First Look Tips from A Vancouver Island Wedding Photographer

November 3, 2023

As a Vancouver Island wedding photographer, I’ve had the privilege of documenting so many stunning first looks. First-look photos make for some of the most beautifully authentic wedding photos—especially when the genuine emotion behind them shines through. 

Not every couple includes this experience as a part of their wedding, but there are many reasons why they should!

In this post, I’ll explain what a first look is and break down the benefits of taking the time to capture this moment on your wedding day. Ultimately, the choice is yours—but by the end, you’ll be well equipped with everything you need to know before you make a firm decision!

Would you rather skip to the part where we start discussing details? Head on over to my contact page and inquire about my Vancouver Island wedding photography services ASAP.

Bride walks towards her groom who is facing away for a first look captured by their Vancouver Island wedding photographer

What is a First Look? 

A first look is really a special one-on-one moment between the bride and groom where they see each other on their wedding day for the first time, typically before their wedding ceremony. You may have seen these types of photos before, capturing a look of excitement and surprise between the couple seeing each other in their wedding attire for the first time!

It makes for quite a touching moment, and it also sets the perfect mood for more intimate wedding day photos. In terms of location, there is no right or wrong way to do a first look. You can plan to do them indoors, outdoors, outside of your ceremony venue or church—whatever works best for you. 

As a Vancouver Island wedding photographer, this is one of my favourite moments of the day. Documenting the excited looks on your faces is such a special moment to witness and is something I know you’ll cherish remembering fondly for years to come.

Brunette bride places her hand on her grooms shoulder so they can have a quiet moment during their first look

The Benefits of Doing a First Look on Your Wedding Day

So the question is: should you or shouldn’t you take time for a first look on the day of your Vancouver Island wedding? Here are some reasons why you should consider having this experience with your future betrothed. 

Calm your pre-ceremony nerves.

Let’s face it: as thrilling as your wedding day is, it can also be a little nerve-wracking! By including a first look into your pre-ceremony plans, you can take a breather with your significant other before saying “I do”. This gives you the chance to exhale together and remember what really matters—being present and having fun.

Enjoy a little alone time.

Whether you’re having an intimate wedding or a big celebration, weddings tend to keep you busy—and they go by quickly! As important as it is to celebrate the day with your friends and family, a first look provides a quiet moment you can enjoy together without your guests. Many couples also use this opportunity to exchange letters and gifts, making the experience that much more heartwarming. 

Capitalize on looking your best.

Don’t get me wrong—you’ll look stunning all day (fact). It’s your wedding, after all! But there’s something to be said about documenting your look while it’s still fresh, and that’s what getting first-look portraits can help you accomplish. First-look photos are captured early on in the day, which means your look will be pristine. 

Beautiful bride strolls down outdoor stone steps towards her groom on their wedding day for a first look

Just to get more photos, period.

Opting for a first-look experience gives us the chance to take more photos in general—and on one of the most important days of your life, that’s definitely not a bad thing! Depending on the details of your wedding, it might even be a chance to get photos at a different or unique location, which means you get more photos to be excited about.

Enjoy cocktail hour with your guests.

Some couples disappear for wedding portraits during cocktail hour, and there’s nothing wrong with that! But if you’d rather be sipping some bubbly with your besties, a first look is a great option to choose instead. By capturing tons of pre-ceremony portraits, you’ll feel more free to enjoy cocktail hour with your guests. 

When it comes to choosing to do a first look or not, it’s all about what makes the most sense for you and your partner. If you have a wedding planner, you can tap into their expertise in weighing your options. Your wedding photographer can also be a great resource if you need a little guidance to make the final decision!

Vancouver Island wedding photographer captures a black and white photo of an intimate moment during a first look


Book a Vancouver Island Wedding Photographer for your Flawless First Look Photos

And by booking a Vancouver Island wedding photographer, I mean this one right here! When you hire me, you can trust your wedding photography is in skilled, caring hands—and that includes your first-look photos. 

Reach out to me, and let’s begin ironing out the photography details of your biggest celebration ever. I can’t wait to connect with you.

Still mulling it over? No problem. In the meantime, come hang out on Instagram with me. It’s the perfect place for us to get to know each other better—and it’s also a good place to peruse more first-look photos (and so much more).