6 Reasons You need a first look

A first look is a modern adaptation of the traditional wedding                  where the bride and groom see each other for the first time before the ceremony. This intimate moment is one of the most memorable events of the wedding day, as the nerves melt away and, for a brief moment, emotions overflow and the bride and groom get to bask in their love for one another. Below, I’ve listed 6 of the main reasons why you should build a first look into your wedding day timeline.

What is a first look? 


While you will look beautiful throughout your wedding day, wouldn’t it be great if you could schedule your portrait sessions when your hair is perfect, your makeup is fresh, and your clothes are nicely pressed? With a first look timeline, these must-have shots are accomplished at the beginning of the day when you look your very best.

1. You Will Look Your Best

In a traditional wedding timeline, couples have to squeeze family formals, wedding party photos, and couples portraits into a 60 to 90 minute cocktail hour. While this is enough time to capture the must-have photos couples want, it often ends up feeling a little rushed, making the experience less enjoyable for those involved.  

2. You'll Be Much More Relaxed

With a first look timeline, on the other hand, we’ve already captured these must-have photos before the ceremony. This allows you to truly be in the moment and enjoy everything that comes after you say “I do.” And as an added benefit, your feelings of excitement, relief, and joy will come through all the more in the photos we take throughout the rest of the evening.

As I mentioned in the previous section, choosing a first look timeline allows us to take must-have couples portraits, wedding party photos, and formal photos of immediate family members before the ceremony starts. This frees us to use our time after the ceremony on more creative compositions and to incorporate creative lighting techniques. Plus, you’ll get to choose from daytime, sunset, dusk, and evening portraits for your wedding album and prints, giving your much greater choice and flexibility in the kinds of images you portray.

3. Capture a Wider Variety of Photos

Your wedding day is going to be one of the best days of your life, but it will also be incredibly hectic. Ironically, there actually aren’t many opportunities for private, intimate moments, and your first look provides the perfect chance for you and your husband-to-be to share some precious time together, just the two of you. For many couples, the lack of an audience allows them to be more free with their emotions, resulting in an incredibly authentic, meaningful moment with the person you love most.

4. Enjoy Alone Time With One Another

Depending on how you allocate your time, a first look timeline could provide you with an opportunity that many couples don’t get to enjoy: the ability to attend cocktail hour and spend quality time with your guests. While some couples choose to devote this time to additional portrait sessions, you have the flexibility to choose to take a break, grab a drink and some hor d’oeuvres, and catch up with old friends.

5. Spend More Time With Your Guests

The people in your wedding party are your closest friends. They’re there to celebrate you and are happy to do whatever you need them to do throughout the day. At the same time, weddings are also a ton of fun, and the more fun they can have, the better. Because we took full wedding party photos before the ceremony, once you say “I do” and everyone processes down the aisle, they’re free to get the party started!

6. Your Wedding Party Will Thank You

kind words 

more testimonials


Lindsay & Kyle

We really appreciated how flexible he was with changing plans and moving around to multiple sites for photos. Everyone in our wedding party commented on how fun and comfortable getting photos was. Brad even made sure that we were enjoying our reception and not just taking pictures with guests, which we really appreciated. Our photos turned out beautiful and really captured our personalities.

"Brad was wonderful to work with! He made the wedding stress-free and fun"


Cincinnati, Ohio


wedding location

kind words from past clients

2025 wedding collections begin at $3400, and the average couple invests $4500 for complete coverage. 

As part of my desire to craft an experience that is tailored to you, I design custom collections for each and every couple. 

For more details on your wedding photography investment, please contact me. I'd love to get to know more about you and to create a custom collection for you! 



Join the fun

Looking for wedding inspiration, pro tips and some of our favorite resources? Join us on Instagram. Each week, we share tips, tricks and a whole lot more!

Join us on Instagram

Weekly Resources for Brides