Jason Goldfarb Photography is a Seattle wedding photographer who values telling your story through timeless, candid, and true-to-life images. He photographs weddings and engagements in Seattle, Washington and throughout the PNW. 

Why You Should Consider a First Look at your Wedding

Planning your wedding day timeline

When planning your wedding with photography in mind, there are SO many ways you can order your timeline. However, one of the most common questions that I get is: “should we do a first look?”

My answer: YES. About 90% of my couples are doing a first look.

What is a first look?

A first look is a private moment where the couple sees each other before the wedding ceremony. Typically, this only involves the couple and the photo & video team. It usually lasts between 15-30 minutes.


First look benefits

Why? By doing a first look, you unlock a lot of benefits for your timeline.

It provides an opportunity for couple portraits prior to the ceremony.

This is ideal because oftentimes, couple portraits happen during cocktail hour. If we are able to get portraits done before the ceremony, we can get you to your cocktail hour faster, so you can get back to enjoying your wedding! This is especially helpful during winter weddings where it gets dark super early!

It gives you an intimate moment together.

Your wedding day can be stressful — sharing an intimate moment together can be really centering. This is a time where you can share an intimate moment in PRIVATE — away from your family and guests.

You actually get to enjoy your cocktail hour.

By doing a first look, we can get the bridal party and family photos done PRIOR to the ceremony, so that I only have to steal you away for ~20 minutes to do couple photos during sunset, instead of taking bridal party/family formals/couple portraits ALL during your cocktail hour. HUGE WIN.

Pro tip: A first look is especially helpful in Seattle.

Why? THE RAIN. If we do a first look + couple photos early in the day, we have flexibility later in the day when it comes to couple portraits. If it’s raining after the ceremony, we can feel it out and go take portraits during a break in the rain.

Traditional wedding day timeline

In a “traditional” timeline, you’ll want me to arrive ~3 hours prior to the ceremony.

Groom getting ready photos (15 minutes)

Groomsmen photos (30 minutes)

Bride getting ready and details (1 hour)

Pro tip: whoever is helping the bride get into her dress (Mom, Maid of Honor, etc) — they should be dressed first! That way, they can be all done-up when we’re taking photo of the bride getting in her dress.

Bridesmaids photos (30 minutes)


Cocktail hour

Photo booth opens!

Family photos (15-30 minutes)

Bridal party (if didn’t get these earlier)

Couples portraits (30 minutes)


Grand entrance


Grand exit

First look day timeline

Groom getting ready photos (15 minutes)

Bride getting ready and details (1 hour)

First look! (15-30 minutes) with couple portraits

Bridal party portraits (30 minutes)

Immediate family photos (if time allows)


Cocktail hour

Photo booth opens!

Couples portraits (15-20 minutes) — Notice this?? This is a HUGE benefit of a first look. It allows you to actually go to, and enjoy your cocktail hour!!

Grand entrance


Grand exit

Doing a first look allows you to get out and enjoy your wedding, instead of slamming in a ton of photos after your ceremony.

Please let me know if you have any questions about a first look — I’m happy to walk you through your timeline!

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