Who Should Be There for Your First Look? Here's What We Think

Here's how to get it right.
sophie ross the knot bridal fashion and beauty expert
Sophie Ross
sophie ross the knot bridal fashion and beauty expert
Sophie Ross
Bridal Fashion and Beauty Expert
  • Sophie Ross is a Senior Copywriter at Adore Me.
  • Sophie is an experienced style and beauty writer.
  • Sophie worked as an Associate Editor for The Knot from 2017 to 2019.
Updated Feb 28, 2019

No pressure or anything, but you get one chance for your first look—and you don't want the moment ruined just because you felt compelled to invite every single family member on both sides (despite the fact that it made you feel uncomfortable and inauthentic).

New flash: You don't need to invite anyone at all. In fact, when it comes to figuring out the logistics of that highly anticipated first look, you have a few options. Read about them—and decide which one sounds right for you—below.

Just You and Your Partner

This goes without saying: You and your partner are the only ones that actually need to be there. A one-on-one first look will feel special and natural, and it might just put you at ease knowing you won't have to put a show for any third-party observers.

That said, recognize the fact that by choosing this option (and opting out of inviting your photographer and videographer), you won't get the amazing first look photos couples end up cherishing so much (unless you ask your videographer to set up a recorded camera in advance to document the moment, which is certainly possible).

And make sure your loved ones (aka your wedding party and family members) are aware that you want a private first look without them. They might be disappointed at first, but they'll ultimately understand.


A Few Special Vendors

Alternatively, you might just want this moment heavily documented. (The photos and video shots will be priceless—we promise.) Invite just the vendors that need to be there to properly capture the first look—your photographer, videographer and probably your wedding planner too (to ensure you both are positioned correctly and it goes off without a hitch).

Pro tip: Have your photographer and videographer work together in advance to make sure the lighting (and any other bells and whistles regarding the setting) are set up perfectly.

Your Loved Ones

First looks are emotional for everyone—including your family members and close friends (aka your wedding party, most likely). Your first look should be your vision (and no one else's)—but if you know your mother, for instance, will be upset if she's not invited to observe, feel free to extend the first look invite to a few key "witnesses."

And no, they don't need to be in the shot or noticeable at all, really—your photographer can help designate a special, secluded spot where they can watch from a distance (you know, without risking getting in the shot or distracting you).

Their reactions will likely be priceless too, so your photographer might try to capture those as well. Win-win.

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