Should you include a first look on your elopement day?

Elopement Tips

Should you have a first look on your elopement day?

What is a first look?

A first look is a moment after getting ready, but before the ceremony, where a couple sees each other for the first time. Often couples leave their final looks and attire a surprise for their partner to see for the first time. First looks allow for a private moment together before the celebrations begin. To set the tone for the day and share in an emotional experience together.

While some couples choose to get ready together on their elopement day. Or more traditionally they choose to see each other for the first time at the aisle. A first look is somewhere in the middle of those two options. They allow you to still have a surprise emotional moment when you see each other for the first time. But in a more private setting, allowing for more intimacy and an emotional experience to unfold.

The benefits of having a first look on your elopement day

Venture through the full day together

First looks allows you to venture through the day together, rather than meeting at the ceremony location. This is a great if you are hiking to your ceremony location, and want to hike there together. This is also beneficial if you want that special “surprise” moment, but also want to venture through the full day together. Including a first look right after getting ready is a great option to then jump in a car together and head off on your adventure!

Calm your nerves

They also help to calm your nerves and allow you to feel the emotional support from your partner before heading into one of the biggest day of your lives together. Many couples say that they felt most at ease on their wedding day after they were joined by their partner. It can be nerve racking getting ready and heading into this new chapter of your lives without them by your side. Yet by meeting and sharing in an emotional experience before your ceremony, can provide comfort and support heading into a very emotional part of your day.

Let your emotions run wild

First looks allow for more emotional moments throughout your day. Regardless if you include a first look, or the first time you meet on the day is at your ceremony location. You will be very emotional standing there, holding hands, and promising your vows to one another. Seeing each other before your ceremony, will not make this moment in your day any less emotional. Therefore by including a first look, you are only adding another emotional layer to your experience on your wedding day. This will only provide more intimacy and connection on your special day.

Your memories documented

This one may be a bit bias coming from a photographer – but first looks allow for more photo opportunities. This is a great option if you have two locations you absolutely would love to get photos at. You could have your first look at one location, and your ceremony at the other. It also allows for more emotional photos throughout the day. Allowing documentation of your first look, and then more beautiful connection flowing during your ceremony too. When you look back at your photos, you will feel how you felt in those moments and get to relive them all over again.

Share in more intimate moments alone

If you are choosing to include family on your elopement day, including a first look allows for more alone time throughout your day. This is a time you can share in private and allow yourself to be vulnerable and open before meeting up with your guests. This is also a great time to exchange gifts, read private vows you may not want to say in front of others, or just share in a moment of connection.

Other times to have a first look

Whilst most commonly first looks happen just after getting ready. That way you can venture into the rest of the day together. Alternatively could also have a first look at another point in the day! This works great if you want to have your moment at the altar, but you have an outfit change planned for later. You could have a first look when you do your outfit change. Which always makes for a really fun and sweet moment!

Have a first look with loved ones

Another option for first looks is to have them with your loved ones! This could be with your parents, your siblings, your best friend, your children, etc. This could be anyone who you’d love to surprise and share in a sentimental moment with on your elopement day. We’ve commonly seen father-daughter first looks, or best friend first looks, and they always make for the sweetest moments!

Why a first look might not be for you

To be fair, first looks are not for everyone. If you relate to any of the following statements, the truth is having a first look might not for be the right fit for you…

  • If you’ve always imagined yourselves seeing each other for the first time walking down the aisle
  • You value traditional aspects of a wedding day and want to include them in your elopement day
  • You are completely non traditional and want to spend the entire day with your spouse including getting ready together. (This can be a very emotional experience as well)

The most important thing on your elopement day, is that you chose to do whatever feels most true to you. If seeing each other for the first time when you say your vows, is what you dream of on your elopement day, then that is what you should do! Or if you much rather get ready together and support each other every step of the way, then that is what is right for you!

There is no right or wrong way of eloping, as long as you follow your heart and do what feels most true to you! We hope this was helpful to provide you with some clarity in whether or not a first look is right for you!

If you are looking for an elopement photographer to capture this special moment for you, we would be honoured! We not only photograph your elopement experience, we will guide you every step of the way. To ensure you create a day that is authentic and feels true to you! Get in touch here to find out more about our elopement photography services.