37 Romantic First Look Wedding Photos

Let these sweet snapshots inspire your own first look

Updated 01/08/19

Photo by Melissa Marshall

While not for the superstitious, first look wedding photos have been topping the list of wedding must-haves for many couples over the past few years. It's still entirely up to you whether or not you want to uphold the idea of not seeing your soon-to-be spouse until the ceremony, but—if these sweet snapshots are any indication—a first look is a beautiful way to start off your married life.

The instant a couple first locks eyes on their big day is incredibly romantic—whether or not it's done in private before you say "I do," or as you make your grand entrance into the ceremony. But while they may not be a time-honored custom, first look wedding photos have become something of a new tradition amongst modern couples who opt to see one another before the ceremony, resulting in heartwarming, tear-jerking photos.

On the fence about doing a first look? Firstly, seeing your partner before walking down the aisle is a great way to ease any pre-wedding jitters. And if you're concerned about your partner's expression being any less excited when they see you walking down the aisle to exchange vows, don't be. Chances are, your love will still get teary-eyed in the moments before they say "I do." And since they've already seen you in your wedding dress, they can appreciate the crystallizing realization that you two are about to become the two luckiest people in the world even more so.

Have we swayed you? Well then it's time to get inspired! From a "first touch" where couples hold hands around some form of partition to weep-worthy surprises, there are plenty of ways to personalize a first look.

Get some romantic ideas for your own first look by checking out our 37 favorite shots below.

first look shocked groom

Photo by Olivia Rae James

We can hear his gasp from here!

groom first look reaction

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

We bet their cheeks hurt from smiling after this first look.

Bride and Groom First Look

Photo by Sandy SooHoo

Shhh.... Here comes the bride!

Photo by Towards the Moon

These brides just couldn't contain their excitement upon seeing each other.

bride and groom first look

Photo by Melissa Marshall

When the big moment finally came, this bride wrapped her arms around her groom to let him know she had arrived.

Bride and groom first look

Photo by Katrina Jayne

I'm not crying, you're crying...

Photo by Benj Haisch

While this couple didn't actually see one another, the groom sweetly serenaded his bride ahead of their ceremony.

Bride and groom first look

Photo by Zibetti Photo and Film

No shame if you just can't hold back the tears!

Photo by Michael Stephens Photography

Sometimes the anticipation is just too much—you just can't help but run!

Photo by Steve Cowell Photography

Be prepared for your emotions to run the gamut during your first look.

Photo by Benj Haisch

A first look so special, the bride had to wipe away her groom's tears.

Bride and groom first look

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

This giddy bride couldn't contain her excitement upon seeing her groom for the first time.

groom first look

Photo by Clayton Austin

This groom just couldn't believe his eyes!

Photo by Caroline Yoon Photography

This groom was bowled over by the sight of his beautiful bride.

Photo by Sposto Photography

This "first touch" is the best of both worlds: The couple got to share a moment together, but waited until the ceremony to actually see one another.

Photo by Benj Haisch

This emotional first look has us reaching for the Kleenex.

Photo by Henry + Mac

These two brides couldn't have been happier to lay eyes on one another.

Bride and Groom First Look

Photo by Forged in the North

A first look followed by a tighter-than-tight embrace.

First Look

Photo by Anthony Hoang of Lover of Mine

This cheeky bride covered her groom's eyes before the big reveal.

Bride and Groom First Look

Photo by Tim Willoughby

Sharing a sweet, quiet moment ahead of your ceremony is just the thing to calm your nerves.

wedding first look umbrellas

Photo by Henry + Mac

A little rain didn't get in the way of this couple's first look.

first look

Photo by JAG Studios

Adorably peeking over your shoulder is a perfect first look pose.

Photo by Melissa Marshall

This estate gate is such a charming first look location.

Photo by Sargeant Creative

A staircase makes for quite the grand entrance for a first look.

First Look

Photo by Jenny Fu

This couple shared a sweet moment on the steps of their Lake Como venue ahead of their ceremony.

Photo by Jessica Castro Weddings

If you don't mind an audience, why not get the whole wedding party involved?

Bride and Groom First Look

Photo by The Goodness

We can't help but smile looking at these two.

bride and groom first look

Photo by Peter and Veronika

She's got a ways to go before she gets to her groom, but how stunning is this first look setting?

First Look

Photo by Gianny Campos

We can feel his anticipation from here.

first look

Photo by Winsome and Wright

Behold this beautiful bride and her handsome groom.

bride and groom first look

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Ready or not, here she comes!

Photo by Benj Haisch

A little mood music never hurt.

Photo by Cat Mayer Studio

Surrounded by a magical mountainous landscape, this couple still can't keep their eyes off each other.

Photo by Angie Diaz Photography

Here comes the groom!

Groom first look

Photo by Jessica Burke

This is where a custom handkerchief comes in handy.

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle Photography

This groom's smiler couldn't be wider.

Photo by The Markows Photography

Just look at his face!

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