bride covering grooms eyes for the first look

First Look Ideas And Alternatives

bride and groom looking at each other on a covered porch

Should You Have A First Look?

Having a first look is something most couples do today, but it wasn’t always that way. Traditionally, the bride and groom did not see each other at all the day of the wedding. There are many theories as to why that tradition started or even continued, but I won’t get into those. Instead, let’s talk about what you can do if you want a first look or would like some other ideas, like a first touch.

First Touch

Rather than seeing each other before the ceremony, you get as close as possible. Standing on either side of a door and holding hands can still give you that connection that you desire without breaking tradition. When I’ve photographed couples who opt for this type of first contact, it’s always been a very touching moment (no pun intended).

You may be worried that you’ll cave in and look at each other. That’s a valid concern, but I’ve never had a couple do that, in over 10 years of photographing weddings. So I wouldn’t worry about it. The first touch is still a great option if you don’t want to see each other but want to have a moment together before the ceremony.

Bride and groom on opposite sides of a gate having a first touch at Rava Wines

“Having Linda photograph our wedding was a truly wonderful experience”

– Sarah P.

Exchange a Gift

If you’d rather not come in contact at all, that’s fine too! There are options for that as well. You can have your maid of honor and the best man deliver a gift to your soon-to-be spouse.

Exchanging a gift or a note (or both) is a great way to remind your partner that you are thinking about them and looking forward to getting married.

Sometimes, when your partner receives your gift, I can see the stress of the day just melt away. Just a few kind words can really make you feel calm and special. I highly recommend it.

Plus, gift exchanges make for some great wedding pictures!

Does Everyone Do A First Look?

Nope! Not everyone does a first look or a first contact. There are still couples that choose to fully honor the tradition of not seeing each other on the wedding day. This includes the first touch.

Whatever you decide to do for your wedding is just fine. In my experience, those couples who stick to their wishes end up being much happier with their wedding day. So don’t give in to the pressure if you really want to do things a certain way.

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