Donna Marie




First Look


First of all, what’s a first look?

Your first look is the moment you see your partner for the first time on your wedding day, all done up and looking incredible. If it hasn’t felt like your wedding day is really here and happening up until this point, it will now. First looks are often emotional at first, followed by a stream of pure excitement and joy. Your first look is typically when any nerves and stress begin to fall away too. You realize you’re right where you’re supposed to be, standing before the person that makes you feel the most comfortable in this world, about to have one of your best experiences yet together.

Why have a first look?

Traditionally, at big weddings the couple does not see one another until they are walking down the aisle during their ceremony in the afternoon after so much of their wedding day has already flown by. But you’re here because you’ve chosen to throw tradition to the wind—so having a first look is your opportunity to see your partner for the first time in their wedding attire! It allows you to see your partner earlier in the day so you can spend as much time as possible together, even if you want to get ready separately. It’s a moment where you can fully be present without distraction. It doesn’t make your ceremony any less emotional or special. In fact, most often couples feel infinitely less nervous and more excited once they have had their first look to themselves. When it comes to eloping, choosing to have a first look also opens up a vast amount of possibilities when it comes to the rest of your day’s untraditional timeline.

Where do couples have their first look?

Some couples choose to have their first look at their getting ready location, maybe in the front or back yard, out on a spacious deck, a stylized room indoors, or in any scenic corner of the property. Don’t forget to consider this when you’re booking lodging! The benefit of doing your first look right at the getting ready location is that you’ll be able to diminish any nerves right from the start, spend the maximum amount of time with your partner, and enjoy the journey to your next location together.

Other couples will choose to travel separately to their first portrait location or trailhead and do a first look there. You can have a friend or family member drive you, take two cars, or even ride in the same car with one partner in the backseat (if you promise not to peek!).

If you are doing a hiking elopement, many couples will hike up to their destination in normal hiking attire, change into their wedding attire once they reach their destination, and then have their first look there. This is also a great option for sunrise elopements if it has been dark outside up until this point.

I’m always here for you and happy to help give you guidance on the perfect nearby first look location and help make it as epic as possible. I’ll also give you guidance on where to stand and make sure you don’t see one another beforehand.

I love when couples stand there for a moment before the grand reveal, maybe exchanging sweet words as the anticipation builds. Once you’ve turned around to see each other, take it all in. I’ll be capturing both of your reactions, so the only thing you two have to do in this moment is enjoy it.