Should You Do A First Look?

As the wedding day approaches, couples are faced with an important decision: should they do a first look or not? There are many factors to consider when choosing what will work best for you. And at The Southerly Warehouse, we are here to help! 

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Southerly Bride Kara & Husband Logan  /  Photo Credit: Wes Roberts Photography

Seeing each other at the altar for the first time is a special moment that is charming and timeless. Many couples hold onto tradition by waiting until the ceremony to see one another. But have you ever wondered how this tradition began?

I absolutely love the way Liz Susong from explains the origin of the superstition: "Picture this: You're an Elizabethan-era father who scraped together enough goats and cows to make a compelling dowry for your teenage daughter, and you're this close to getting her married to the fella down the street. You've been negotiating with his family for months, and you've nearly got it in the bag. The last thing you would want is for the groom-to-be to catch a glimpse of your daughter the morning of the wedding and realize that—bless her heart—she's a homely thing. Why, if he saw her before the very second she arrived at the altar, he might run, and now wouldn't that be bad luck? Better to be safe than sorry—you have your daughter don a veil, too. Now there's no way he can make a quick getaway as she treks down the aisle. Phew!" 


Southerly Bride Kristian & Husband Micah

So maybe we're not living in the Elizabethan-era anymore *queue sigh of relief* but holding onto certain wedding traditions can be endearing. And now that we know why it all began, let's talk about the pros and cons of opting in or out of a first look.

Delaying The Look For The Altar

Are you a couple who values tradition and customs? Choosing to wait to see each other until the altar is a classic choice for your big day. But choosing to wait means you will be sharing your special moment with everyone else at the ceremony. 

Some couples prefer not to show their immediate emotions from the "big reveal" with all of their guests. It's important to talk with your partner about their comfort level. 


Southerly Bride Madison & Husband Taylor  /  Photo Credit: T2 Photography

Opting In For A First Look

Choosing to have a first look allows private time for you and your significant other. Calm your possible pre-ceremony nerves and share an intimate moment before the long day of events gets going. 

Having a first look is also great because you can get your couple photos out of the way! Rather than make your guests wait for you to get your photos done, you can get them done ahead of time. Many couples choose to have a first look to assist with their day of timeline and ensure they get enough couple photos.


Southerly Bride Elizabeth & Husband Aaron  / Photo Credit: Jaclyn Nolin Photography

Meet In The Middle

So what if you are still on the fence about doing a first look? If you can't decide, we recommend a compromise! Talking to each other around the corner or on the other side of a door, allows couples to experience being together before the ceremony while holding onto tradition. It's a great way to get some pre-ceremony couple photos without forfeiting convention.


Southerly Bride Taylor & Husband Grae  /  Photo Credit: Sarah Marie Photos

A Fun Twist

Maybe you want to have a first look with a little spin. We love how Southerly bride Tyler and husband Trent welcomed their first look with a shot of tequila and lime! This was the perfect pre-ceremony choice for this fun couple. 

Talk to your significant other to see how you can incorporate a custom theme to your first look. 


Southerly Bride Tyler & Husband Trent  /  Photo Credit: Hannah Miller Photography

As a bride to be, whether you choose an intimate first look or wait to see each other at the ceremony, we'd love to hear your choice and why!

always more to come!

- Julia Maxwell

Julia Maxwell