I prefer a bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony, but–truthfully–it doesn’t matter to me either way. More than anything, I want my brides to be happy. I simply explain their options because I know they’ll make an educated decision. Often times brides think there are rules to weddings (Cannot see groom before hand, Must throw garter, Cannot be seen as a couple until the Grand Entrance), but I believe there should only be one rule: Do What Makes You Happy. “
Now let me introduce you to Lindsey and Ray..  For their First Look we chose a private location near the site of their ceremony.  We asked Ray to pick a spot near a tree approximately 100 yards from where Lindsey would be entering the scene and Linds would then walk to Ray…tap him on the shoulder and each have the privilege of seeing each for the first time…*just*the*two*of*them…  I think the images speak for themselves as to whether or not seeing each other before the ceremony ‘takes away’ anything from the moment:-)



  1. Lovely wedding gown for the bride, great pics too ! Congratulations to the newly weds and looking forward always. Lovely wedding they had.

  2. Beautiful! And oh, so true…. what special moments a great photographer can help you create and capture! And that moment you see each other in the aisle? It’s still so wonderful, too! 🙂

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