What is a First Look? And do we want one on our Wedding Day?

At Indigo and Violet Photography I know my lovely couples want to have a fun and relaxed wedding day. So I try to bring you blog discussions that help you find ways to do just that. Today we are talking about the option of having a ‘First Look‘!

What is a First Look?


Have you ever heard of having a “First Look” on your wedding day? Lots of British couples haven’t, but did you know it’s a very popular tradition in the USA and other places. 

Essentially a First Look is an opportunity for the couple getting married to first meet each other on the day of their wedding, ahead of the actual wedding ceremony. In the UK traditionally this moment always happens in the ceremony aisle, but it can happen anywhere! 

In America for example, the couple will often have a dedicated First Look where they arrange a time and place to meet, just the two of them, or with their close family/friends, ahead of their wedding ceremony. 

The ‘classic’ First Look method is where you approach your partner from behind and tap them on the shoulder to invite them to turn around.  Separating out the moment you first see each other from the wedding ceremony can make the moment much more intimate for you both, and perhaps more meaningful than it happening when you are walking down the aisle with everyone else watching you both and your reactions.

There are lots of good reasons to consider having a First Look for your UK wedding: 


– Firstly, a first look is a meaningful and special moment for just the two of you, away from everybody else. It’s a great way to start your wedding day off! Getting to see each other in a private moment before the craziness of the day really reminds you both why you are doing all this!

– If you are feeling nervous about walking down the aisle, with all eyes on you, a first look with your lovely partner can feel more intimate and take the pressure off the aisle walk.

– Seeing your partner and having a special moment before your ceremony can mean that you might like to then walk down aisle together! Particularly if you don’t have, or want, parents walking you down the aisle.

– A first look gives you both a moment before the day officially starts to connect with one another and take a deep breath.

– There are practical reasons to choosing to have a first look too. A first look allows you to then take all your family group photos ahead of the wedding celebrations, meaning you have more time to be with your guests during the drinks reception. 

– Furthermore, if you are planning a winter wedding with a late ceremony, a first look can allow you to take your beautiful couple portraits and family group photos in the daylight before it gets dark.

– Lastly, a first look can just be a really fun and different thing to do! (Plus they make great photographs!)

Want to make the first look a little different to the classic? How about these alternative versions:


– Instead of a classic first look, how about spending the morning getting ready together! Who says you need to be separated from each other on such a special day!

– Why not do a first ‘touch’ instead, where you stand either side of a door, so that you can’t actually see each other, but you can hold hands with your loved one. 

– Alternatively have a first look but without wearing your wedding dress! Wear the hotel robe and slippers for a first look with a difference!

– How about meeting up for a little intimate wedding brunch while you are getting ready? It’s a great opportunity to see each other and make sure you are both getting fuel for the day ahead!

Would you consider a First Look on your UK wedding day? I would love to hear your thoughts on this alternative tradition in the comments below!


Couple having a first look on their wedding day in Derbyshire Couple having a first look on their wedding day in Derbyshire 2 Couple having a first look on their wedding day in Derbyshire - groom reaching back the first time a groom sees his bride a first look moment on a wedding day Couple having a first look on their wedding day outdoor wedding in Derbyshire

Couple having a first look on their wedding day in Buxton


Beautifully Relaxed Wedding Photography by Jenny Ryan – Based in Derby but photographs weddings across the UK.
View the Indigo and Violet Photography portfolio page here, and download yourself a copy of the Indigo and Violet Photography Guide here.