First look wedding photos


first look wedding photos

Many of my couples ask me whether or not they should have first look wedding photos or wait to see each other until the bride walks down the aisle. If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering the same thing. In my professional opinion, I think they are an excellent idea. I love first looks. I know that they are a tad bit ‘untraditional,’ but let me take a minute to explain the benefits of a first look. Ultimately it is completely up to you with what you are going to do on your wedding day. But for those of you who aren’t sure, a first look is when you and your partner see each other before the ceremony and we take photos of that special moment. This is also when you would do the wedding party photos and family portraits as well. As opposed to the traditional waiting to see each other for the first time on your wedding day as the bride walks down the aisle. The more traditional approach.

1. Your wedding day will be crazy busy. No getting around it. You have so much to do and so little time to do it in. If you have a first look wedding photos, it helps to calm down the day a bit. Instead of trying to rush around to get everyone together and have pictures taken between the wedding ceremony and reception while your guests are waiting, you’ll have that time to relax and enjoy your guests and not have to worry about being late to your reception. We can do all of the main portraits before the ceremony even begins – at the very least, the bride and groom and bridal party photos. This way, your hair and makeup are still perfect, as they were just finished. If your family is coming earlier, we can do their photos beforehand, as well, or we will only have to worry about those portraits after the ceremony and not the bridal party shots.

2. A first look also gives you a very special, intimate moment with your new spouse. If you are nervous or stressed out, this will especially help to relax you, and your spouse can comfort you and let you know it will all be OK. During the ceremony, there are many of people around and you can’t fully take in the moment because everyone is staring at you. With a first look, that moment is just between you and your spouse (and your photographer, of course). 

3. Even if you have a first look, your partner will be just as happy to see you walking down the aisle and you’ll still take their breath away. Don’t worry that you’ll be spoiling the moment by seeing them prior to the ceremony.

A first look can be super beneficial to your wedding day timeline and help save you time. You’ll be able to enjoy yourself a bit more after the ceremony because you won’t be rushing around trying to make sure everyone is there for the photos.

However a traditional wait to see the bride until she comes down the aisle definitely has its strong points. So ultimately it is up to you and your partner on what you decide!

If you would like some inspiration on first look photos as well as wedding photography ideas in general. Please come check out my Pinterest boards where you’ll get tons of inspiration! Whenever I book a wedding with a bride we create a wedding day mood board so I can fully learn the style of her, her partner, and their wedding! Plus it’s so much fun.

If you’re in wedding planning mode be sure to check out my post about where to find awesome wedding invitations tailored specifically to your wants and needs.

And don’t miss what to wear for your engagement photos!

first look wedding photos

Amber Carl Photography specializes in weddings and portraits and is located in the Pacific Northwest! I serve weddings in the PNW as well as parts of Nevada and Montana. But no distance is too far for me to travel for your wedding day. If you are getting married anywhere and are looking for a wedding photographer, please reach out at

Planning a wedding and looking for inspiration from other like minded brides? Plus a helpful place to get free tips and chat with local vendors? Come find me on Facebook where I offer tips and tricks for your wedding day as well as preparing for your boudoir session and family photos. Just shoot me a friend request and I’ll accept you!


  1. […] you’re looking for more tips for your wedding day or your wedding photos then check out First Look Wedding Photos. Should you do a first look or not? Here are reasons why you […]

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Meet Amelia

Olympia boudoir photographer

Imagine, you walk into my studio (located in Aberdeen, Wa) completely freaked out.  I mean, even though we've been talking and I've been preparing you this isn't something you've ever done before!
So you sit down in my stylist's chair as she starts to go over hair and makeup looks with you.  As she begins you start to feel at ease.  We decide which outfit you're going to start with and start posing!  The music is playing and soon the camera falls away, you're just feeling it!  I show you a few shots on the back of my camera and you're floored!  That's me?!  But you say it in a way as if that confidence has always been there, we just needed to pull it out of you.
That is why I do what I do!  To watch you transform from unsure into the powerful, amazing, confident woman that you are!  You just needed a little boost.  And I'm here to give that to you.

Why did i fall in love with boudoir?

I’m Amber

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