jada parrish
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How Long Does a First Look Take

By Jada Parrish

Posted: 07/03/19
Category: Wedding Tips

Thinking of doing a first look, but not sure how much time to allow for it? We've got you covered! A first look happens pretty quickly. It only takes about 10 minutes. Here's how to make your first look everything you have imagined along with an example  pre-ceremony timeline.


How Long Does a First Look Take - Image Property of www.j-dphoto.comHow Long Does a First Look Take - Image Property of www.j-dphoto.com  How Long Does a First Look Take - Image Property of www.j-dphoto.com


I always suggest we start shooting 3 hours before the ceremony to allow time for getting ready photos, detail shots, the first look, couples portraits, and wedding party photos. So let's pretend your ceremony starts at 5:00pm. This is how I'd break the day down!


2:00pm: Photography begins

  • Snap a few photos of hair + makeup being done

2:10pm: Begin detail shots

  • I usually start with the wedding dress then I photograph the invitation suite, rings, bouquets, jewelry, shoes, veil, perfume, etc

2:30pm: Bridesmaids get dressed

  • I like to have the bridesmaids get dressed before the bride so that they look nice and can help the bride get dressed

2:40pm: Bride gets dressed

  • I usually have the bride's mother or maid of honor help her into her wedding dress
  • Then I take photos of all the bridesmaids assisting

3:00pm: Start the first look

  • Give the couple a few minutes together to talk, hug, and get some nerves out

3:10pm: Couples portraits

  • We take photos of the bride and groom in several different poses at different spots around the venue

3:30pm: Wedding party photos

  • Take photos of the entire wedding party together

3:45pm: Bridesmaid + Groomsmen Photos

  • David and I split up. David takes photos of the groomsmen while I am taking photos of the bridesmaids

4:00pm: Finish all Photos


We make sure all photos are finished 1 hour before the ceremony begins so everyone is out of sight before guests begin to arrive. This gives everyone some time to relax before the ceremony and do any last minute touch ups.

Looking for a more in-depth wedding timeline? Click here!

Category: Wedding Tips

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How Long Does A First Look TakeFirst LookWedding PlanningWedding TipsWedding PhotographyCharlottesville Wedding PhotographerRichmond Wedding Photographer