November 2, 2020

5 Reasons Why You Should Do a First Look on Your Elopement Day

WASHINGTON, OREGON AND DESTINATION ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER

5 Reasons Why You Should Do a First Look on Your Elopement Day

Post Summary: Thinking about doing a first look at your wedding but not sure if it’s right for you? Read on to find out why to do a first look at your elopement.


When it comes to eloping, many of my couples think about getting rid of tradition to do something all their own. Honestly? It’s one of the best parts of eloping. You don’t have to worry about a full guest list by catering a big feast, color matching all the decor, or buying a big, huge dress just to make grandma happy. You might love your friends & family and want them to feel included in your day but you definitely don’t want to plan a wedding that’s entirely for other people. 

Still, some traditions are worth holding onto, like a first look, the moment when a couple sees each other for the first time on their wedding day before the ceremony. It’s a private moment for the couple, away from family and friends, before total chaos ensues.

If you’re considering eloping, you may be thinking why would we need a private moment if we’re getting married just the two of us? There are so many reasons to do a first look at your small wedding or elopement! Read on to find out why I encourage my couples to do a first look plus one reason why NOT to do one.

Do a first look if…

You’re getting ready at different locations

If you’re not getting ready at the same location, a first look is a beautiful moment to come together once you’re all outfitted for the day. Even if this first look is simply a moment you take together before you hike up to your location or an instant before the ceremony, it’s so romantic to build up the anticipation even more.

You have guests and want some private, quiet time before your ceremony

When you’re having a small wedding or elopement, you can still preserve many of the traditions of a wedding day without the large guest list. Doing a first look means having a special moment away from family and friends before you celebrate this life-changing commitment with your favorite people.

You want more photos

My couples can’t get enough photos of their wedding day! These are the moments you’ll hold onto forever. When you do a first look, you’ll have memories to look back on both before and during the golden hour. If you only rely on doing a first look at the ceremony itself, you only have one shot to get the photo, meaning you may not get every image on your shot list.

You want to settle your nerves before the ceremony

If you’re worried about crying during your ceremony or in front of others, a first look is the perfect way to settle your nerves before the big moment you two have been waiting for.

You want more freedom in your schedule

On your wedding day, there’s always a timeline to keep (yes, even if you’re eloping just the two of you!). When you do a first look, you get to take your photos sooner in the day, leaving the remainder of your time more open for activities. Plus, if you’re including family or guests, you’ll have that much more time to spend with them now that your photos are all taken care of!

I always tell my couples that it’s important to do a first look in advance if we’re hiking more than 4 miles to the ceremony site so you don’t have to worry about seeing one another while you’re en route to the location.

Don’t do a first look if…

You’re getting ready together

If you’re planning to get ready together, don’t worry about doing a first look. These moments stress the intimacy and intentionality behind the day and may be some of your favorite memories you take away from this incredible experience.

No matter what you choose, remember that a first look doesn’t just have to be with your partner. You can also do a first look with your family or friends. At my wedding, I did a first look with my dad before walking down the aisle, and it was one of the most special memories I have of my wedding day. 

Are you planning an adventure elopement & ready to make it the best adventure yet? Get in touch to start the conversation. Let’s chat about your elopement!


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