Weddings Atlantic

Yay or Nay - The First Look

Hannah Chalifoux

Fun Fact: according to the internet (which is, obviously, the true, unabridged, entirety of human knowledge and existence) the tradition of waiting until the wedding day to see the bride stems from arranged marriages. Marriage was a business deal where the bride was “given” (she was sold, but I feel gross talking about selling humans) to a man of higher standing, who could take care of her. The family wouldn’t want the man to see the bride before the big day for fear of him rejecting her! So, not that I’m against tradition, but I’m hoping you have met your future husband before your actual wedding day!

Photo By Ashley Marie Photography

Photo By Ashley Marie Photography

Well, if you’re not into entrusting Wikipedia with all your major life decisions, this article is for you. There are many aspects of wedding planning that you’ll know literally nothing about. I mean, seriously, they should teach event planning in high school. You would use it on the regular in real life. When was the last time you even used algebra? This, however, is not just any event. It’s your wedding! It’s one of the most important days of your life, and you’re not leaving anything up to chance…or Wikipedia.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. We’ve interviewed LOCAL, New Brunswick, wedding experts- who have expertise in everything wedding- to gather their input on The First Look aka seeing your spouse BEFORE the ceremony.

The First Look- Yay or Nay?

Chantelle Elliot

AC Events- Wedding Coordination & Design

We love the idea of First Look photos! It helps to make this moment a private and intimate one- allowing true feelings and excitement to really show through in the photos. You will be able to hug, kiss, talk, cry, and any plethora of other reactions, that you may not want to have in front of an audience. It also makes things easier logistically. It could free up time for group portraits/photos before the ceremony, limiting the amount of time you will have to leave your guests waiting before the reception.

Pro Tip: If you can’t get past the traditions and “bad luck” of seeing each other before the wedding (some people just can’t- and that’s okay!) consider having the first look with your Dad instead!

Phillipe Boudreau


I’m all for the First Look! From a photography stand point, it allows me to capture both partners’ reaction in one frame, rather than in two separate images. It tells the story of the moment much better. From a timeline perspective, couples get to spend more time together on their wedding day, since they’ll see each other earlier in the day. It also gives couples a chance to laugh, cry, hug and kiss; things which usually don’t happen after walking down the aisle, as the ceremony starts immediately. All in all, it’s a very special moment that I absolutely love to capture, but ultimately it’s up to each couple to determine what works best for them!

Tosha Whalen

The Cocoa Room- Venue

There are many benefits to having a First Look prior to a wedding ceremony. As a venue, we see more than 50% of our couples choose to do a First Look versus waiting for the moment when they walk down the aisle. A First Look should be planned with as much care as a ceremony.  Choose a beautiful location with a spectacular background; your photographer will love you for that. Or choose your ceremony site for the first look. Being in the exact spot where you plan on saying your “I dos” gives you a sense of seeing each for the first time as you walk down the aisle.  It is an intimate time for a couple, and a First Look helps to take away many pre-wedding ceremony jitters. It also gives you more flexibility for your wedding day timeline. No need to feel like you have to rush through pictures; take them before. Of course, if your heart is set on seeing the love of your life as you walk down the aisle surrounded by family and friends, then make it happen.  There are no rules in weddings!

Can I just say that I love that these are the opinions of real wedding experts, from right here in NB??? I also love them because they agree with everything I think about the First Look. I swear I didn’t plan it. No bribes needed! I just ask the questions and write the answers ya’ll. I can’t help it if the experts agree with me.

I love that they so perfectly describe all the reasons I went for the First Look. Logistically, it just made sense for our evening wedding. Emotionally, it was a God send to spend the day with my love.

But, there’s one perspective missing, the bride! Luckily for you, I’ve got you covered. 

Hannah Chalifoux


The one thing I was worried about was that I’d miss that spark walking down the aisle; that moment when your eyes meet for the first time that day. Your heart flutters as you walk down the aisle to join your life partner. I mean, would you still feel that way if you had seen each other just two minutes before? Well, I can attest that. Yes!  That walk down the aisle is still everything you want it to be. My heart was pounding so hard I thought I was going to die… of happiness of course! I think it’s not about the last time you saw each other, because this moment isn’t about anything in your past. This moment is about looking to the future, so it doesn’t matter if you’ve seen each other that day, the day before, or even the week before. The walk down the aisle is going to be everything you dreamed because you are walking into your future with the person you love.

Really, I think the moral of the story is, you do you. If you’re traditional, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! If you’re not, that’s okay too! As long as you know that the First Look is not a choice you’ll regret making. It still has all the drama and romance you’d expect from your wedding day.

P.S. I wanted to put the opinion of the bride AND groom but literally, every man I asked, gave me a blank stare.  They had no idea what a First Look was, and then when I explained, the blank looked continued. When I prompted for answers they said, “I don’t care”. I asked multiple grooms. I think my next article will be How to Deal with a Finance Who Doesn’t Want to Wedding Plan.