Can't Decide Whether or Not to Have a First Look? Real Brides Dish on the Pros and Cons

Wedding Photography

Ohh, the classic first-look photos. We've all seen them. The bride sneaking up behind the groom (like the one above!) The groom standing anxiously, with a smile of sheer anticipation. The look on the groom's face as he sees his bride for the first time in her wedding dress. Everyone knows that first looks can be truly magical and especially intimate, filled with raw emotion and heartwarming embraces that make for the best photographic moments. However, for many couples, seeing their hubby- or bride-to-be before the ceremony is still a big no-no — citing old traditions of bad luck or simply wanting to save the surprise of the first look for the walk down the aisle. If you're a bride-to-be, you've probably asked yourself if a first look is worth the pre-ceremony photo ops, or if it will spoil the surprise of meeting your fiancé at the altar. To help you make the big decision, we asked brides on Instagram: Did you have a first look? And why or why not? Read their responses below and you might just find your answer!

"We did a first look and it was awesome! While I am a fan of tradition and the groom seeing the bride for the first time at the ceremony, this made more sense as we did photos beforehand (would have been too dark after) and I'm really happy we did. We got to spend time together afterwards, and the photos are super cute and emotional." —@allyhuish

"No I did not. My photographer tried to talk us into a "first look," but my groom and I decided to stick with tradition and meet for the first time at the alter. We felt that seeing each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle would make that moment so much more special, and it sure did" —@elle_erica

"We did a first look because we were too excited to see each other, and it was great! Plus, we got the couple photos done before the ceremony so we didn't spend hours after the ceremony taking photos when we could be with everyone who attended our wedding." —@candylewis13

"Yes, we did, and it was kind of awkward! My groom didn't really know what to do, and he felt weird having all that attention and expectation on him. People expected him to cry or something, but he didn't. He just said, "Oh you look beautiful!" And we moved on with our lives." —@ivyjacobshair

"I started off firm with no first look, as I felt there's something so magical about the opening of the church doors and seeing each other for the first time. However, we did decide on doing the first look, and it was the best choice ever! It allowed us to enjoy more of the day together and with our bridal party. Plus, it allowed for our amazing wedding photographer to spend more time and take even more amazing images of the day!" —@amichels105

See more: 6 Clever and Creative Wedding Signs to Incorporate into Your Wedding

"No first look! We wanted the first time we saw each other to be when I walked down the aisle in church. It was exciting and emotional, and I'm glad that we were able to share that moment with our guests. We did photos after the ceremony which I love because they capture us wearing our rings!" —@elizabethacandido

"Yes! It was mine and my husband's favorite part of our special day. It was such an honest and raw moment between us. There wasn't the pressure and anxiety of hundreds of eyes watching us. Still brings tears to my eyes." —@bonniedraper

"We didn't. My husband and I wanted to see each other when I was walking down the aisle. And it was such a special moment. We will always remember seeing each other for the first time on the aisle." —@ms.carol_ramirez

"We did! It was important to both of us to read our own vows, but I was so nervous that I wouldn't be able to get the words out. The first look helped to get some of the jitters out of the way. Plus, it was a perfect, intimate moment that gave us lots of great pictures!" —@bridgetkm

"We didn't! My dad and I, however, did a "first look," which I loved! Super awesome idea for girls that are close with their dad and want to wait for the aisle for their husband-to-be to see them." —@colleenjones815

Want to submit your wedding advice? Follow us on our Instagram page — where you can leave your comments, get fellow brides' tips and advice, and get inspired by the latest trends in wedding style and décor!

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