First-Rate First Looks

First Looks have become an important item for today’s brides and grooms to add to their wedding day. It’s a great idea for several reasons. First and foremost, it produces some of our favorite portraits of the happy couple! It also gives the pair a private moment to celebrate the vows they are about to take together, and it can serve as a much-needed pause in the middle of a busy day. Finally, it frees up the couple to have all the formal portraits with the wedding party taken before the ceremony, so they can get right to the celebration afterward.

We’ve been through a lot of First Looks, and the ones have some planning behind them are always first rate. Here are our tips for making it an extra special moment.

Envision it

Will the bride come up behind her beloved and do the old shoulder tap? Or will the couple back into the area with the help of their best man/maid of honor and turn around on the count of three? Do you want the wedding party there to witness it from afar? Or your parents/grandparents? Or do you want it to be a “just us” moment?

Place it

Choose a good location at your wedding venue with your photographer’s help. He or she can make sure you have adequate lighting and a good space for the photographer(s) to stand so every moment is recorded.




Schedule it

Allow 45-60 minutes for your First Look. Part of that time will be setting the scene so that there isn’t an accidental glimpse beforehand. Photos themselves will only take about 10 minutes, but it’s good to pad the time a bit in case somebody takes longer to get ready than expected. And if everybody’s on time, then you have a few more minutes to enjoy each other before everything else starts.

Relish it

We’ve never met a bride or groom who didn’t say the day went by faster then they realized. So protect this time and make sure that both of you slow down and celebrate each other. A bottle of champagne…a little snack…sharing pre-written letters to each other…exchanging gifts…praying with each other – plan something that makes sense to the pair of you.

Protect it

Both partners need to commit themselves to making this a positive moment. This is not the time for a groom to criticize the bride’s headpiece, and it’s not the time for the bride to nag the groom about his to-do list. Just enjoy each other on the biggest day of your lives!

Expand it

One of the hottest new wedding trends is to have several other First Looks: Parents of the bride, parents of the groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl and ring-bearer, grandparents of the couple.

However you handle your First Look, make it a special reflection of who you are as a couple, and the photos will turn out great! Contact COMPLETE Weddings + Events Lincoln-Norfolk at (402) 434-2466 to be matched with a photographer who gets it – and who gets you!








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