The Couple's Testimonial about the First Look | Wedding Planning Tips | Lehigh Valley Wedding Photographer | Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

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The First Look is one of my favorite parts of a wedding day and is an option I always discuss with all of my wedding clients.

Often times, you’ll hear photographers explain that planning a timeline that includes a First Look has logistical benefits to the wedding day flow. This is because since the couple sees one another prior to the ceremony, we will have a lot more time for their portraits. (And more portrait time always equates to more final images.) Also, because we will have completed the majority of your formal portraits prior to the ceremony, that means you’ll have the added benefit of getting to spend time with your guests during cocktail hour!

In addition to the logistical advantage of the First Look, I also see the First Look as having an enormous emotional advantage for our couples. I approach photographing the First Look from a documentary-style perspective, meaning, I do not interfere once the moment begins. The emotion you see in the First Look images are raw and real. I absolutely love how you can feel the anticipation, the excitement, the butterflies each of my couples experiences during this moment.

Additionally, because the First Look lasts for several minutes, you’ll have many emotion-packed images of this moment unfolding. With a traditional timeline, you may only have one or two images of the moment the groom sees his bride coming down the aisle since this moment only lasts several seconds.

The truth is, I could go on and on about why I, as a photographer, love the First Look so much, but I also believe in sharing all perspectives. So, I asked several of my Hope & Stay Couples to share their experiences about their own First Looks and here’s what they had to say:


Hayden & Andy | Durham Hill Farm | Pipersville, PA

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Q: Why did you decide to do a wedding day first look?

A: “We decided to do a first look, one, to give us more time to take pictures since having our ceremony and reception at the same location would have made the timeline tight for getting all the pictures in after the ceremony. The second and more important reason for us deciding to do a first look was so that we could have some time together before all of the craziness and to calm our nerves.”

Q: Did you have any hesitations before deciding to have a first look?

A: “The only hesitations we had were “it’s not traditional” but then we realized that nothing about our ceremony was traditional so we decided to do what felt right for us!”

Q: Describe your experience. (Did you end up loving it or regretting it? Was it everything you hoped it would be?

A: “The first look was everything and more than what we had hoped for. It felt so personal and special to have an hour or so just to ourselves and to enjoy our day without having to worry about anyone or anything else for a short while. I would recommend a first look to everyone!”

Q: How did you feel walking down the aisle after already seeing your significant other for the day?

A: “I was still a little nervous to walk down the aisle as I’m not the biggest fan of being the center of attention but I definitely felt more calm and like I could actually enjoy the moment instead of being consumed by anxiety and nerves.”

Q: Would you recommend a First Look to other couples who are planning their wedding day?

A: “Yes! Yes! Yes! People aren’t joking when they talk about how quickly the day goes by, it’s a total blur! Our first look is probably one of my favorite memories of the day and a moment that stands out very clearly in both of our minds. You don’t really get any “Alone” time on your big day so again having that time together before any of our guests arrived made the day feel extra special.”

Check out Hayden & Andy’s wedding blog here!


Jonna & Dom | Historic Hotel Bethlehem | Bethlehem, PA

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Q: Why did you decide to do a wedding day first look?

A: “To have a moment of quietness and peacefulness together before the rest of the evening of celebrations began. Also, we wanted some beautiful portraits of us during daylight hours!”

Q: Did you have any hesitations before deciding to have a first look?

A: “None whatsoever!”

Q: Describe your experience. (Did you end up loving it or regretting it? Was it everything you hoped it would be?)

A: “We absolutely loved our first look! It was close, intimate, emotional, and very special!”

Q: How did you feel walking down the aisle after already seeing your significant other for the day?

A: “It still felt very special to me. I was very anxious and nervous about the ceremony, so seeing Dom before it really helped calm my nerves and feel confident walking down the aisle to his side.”

Q: Would you recommend a First Look to other couples who are planning their wedding day?

A: “Absolutely! See my responses above :-)”

Check out Jonna & Dom’s wedding day blog here!


Sara & Joseph | Penn’s Peak | Jim Thorpe, PA

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Q: Why did you decide to do a wedding day first look?

A: To ease walking down the isle jitters! In retrospect, it’s a nice intimate touch for you to capture and have added variety to your wedding album.

Q: Did you have any hesitations before deciding to have a first look?

A: No! Only on where to have it.

Q: Describe your experience. (Did you end up loving it or regretting it? Was it everything you hoped it would be?)

A: I loved it. I especially loved the location and all the details you captured.

Q: How did you feel walking down the aisle after already seeing your significant other for the day?

A: Ready to party! It helped ease the tension and redirect your focus to this whole moment happening around you.

Q: Would you recommend a First Look to other couples who are planning their wedding day?

A: Yes


Alyssa is a Lehigh Valley wedding photographer dedicated to capturing your one-of-a-kind love story in a meaningful and lasting way. To set up a consultation regarding your upcoming Philadelphia or Lehigh Valley wedding, contact me here.