Fairhope Wedding Photographer & Educator | Ellison Smith Creative- Formerly Goodie & Smith Weddings

First Looks On Wedding Days with Alabama Wedding Photographer

First looks on wedding days, who’s heard of them? By now, you probably have! Wedding photographers, brides, and wedding planners all talk about them daily now. We always offer this time to our clients when we’re discussing plans for the day, but many of them don’t realize how beneficial a first look can actually be to their special day. For those who aren’t aware, first looks are a chance for the bride and groom to see each other before their wedding ceremony. They can run anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours before the ceremony and allow a private moment with the bride and groom (and the photographer to capture it all!). Today we’ve decided to share three big reasons that a first look can be a great choice for your wedding day! 

bride walks across Izenstone reception space for first look with groom

Huge Reactions

Let’s be honest, what brides want most when they see their groom for the first time on their wedding day is a BIG reaction, right? They want to know that they look beautiful and that their groom is excited to get married too! Having a first look allows for time for those reactions. Imagine being able to walk over, see your groom hours before your ceremony and have time to talk, embrace, share a kiss, and BE together before you meet him at the end of the aisle. Who wouldn’t want a chance to do that?

Many couples fear that a first look will take away from the reaction when the bride walks down the aisle. But in our experience, that isn’t the case. In fact, the groom is usually more relaxed and is able to express more easily how he’s feeling… since he’s already done it once! Plus, if the first time he sees you is when you come down the aisle, he has to wait before he can hug you, tell you how beautiful you look, or give you a kiss! Which option sounds better to you? 

wedding portraits at Marche with Goodie and Smith Weddings

Time Together

The next reason to consider a first look? Having time together! First looks can often extend your wedding day by a couple of hours. Because you’ve built in time to be together without the prying eyes of family, friends, or even your bridal party, you have time to relax together and enjoy the moment. It also allows us to take our time through your wedding portraits. The best party?  You two usually get more wedding portraits because of it! Without a first look, your time together can feel more rushed – through the ceremony, a quick portrait hour before cocktails, and the reception where you’re greeting everyone! But a first look gives you the chance to slow down and savor your wedding day! How else can you get quality time with your soon-to-be spouse (and bridal party, when you’re done with portraits!)? 

Alabama wedding with tropical flair photographed by Goodie and Smith Weddings

Relaxing Nerves

The biggest benefit, in our eyes, for a first look is how everyone becomes a bit more relaxed. Because you’ve seen each other, you get a chance to remember how excited you are to be married – instead of nervous. There’s no worry about reactions down the aisle or stress about portrait time later in the day. Everyone has a chance to just take a breather and take in the day. We can’t imagine a better reason than that to encourage you to have a first look!

First looks are 100% optional. We will never force our couples to have one! But, we do find they can be super beneficial for everyone involved. We’ve never had a couple tell us they regret having a first look on their wedding day. With the chance for more time together and a more relaxed atmosphere, it’s always been a no brainer for them. Breaking the age old tradition to not see each other beforehand definitely has its perks!


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Fairhope Alabama Wedding Photographer formerly Goodie and Smith weddings

meet Jessica


Hi! I’m Jessica, owner and lead photographer at Ellison Smith Creative- the Gulf Coast’s only full service wedding photography studio. I am so glad you’re here! Please show yourself around and you’ll soon see that I believe that my clients DESERVE IT ALL! 

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