First LookRobin Sloan

5 Steps to a Flawless First Look

First LookRobin Sloan
5 Steps to a Flawless First Look

5 Steps to a Flawless First Look

Picture this: it’s a crisp autumn afternoon, 2:04 pm to be exact. Your groom is nervously waiting to see you for the first time on your wedding day. He turns around, sets eyes on you… then, from out of nowhere a group of his college buddies burst into the hotel lobby. Within seconds, a romantic moment turns into a reunion party.

Unfortunately, I have heard this story too many times. Which only speaks further to my point that there are a few key moments during the wedding day that should be orchestrated and planned out beforehand. In my opinion, the first look moment is at the top of this list.

Not to worry, I’m here to provide a simple play by play on how to create a flawless first look moment:

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Step 1: Add it to Your Timeline

Make sure to add the proper amount of time into your wedding timeline — set it in stone. Accounting for the first look in your timeline will help you back into your schedule for the entire day. From deciding on when to schedule hair appointments, to ensuring the bridal party is dressed on time, having the first look accounted for will lend a hand in creating your day of timeline.


Step 2: Choose a Location

When choosing the location of your first look, you’ll want to consider things like, “do I want this to be a private moment, or am I ok with guests and family being present?” Once you answer those questions, then we can think about a convenient location that meets all of your needs, yet will photograph beautifully.


Step 3: Assign a Point Person

Who is going to be in charge of coordinating the first look? I often take this role on for my clients, alongside the wedding planner. I like to stay back with the bride, while my second photographer goes ahead with the groom to make sure the moment goes as planned and ultimately allows you to be present.


Step 4: Be Realistic

The first look is such a built-up moment — with expectations soaring high for the right reaction from the groom, just remember to be realistic. I have seen every reaction from happy tears, to nervous laughs, and awkward camera-aware kisses. The best reactions are the real ones. Don’t worry too much about what you should be doing, just be you.

EXPERT TIP: I like to have the groom in the designated location 10 minutes before the bride is expected to arrive. This gives him a few minutes away from the groomsmen to focus on you, all while building up the anticipation. Don’t worry if you are running late — you’ll likely be forgiven the minute he lays eyes on you for the first time!