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Four REAL Factors in Deciding on a First Look

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

Grooms Reaction to Bride coming down isle at The Roswell River Club
Grooms Reaction To Bride


You have been dreaming of your wedding day forever.

Picturing it in your mind. The hair…....the dress. Your entourage helps with all the final touches.

Then the main event. You picture yourself walking down the aisle. Your eyes meet his. You can sense his joy. This is the moment…..he wipes away a tear and smiles back. The Instagram worthy reaction you have been waiting to see.

It’s beautiful. Why would anyone choose to ruin a moment like that?


I hear it all the time……. Georgia Photographers, my peers, trying to force couples into a first look. Why? Well, It’s less pressure for an inexperienced photographer.

If you have an experienced professional wedding photographer, this shouldn't be a factor in your decision.

Any Atlanta photographer with real wedding experience (minimum 5 years and 75 weddings) will have no problem capturing your day without a first look.

So what are the REAL considerations? I’m glad you asked…….



At Mike Moon Studio, we suggest, not insist on, a first look when all of your photos would be in the dark. We suggest starting by checking sunset time on your wedding day. You need a minimum of 45 minutes between the ceremony and sunset.

If you are getting married at a North Georgia Mountains Venue or a Heavily Wooded Venue, the sun will get blocked before sunset so we recommend extending the 45 minute window by an additional 30 minutes.

Sunlight is unpredictable. The best protection you can have is a photographer who is skilled with Off Camera Flash. At Mike Moon Studio we use our proprietary Moonlite System to guarantee the Perfect Light in Any Light.

With and Without Moonlite



Wedding jitters are a real thing. My wife and I dated four years before we got married and I was a nervous wreck on the day. After 18 years together we have proven those jitters wrong. Nevertheless, they are VERY REAL.

A big reaction from the groom when you walk down the aisle is more rare than you would think. It's not because he is not happy…….he is anxious. He is standing in front of hundreds of people waiting for your entrance. Around 2 out of 10 grooms give the wedding magazine reaction we all hope for and nerves are the culprit.

The first look is a great alternative. It's a private moment without the pressure of the crowd. You get his genuine reaction every time.

The added bonus is seeing each other calms the nerves. Then when you walk down the aisle, you often get a second great reaction because you are both more relaxed. That’s a win-win.



The first look will affect the number and variety of photos you get from your big day. The reality is there is only so much time between the ceremony and reception.

Any experienced Georgia Photographer can give you a complete collection of photos with no first look……but……… more time means more variety and a more relaxing pace.

You will get tons of great portraits, but there is a luck element to that truly magic shot. A first look gives you more chances to get it without the added stress.



So now we come to the reason not to do a first look and it's a big one. Weddings are sacred. Two people make a life long commitment to each other. It's no small thing.

In moments like this, tradition can be a very meaningful thing. If that is your reason for wanting to wait till you walk down the aisle to see each other, we support it.


I hope this information helps you make the best decision for your unique Metro Atlanta or North Georgia wedding day. Know that either choice you make, Mike Moon Studio has your back. We can’t wait to see what you choose!

Wedding Day Sparkler Exit at Ashton Gardens Wedding Venue
Sparkler Exit

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