To look first or not to look first? That is the question.
You really can't go wrong either way, and it's just about what you guys as a couple decide is best for you. But I will share some thoughts with ya!
There are no rules
There really are no rules here. I photographed my sister's wedding, and she did her first look on a completely separate day from her wedding (and she said she was 100% happy they did it this way).
First looks aren't just for the couple
You can have a first look with anyone else important to you - dad, sibling, nieces and nephews, whatever you want!
Pros to having a first look
You get to spend more of the day together. In a first-look timeline, the first look and bride and groom photos are typically pretty early in the day. You'll have your first look and then not have to worry about hiding from each other the rest of the day.
You get special moments away from all your guests' eyes.
It can help with nerves.
Almost all portraits are done before the ceremony so you can head to your reception quickly. Guests won't be waiting around for a long time (ever been to a wedding where you had to wait around a little too long because the bride and groom were out getting photos? I have).
Cons to having a first look
I can't really think of many...
I'm kind of kidding but not really - I know some people really like the idea of doing it the traditional way and letting the groom see the bride for the first time as she's walking down the aisle. That can definitely make that moment emotional (I think it can be emotional either way though).
But what if you're sure you don't want a first look? Will you still get all the photos you want?
Yes! Of course we'll still make time for all the important shots! Just know that because you won't see each other before the ceremony, every photo that you two are in together has to be taken after the ceremony.
That means we'll factor in extra time after the ceremony for family photos, bridal party photos, and bride and groom portraits. Typically I will try to knock them out quickly so they may feel more rushed.
If you don't want a first look, there are still ways you can have a special moment together before the ceremony. I've had couples do a "first touch" where they hold hands and read their vows to each other and/or pray together without actually seeing each other.
There isn't a right or wrong answer. Do what's best for you!