“What’s a first look session?”

I always offer to fit a first look session into a wedding day, but not a lot of people have actually heard of it before, so it’s completely fine to ask this question. Every wedding is different, but there’s still a lot of wedding traditions most couples follow even without realising it. A first look session is one of my favourite ways to break with tradition, and I think it can even improve your wedding day experience!


owenbphoto wedding first look 011 - What's a First Look session?

How a first look session fits into your wedding

A first look session on your wedding day is where you and your partner get to lay eyes on each other for the very first time, before the ceremony in a quiet private space away from all your guests. And I simply stand back to capture the moment as it happens in my documentary wedding photography style.

I know what you’re thinking – aren’t you supposed to have that moment in the ceremony? If you’d prefer it in the ceremony, then absolutely! But this is also a really lovely way to start your day.

With a first look you get to have just a few more precious private moments together to fuss over each other, wish each other luck, simply love each other, before going out in front of all those people. And you’ll still be excited to see each other in the ceremony too!

We can make a few posed portraits together while we’re there, and some couples invite their close family to join at that point for a few more group shots, but I think it’s nice to leave the group shots to after the ceremony. First looks should be a gentle, tender start to your day, and that’s why I love them!

Want to see some pictures? Here’s some of my favourite first looks, from a couple of my weddings – enjoy!

Rachel & Gabriel

Rachel and Gabriel got married at Asia House. I found this empty room with big beautiful windows and brought Gabriel in first to wait. Then I went downstairs to collect Rachel as she arrived, and led her up to the room. She was so excited! Then I simply lined them up, told Gabriel to count to ten before turning, and stood back…


Yanin & Ming

There was a lovely quiet park next door to Yanin & Ming’s ceremony venue, so I took Ming there first and waited for Yanin’s bridesmaids to bring her along when we were ready. Yanin had a long walk up to Ming, but it was worth the wait!