Mistakes Couples Make with First Look Photos

First Look wedding photos

Here are some mistakes that couples make when planning their First Look session

First look photo sessions create some of the most beautiful moments in any wedding day.  That very first time the groom turns to see his bride completely done up looking gorgeous with hair, makeup and amazing dress – is something very special.  There are no onlookers, no guests, no bridal party or even me the photographer around (I hide!).  When he turns, all he sees is her – they can have that emotional moment all to themselves.

After having been involved in oh-so-many first looks – as a photographer, not a serial-groom – I can preach to it’s emotional power. To make the most of it, here are some common first look mistakes to avoid…

First Look wedding photos


Your bridal party and even your family may want to watch your first look, just say no.  When your groom turns to see you for that very first time – you don’t want him distracted by people in the background.  When there’s nobody around, you and your groom can experience every emotion that a first look brings – without any distractions.  That level of privacy allows the emotion to wash over each of you, uninhibited by eager onlookers.

Once the first look moment is over, even I as the photographer will leave to give you a few minutes to yourselves to enjoy the moment a little longer.  I typically use those few moments to get your bridal party ready for the bridal party photos.

First Look wedding photos


Your photographer will be able to help you select the best time for the first look as well as a great location taking into account lighting, background etc.  A great photographer will be looking out for these factors to ensure the images are exceptional, and that there are no distracting elements taking focus away from the two of you.

First Look wedding photography


Make time for it. With many ceremonies starting later in the afternoon typically between 4pm and 5pm, there’s less time available between the ceremony and reception dinner.  Dinner typically begins anywhere between 6pm and 6:30pm.  Ceremonies last around 20-30mins and family formal photos begin right after that and last around 30mins.  As you can see, there is minimal time left between the ceremony and dinner for your bridal party and couples photos. And delays, however small are exaggerated due to the limited window of time.

Here’s what a sample wedding day timeline looks like using a first look session to give you some insight.

The first look session allows you to get all of the bridal party and couples session photos done prior to the ceremony. This means you can have the ceremony and dinner closer together.  Your guests will appreciate this shortened wait period keeping everyone’s energy high.


Vaughn Barry Photography logo

1866 Elana Drive, Orillia, Ontario
Canada | (705) 627-9376