Wedding First Looks: Why You Should Have One | Minnesota Wedding Photographer

Lauren Baker Photography Minneapolis Saint Paul Twin Cities Minnesota Wedding Photographer

You know the tradition of waiting to see the bride until she walks down the aisle? Did you know that tradition originated in the time of arranged marriages? The reason grooms weren’t allowed to see their brides until the ceremony was so they couldn’t back out of the marriage if he didn’t like how his bride looked. Once the ceremony began, he had to marry her.

Of course, traditions don’t always hold onto their original intensions – that’s pretty clear. That said, while some want to stick with tradition, others are choosing to do wedding first looks and they’re pretty darn awesome.

Groom cries seeing his bride for the first time

Wedding first looks are pretty much exactly what it sounds like. A couple takes a private moment to see each other for their first time before their ceremony.

But why would a couple choose to do a first look? Because there are several benefits to doing one.

  1. You have a private moment with your spouse without several eyes staring at you.
  2. You can take a moment to breathe, hug, kiss, and talk before going into the “have to’s” of a ceremony.
  3. You can have fun with it and be silly!
  4. You get on average 50% more photos because all of your portraits can be taken before your ceremony (couple photos, wedding party photos, and family photos).
  5. You and your photographer aren’t pressed for time and can schedule as much time as you need/want for your portraits (which is why you end up getting more photos).
  6. If you want golden hour photos, you’ll have time for them. Bonus: your couple photos will have two different and dramatic looks to them.
  7. Couples having winter weddings won’t have to worry about loosing daylight after their ceremony because their portraits will have been taken before it. Pro Tip: The sun sets around 4:00 p.m. in the winter and so unless you have an early ceremony, you will loose light if you wait to take portraits after your ceremony.
  8. Nerves vanish! 100% of my couples tell me their nerves go away as soon as they saw their spouse at their first look.
Bride covers groom's eyes at their first look

I always encourage my couples to consider doing a first look. The photos my team and I capture at a first look are usually some of my favorites of the entire wedding day because they show so much love and excitement for what’s to come! That and I just love capturing raw emotions and delivering more photos to my couples. 🙂

However, if a couple is set on waiting until their ceremony to see each other, I will always respect those wishes. At the end of the day, your wedding is all about you and your spouse and what you two want!

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I'm a free-spirited love and adventure seeker who aims to inspire joy, compassion, and beauty. I hope to show each person I interact with how remarkable they are and that they have value.  


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How do we even start to say thank you for all the work and effort you put into our wedding day?

- Josie and Scott

Lauren played such a meaningful role in our wedding, capturing the day in photos that we'll look back on for the rest of our lives. She kept Scott and me calm and sane - Lauren is a miracle worker! She put in 100% effort and gave us her very best, and that means so much to me. Seeing our photographs makes me so excited and so happy that Lauren was with us on this journey.

Lauren made the process so easy and made us feel so comfortable!

- Amy and Luke

We just wanted to say thank you again so much for your amazing work. You were seriously incredible to work with and we loved the locations you suggested for both our engagement shoot and the spots in Stillwater. We were very worried about getting professional photos done since we had never done it before, but you made the process so easy and made us feel so comfortable. Thank you!

Working with Lauren was easy breezy and FUN! She gave us our most treasured photos ever!


There was a chunk of time in our wedding planning when we thought we'd go without a professional photographer to save on cost (terrible idea!) but once we met with Lauren, we knew we'd be in good hands. She checked in often and asked questions that got us thinking about other parts of the wedding that we probably would've missed. Lauren captured exactly who we are as a couple!

Lauren's enthusiasm and passion make the photo-taking process so fun – she made me feel like a star!

- Alisa AND Adam

Lauren and her team are so much fun to work with! She made us feel so comfortable on the day of our wedding, providing both silly and helpful cues to help us relax and be ourselves in our photos. Lauren’s background in dance is super helpful in recognizing simple posture changes that make a big difference, too. Oh, and the photos we got are just stunning!

Lauren was pivotal in making our wedding day perfect!

- Emma AND Erik

My husband and I looked FOR MONTHS to find the perfect photographer and after meeting Lauren we knew was the best fit for us. She made our day so much fun and easy. She found little opportunities to make the perfect photo all with a  calm ease that comes from someone who has an artistic eye along with experience in understanding the flow of a wedding.

Not only is Lauren an amazing human being, but she is an awesome photographer!

- Haley AND Erick

I've been in several weddings and have worked with a multitude of photographers and I never felt as confident as I did with Lauren. I love how professional she is. She helped with the timeline way in advance and we stuck to that timeline the day of. She was also able to professionally and firmly keep unruly family members settled and focused and navigated family drama beautifully!

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