first look wedding photos featured

45 Touching First Look Wedding Photos For Couples


Debating whether to break a tradition and see each other before the ceremony? These incredibly sweet first look wedding photos just might convince you! It’s a new trend in weddings where many couples choose to break this rule in favour of capturing the first look moment. It also adds a couple of additional hours of photography time to capture portraits and other special moments for the wedding album.


So what is a first look? A first look is a moment few hours before the ceremony where bride and groom see each other for the first time on the wedding day. It is usually pre-arranged with their wedding photographer in a private place away from family and friends to capture that moment just for them. However, some first look photos are also incredibly fun to make with the wedding party included.

Continue below to browse our first look photo ideas gallery, and don’t forget to Pin a few to share with your wedding photographer!

Holding Hands Before First Look

Holding hands before the first look moment is a longstanding tradition which has been modernized beyond the classic partition. An important addition to the wedding photo album, this moment bridges the gap between the past and the future. Play with a few location ideas before coming to a decision. Hold hands across a threshold, around a tree, or through a tornado of balloons.
Source: Andria Lindquist, Huntermcraephotography, Korinamariephoto

Source: Michelle Kuzmick Photography, Mozi photographyMattandtish

Photographer Tip: create a series of hand holding photos. The pre-first-look moment reminds the bride and groom of when they first met and how they fell in love. Each moment tells a story.
Wedding photography ideas are waiting for you on Pinterest!


Back To Back Before First Look

Traditionally, the groom’s first look at the bride is as she takes her first step down the aisle. Many couples are choosing to ditch this tradition in favor of a more intimate, and photogenic, moment. Emotion is key for these happiest of wedding photos! Make sure you are both prepared with passionate words to utter before the big reveal.
Source: AMBphotoDaphne and Dean, Smanda Castleberry Photography

Source: M2-photography, Jillian Tree Photography, Jaci smith photography

PHOTOGRAPHER TIP: Savvy photographers will scout ahead to find the perfect secluded area and make sure to capture every before and after emotional moment.


No Peeking Before First Look

The one-two-three-go! method works for many happy couples, but sometimes a bride or groom just can’t help themselves. Sometimes we peek. Couples with resolve will wait for that perfect moment to fully take in each other for the first time. But, every couple is different, and some may prefer a little humor on their special day. Playful brides will ask their groom to wait in a special spot with eye closed. As he waits obediently, you’ll sneak up to steal the first look.
Source: Catherine Ann, Christine A Clark, Femina photo +

Source: Moonlightbridal, KT Merry photography, Ashfall Mixed Media, Inc.

Photographer Tip: Assure the bride that it’s okay to have a little fun. It’s quite symbolic to see the groom awaiting his passionate bride, and a great addition to the photo album.


First Look Wedding Photos

The first look is a tremendously emotional moment. It’s the moment you’ve spent months preparing for. It’s the moment just after you share the words that translate your heart, and just before ‘the rest of your lives’. You’ll want to capture every micro-second, and you’ll want to do it dramatically. Consider all sorts of poses like back-to-back or traditionally holding hands through a partition to pull it all together.
Source: Randy Coleman Photography, Blue Vinyl PhotographyDynamic Photography

Source: Сourtney Dox, danielleraephotography via Instagram, Sweet Little Photographs

Photographer Tip: Be prepared for Rapid Fire. So many emotions can happen in a moment and you’ll want to capture them all!


First Look Wedding Photos With Bridesmaids

Modern first looks extend beyond the bride and groom. A trending addition to the wedding photo album is to blindfold the groom on full first look display of the bridesmaids. Another fun trend is for the bride to reserve the first look for the bridesmaids as opposed to the groom. This may be a little untraditional, but these are your girls. They were with you before you met the groom, and they’ve helped you every step of the way.
Source: Kelsey Quick PhotographyBernie Mae StudiosNyk and Cali

Source: Bow Tie Photo, Chandler Farms photography, Artoflove

Photographer Tip: This is a fun moment. You’ll capture a lot of photos for the album during this shoot, but the ones featuring relentless smiles are the keepers.

Groom’s Emotions

Some grooms are very serious. The never crack a smile, and they rarely show how they feel. But on this special day, they just can’t help themselves. Even the toughest of men will run the gamut of emotions, and every second just has to be captured for the wedding photo album. Indoor photos of the first look are often more intimate and romantic. But, the outdoors offers more light to help capture the nuances of his facial expressions. Choose wisely!
Source: Maddie Mae PhotographyElario Photographyshariandmike via Instagram

Source: Jasmine star, Elario Photography, Luminaire Foto

Photographer Tip: Set the stage in a well lit private area to get the best of him. The venue is sure to have an intimate area with tons of texture and areas to enact the big reveal.


Creative First Look Wedding Photos

The first look photo is a necessary addition to every album. Some couples want to take full advantage of this moment by going all out. First looks involve meaningful words, a Sistine Chapel level of anticipation, and a lifetime of love all in one moment. This deserves a special atmosphere. Get creative with artistically arranged thresholds, organically ornate archways, or secluded beach coves to empower this photo-perfect moment.
Source: Maria LambAlex Lasota Photography, nicolepiper via Instagram

Source: Iamrachelpetersdirtybootsandmessyhair, Sam & Sola Lee Photography

First Look Father And Daughter

Source: jilldevriesphotographyJordanvoth via instagram, Reneehollingshead


Do you think this something for you? Many photographers highly recommend doing the first look photos as there is not much time during the cocktail hour. By doing this ahead of time, you ensure you will have plenty of opportunities for candid pictures with your bridal party and family, those bridal portraits you like, and other creative wedding photo ideas you saved.

Related post: Ultimate Wedding Photo Checklist For Your Album