First Look or Aisle Reveal: Which One is Right for Your Wedding?

Is it still bad luck to see your other half before the wedding? With first look wedding photos becoming more and more popular, I don’t think so! While a first look has been rising in popularity for the last several years in the wedding industry, as a Detroit wedding photographer in 2022, I am seeing almost all of my couples opt for a first look instead of a traditional aisle reveal! And as a wedding photographer? I absolutely love both. So today, I am going to share a few tips on deciding which one is right for YOU. After all, your wedding should be a timeless reflection of your love for each other.

Looking for more timeless wedding ideas? Hi, I’m Brittany and I love classic and beautiful weddings as much as you do. If you are looking for a wedding photographer in Metro Detroit (and the area), you can learn more about working with me here. If you are still gathering inspiration (before you start booking your vendors and filling in your wedding planning binder), you can browse some of my favorite Michigan weddings here. One of the first things you’ll need to do after you get engaged is to find a wedding venue, and I’ve also gathered some of my favorite Michigan wedding venues here to make it easy for you!

first look wedding photos aisle reveal wedding photos

Pros & Cons of a First Look

Okay, now let’s get into it! The biggest advantage to a first look is that you can spend more of your wedding day WITH your person. Which is a pretty big plus, if you ask me! You can also be more flexible with your timeline, and have all your wedding portraits and family/wedding party portraits taken before the ceremony. You can budget an hour or 5 hours for photos without really affecting anything else. It often feels a lot less rushed than a more traditional wedding timeline.

This not only means you need less of a gap between your wedding ceremony and reception (which your guests will love!) but it also means you have a better chance of enjoying your cocktail hour. Even better, right?

Another pro? You can react naturally and have a private moment before your ceremony. There aren’t a million eyes on you as you try not to cry or wonder what your partner is thinking as they smile at your during the ceremony. Do you really want to be standing at the altar thinking “don’t cry don’t cry” instead of remaining present in the moment? It happens more often than you think without a first look!

Let’s talk about the cons now! The biggest con is that it’s a less traditional and you might want to see them tear up across the aisle. I totally get that too! It also means that if you do tear up during your first look, you might need a little makeup touchup before you walk down the aisle!

first look wedding photos as bride approaches first look wedding photos as bride approaches groom smiles during first look bride smiles during first look

Pros & Cons of an Aisle Reveal

Like anything else on your wedding day, there really is no one right way to do things. We have talked about the pros and cons of a first look so let’s do the same if you decide to keep things more traditional.

The biggest pro of an aisle reveal is that you don’t have to worry about bringing on bad luck by seeing each other before the wedding. There is also more anticipation in the morning, which can make your wedding ceremony feel more exciting. After all, you’ve waited hours and hours to see your person. Often when I ask couples what they are most excited about on their wedding day, if they have opted for an aisle reveal they will almost always say “when I see them walking down the aisle”. There really is just something so romantic about an aisle reveal.

Now for the cons. If you get anxious easily, it might not be for you! Like I said, the pressure is ON and you are going to experience an intensely emotional moment with about 150 eyes on you. The other con is, depending how much time you have between your wedding ceremony and reception, your wedding photos can feel a bit rushed. Don’t worry – we will choose somewhere close to your wedding venue for photos so we don’t lose any time in transportation.

To save even more time, some couples will opt to do the “bride with her wedding party” and “groom with his wedding party” photos before the ceremony too! You have options so if you are dreaming of an aisle reveal but are a little concerned about the time pressure, we ALWAYS have options. No stressing allowed!

bride walking down the aisle groom sees bride walking down the aisle for the first time as an aisle reveal bride sees groom for the first time bride and groom smile at each other during their wedding ceremony

Will you have a First Look or Aisle Reveal?

I would love to hear your thoughts and whether or not this has been helpful for you! Make sure to follow me (and say hi!) over on Instagram! I would love to hear your thoughts and what you are planning to include in your wedding day timeline! If you are looking for a wedding photographer to help you iron our the details, I’d be thrilled. I’m available for Michigan weddings + destination weddings (inquire for pricing). Connect with me directly here.

PS: Want a few more wedding tips about your day of timeline? I always help my couples create a personal wedding timeline for THEIR unique wedding but I have a few more tips (and sample wedding timelines) in this post.

bride hold gorgeous pink and white bouquet


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