There are a few benefits of having a first look (or a first encounter as I call it) on your wedding day. This can provide an opportunity to express some emotion before the formal ceremony in front of your guests. Also doing a first encounter is a perfect opportunity to get some incredible pictures!

Today, I am going to share five different ways you can do your first encounter for your wedding.

First look

The traditional type of a first look. The groom usually waits until the bride comes to surprise him from behind.

This lasts about 15 minutes as you are both sharing a special moment together before the ceremony. Some couples may not want to see each other before the ceremony, which makes the next option a great choice!

First touch

Personally, this is my favorite! As you may have guessed, this is the same thing as the "first look" except the groom and/or bride are blindfolded (or simply just keep their eyes closed).

Here are a few common ways this can be done:

  • The groom keeps his eyes closed and the bride surprises him. They can hold hands and talk to each other during this time.

  • Blindfold both the bride and groom. Have a parent or the maid of honor guide the bride to the groom.

  • Find a corner of a building or a doorway. Both the bride and groom will be on opposite sides, which means they can't see each other. However, they will still be allowed to hold hands and talk to each other.

First sound

Perhaps you want to do something unique for your first encounter? Then a first sound may be the way to go!

There are two ways you can do this:

  • Bring the bride and groom to a location where they won't be able to touch or see each other. From that point, they can talk to each other or play a song that they wrote.

  • Have both the bride and groom write a letter to each other and then open it on their wedding day. You can also have them open the letters at the same time and location for a beautiful photo. Also, this idea can be combined with a first touch, which is also common.

Tricked first look

Maybe you don't want to do a first look but still want to make something fun out of it. Well here is a golden opportunity to do that. In fact, my sister did this for her wedding and it was hilarious!

First, set it up exactly the same way as you would a first look (as mentioned above). Except make one change. Swap the bride with a groomsman or brother wearing a cheap wedding dress!

The reaction that you get out of the groom may vary as he is expecting to see his beautiful bride. Not yet buddy! You will see her soon.

Honestly, after the groom goes through that experience, he may be in tears once he sees his bride for the first during the wedding ceremony.

No first encounter

There is a fifth option, which is simply not doing one at all. I have photographed some weddings where the couples didn't want to do a first encounter and there is nothing wrong with that.

You can research all the pros & cons of doing a first look, but at the end of the day, you need to do what matters most to you. Some would rather see each other for the first time at the altar. Others, love the idea of a first look and sometimes do all their couple portraits at this time.

Bride and groom first look for their wedding day in Estes Park Colorado.

Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post about the different ways you can do a first look at your wedding. If you have any questions, please contact me!

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Thanks for reading!


Gabriel Dupon