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The first look will be one of the most emotional moments of your wedding day and you’ll definitely want to document it. While some couples love sharing it with their guests at their ceremony, others prefer to do it alone, with only their photographer present. We’ve created the ultimate first look pro and con list to help you decide if a first look photoshoot is for you.

Here’s how to decide whether to do a first look photoshoot.

PROS OF A FIRST LOOK PHOTOSHOOT
You’ll really be able to savour the moment
If you suffer from stage fright, having everyone’s eyes on you as you walk down the aisle may distract you from really embracing the moment. Staging a photoshoot with just you and your partner will eliminate that fear and let you focus on what’s happening, allowing you to really savour your first look.

You’ll get the tears out of the way
There’s a good chance that seeing your partner at the altar for the first time will bring tears to your eyes. While the emotion might be great, the havoc it’ll wreak on your makeup is not so awesome. If you have a photoshoot before your ceremony, you’ll be able to shed a few tears (or even ugly cry) and still have time to fix your mascara and concealer before heading into your venue.

You’ll get to have a bit of alone time
Your wedding day is going to be one of the busiest days of your life. You’ll be hopping from your dressing room to your ceremony to your cocktail hour to your party, with only a few moments to spare in between. The first look photoshoot is the perfect time to get a little downtime with your partner in the midst of all the hustle and bustle.

You’ll get some awesome photos
Capturing the first look at a ceremony can be tough for a photographer. They have to navigate their way around the crowd, find the perfect lighting and capture both your and your partner’s reaction within seconds. While a seasoned pro will probably be able to snap your perfect picture, you don’t have to play a guessing game if you stage a photoshoot. Your shutterbug will be able to set it all up beforehand so that you’re guaranteed the best photos.

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CONS OF A FIRST LOOK PHOTOSHOOT
You’ll have to prep earlier
If you’re one of those people who hits the snooze button on their alarm about forty times before actually getting up, a first look photoshoot may not be for you. You’ll have to start prepping extra early so that you and your partner can get together for pictures before the ceremony gets underway (probably before your guests start arriving, too).

You might lose a little bit of magic
Now, I’m not saying that the first look is the “secret sauce” of a wedding ceremony, but it can definitely make the whole thing a little bit more magical. Seeing the happy couple lock eyes for the first time on their big day often brings tears to guests eyes and, if they’ve already seen each other, a bit of that fiery spark may be gone. This probably shouldn’t be your make or break, but it’s definitely something worth considering.

You’ll be missing a memorable moment in your ceremony
There are a handful of memorable moments that happen in almost every wedding ceremony, and this is one of them. Along with the processional, vows, exchanging of rings and the first kiss, the first look is something that’s often considered an integral piece of the wedding puzzle. While you’ll still get to experience all the others in front of your guests, skipping the first look may give you a bit of FOMO.

Your photos may not be as candid
Because you know what you’re in for, you may be tempted to dramatize your reactions for the camera. While you might be able to stop yourself from overdoing it, it’s pretty tough when you want your photos to be perfect. If you have your first look at your ceremony, you’ll probably be so overwhelmed with the entire situation - your guests, the venue, your partner - that your genuine emotions will shine through.

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