emotional groom at ritz carlton kapalua

Planning your wedding and trying to decide if you should have a first look? Well, you’re in the right place. This has become quite a popular wedding trend but some couples would rather wait until the ceremony. So let’s go over the pros, cons, and other ways to have a first look experience.

So… What is a first look?

This is when the bride and groom see each other before the wedding. You can take time before your ceremony to read your vows, admire your outfits and just soak in the day.


– it’s great if you want some private time beforehand or if you’re shy and don’t care to share that moment with your guests.

  • You can get some private time beforehand
  • You can read your vows in an intimate setting – this is great if you’re shy and don’t care to share that moment with your guests
  • You can get all of your bridal portraits done before the ceremony
  • You can have a really sweet intimate reaction from your partner


  • Sometimes I feel like the moment ends up falling flat. Pinterest and other wedding blogs have put so much emphasis on this moment so you can do your portraits before the ceremony and save time, while all of this is true, the moment can still fall flat. Especially with all of this focus on making the groom cry
  • You have to get ready earlier in the day
  • Your guests don’t get to see your partners reaction


If you like the idea of waiting until the ceremony but you still want to have an intimate moment, consider doing a first touch. This is where you stand back to back or use the corner of a building and hold hands, say some words to each other, you can read private vows or exchange gifts. First touch and private vow reading are always some of my favorites in lieu of a first look.

The last option and the most traditional one is waiting to see each other until the ceremony. I love this moment because there’s so much leading up to it and it’s definitely one of my favorites. The emotions always run high and the reactions are always so, so sweet.

Something else to consider…

You can do a first look with a dad or a very important person. This is great if you have someone special in your life and you want to spend some time with them before the ceremony and reveal their wedding day look. Moms, Dads, Siblings are all great people to do a first look with.

Something to keep in mind… you need to make sure that the time is built into the wedding day timeline. Add at least an extra 30-45 minutes to plan for a first look. This ensures that we have enough time and won’t have to worry about rushing!


Examples of First look:


Examples of first touch/private vow reading:

Example of traditional first look (coming down the aisle)

maria lanikila church in lahaina, maui

groom seeing his bride for the first time


Examples of first look with dad or VIPs

Ready to have your Maui wedding? Let’s get in touch and plan something!

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