For Brides


3 Reasons a First Look Will CHANGE Your Wedding Day for the Better

Louisville Kentucky Editorial Wedding photographer


Happy Tuesday, beautiful humans! I’m so glad you’re here, and I am SO pumped to give you some of the ways that sharing a first look on your wedding day can absolutely change your day in the best way! First looks are so fun, so intimate, and absolutely so beautiful on wedding days- they truly do add so much story and intimacy to wedding days, and I personally could not recommendd them enough!

That being said, I completely and totally recognize how personal this decision is, and not once in my career have I ever intentionally pressured a couple into a first look! I absolutely respect my couples’ decisons to do or not to a first look, AND I also want to do my due diligence in educaating brides on all of the benefits to first looks so that they can make an informed decision on what they are going to do on their wedding day!

And today, I want to share just a few of the things I share with Maggie Exum Creative Brides about why I love first looks, how they can benefit and serve YOU as the couple, and how they actually give you even more of the opportunity to get back your dream wedding gallery.

Reason 1: More Portrait Time

This is by far the most obvious reason, but it is also one of the most important reasons. Because MORE portrait time before the ceremony can change so many other things! First of all, the more portrait time that we have together, the more we get to really focus on your story and capturing as many intimate images as we possibly can! Plus, the more time we have to focus on you guys before the ceremony, the more we get to explore different locations and poses! Ultimately, more portrait time means we get to have more creative freedom and really have the opportunity to tell your story in a unique way that is true to you. I firmly believe that portrait time is a sacred part of your day, because it is one of the few moments on your wedding day that we truly just get to focus on YOU and not worry about all the other people there to celebrate with you!


Oh my gosh, I wish I could just SCREAM this from the dang rooftops! I used to think that first looks stole from the anticipation of walking down the aisle or took away the sweetness of that moment in the ceremony… oh, how absolutely wrong I was. I just didn’t know what I didn’t know… which is that first looks are some of the most emotional, highly anticipated, and intimate parts of a wedding day. I think that they honestly can be all-together quite holy. A groom and his bride, united for the first time in such a personal and intimate way, both feeling the freedom to be who they are wholly with one another. It is so beautiful.

When shooting first looks, I am always just taken aback by the sweet emotion that fills the space between a groom and his bride. Whether it is with tears, a sweet embrace, or just a moment where they both have to stand back and take it all in, first looks are undeniably one of the most intimate moments of a wedding day. Not to mention, it is one of the few moments that the bride and grrom just get to be alone, together on their day. It is so sweet, and I am always just so honored to be a part of that.

Tip 3: Simplified Timeline (like x1000)

Omg THIS! Ya’ll this is the TEA. First looks just undeniably simplify the timeline so much. I often have brides tell me that they don’t want to do a first look and then as soon as we sit down and start working on their personalized timeline (I offer these with every wedding package), they quickly realize that they absolutely need and want to do a first look.

When my couples do a first look (which, by the way, about 95% do end up doing a first look), we get to also get the majority of their portraits done, family portraits done, and all bridal party portraits done BEFORE the ceremony! Think about all of those that…done before any guests even arrive! What people don’t realize is that when there is no first look, those things- for the most part- get pushed until after the ceremomy, which then inevitably cuts into portrait time and ends up having guests wait longer to eat and celebrate. Of course, the guests can enjoy a cocktail hour or some appetizers (because we’ll wanna sneak away for sunset pictures regardless), but it’s the difference between another 20 minutes of couples portraits and over an HOUR of all the other portraits.

First looks can absolutely simplify the timeline, and if you want even MORE timeline tips- check out last week’s blog: Planning Your Wedding Day: Top Timeline Tips from an Established Wedding Photographer!

Oh my goodness, I know that was so stinking much- but girl, it is just SO dang important that you know all the benefits and are fully educated on the impact having (or not having) a first look on your wedding day! I said it before, and I’ll say it again- this decision is PERSONAL. While I absolutely recommend a first look, I also absolutely respect and support whichever decision my brides make!

Ultimately, it is your day and you should feel confident in the decision that fits YOU best! Honoring what is authentic to my couples is just one of my few core values in the Maggie Exum Creative Experience, and that does not exclude this decision!

I hope this blog post was helpful, and whether you decide to have a first look or not, that it empowered you to make a fully informed decisioin about your wedding day!

As always, I am honored to share with you and just over the moon that I get to have you here on my page!

I still have a few bookings available in the fall of 2023, and oh my goodness, I so hope that I can put your name in one of those spots! If you are curently looking for a fun, up-beat, editorial wedding photographer, I am your girl! Just shoot me an inquiry, and we can see if we are the perfect fit!

Chat soon! xoxo,




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Sarah + michael

"Maggie was just a wonderful person to have with us on our wedding day, and I'm so thankful we chose her to capture our wedding. I still feel like I have a friend in her even after the wedding ended." - Sara and Michael

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