5 Ways To Make Your First Look Unique

Oct 1, 2021

Elopement Resources


5 ways to make your first look unique 

These days it’s pretty rare that I have a couple who doesn’t want a first look on their wedding or elopement day. In fact, I honestly can’t remember the last time we didn’t have one! Having a first look with your partner allows you to ground, to feel at peace, and to have a private moment in the event that you have guests present at your elopement or traditional wedding. A first look doesn’t have to be dramatic or drawn out, but it also doesn’t have to be over in a blink of an eye. The beauty of doing it your way, is you get to do this your way, too! 

Some couples feel like it might not be as special to have a first look if it’s just the two of them and they’re going to be getting ready together all day as it is. I always say — it’s still special if we make it special! If you get ready together up to 75% of being ready, there’s still a LOT that your partner can be surprised by! 

So, without further ado – let’s jump into five ways to make your first look unique!

Stand back to back instead of tapping your partner on the shoulder

I LOVE THIS ONE! It pulls the focus away from just one person and allows both of you to have a special moment. If you decide on a back-to-back first look, I recommend standing about 10-12 feet apart so you have a minute to take the other person in as you walk towards them for some lovin’.

bride and groom first look before their elopement ceremony


Read your vows or super heartfelt letters after the first look

Even if you’re having a ceremony with vows, you can still read them to each other beforehand! Sometimes a smaller group of witnesses is more nerve wracking, and taking the time to exchange these personal sentiments totally alone prior to your ceremony is really special!

bride and groom exchanging vows on their elopement day


Make it fun

Use your the time after your first look to decide who’s saying their vows first with a game of rock, paper, scissors!

couple playing rock paper scissors to decide who reads vows first

Play your favorite song during the first look

Decide together with your partner when you’ll turn around to see each other, and go into a dance after the big reveal! It might feel silly to dance with no one watching but honestly, it’s the sweetest thing. Your photographer will love to capture this sweet moment!

Invite your families to witness your first look

I had an elopement in March this year where just the couple’s parents and sisters witnessed their first look, and I think they cried more than the couple did! It was so unbelievably sweet and made for a great memory for everyone. The fam left almost immediately and the couple was able to take a few minutes before we left for their ceremony.


family witnessing bride and groom first look

Ultimately, as I’ve said nine thousand times at this point — your elopement day is about YOU! There are no rules. If you want to have pizza at your first look, I will not stop you. Wanna have a snowball fight? Cool. Let’s do it. 


couple enjoying pizza on their elopement day


I also want to add that if you don’t want a first look in the traditional sense and would rather spend your getting ready time together where it fees like home, there’s familiarity, and safety — you can do that too! Spending the day getting ready together and taking the time to make it your own is just as valid. 


bride and groom getting ready together on their elopement day

I hope these gave you a few ideas for how to make your first look unique and special! If you’re ready to start planning your elopement in Lake Tahoe, reach out!

Ruthanne is an Elopement Photographer & Expert based in Lake Tahoe, California. She specializes in elopements inspired by the beautify and elegance of the High Sierra mountains, but you can find her all over the west at any time. She lives in Truckee, California where she was born & raised, with her husband Demetri & Australian Shepherd, Sasha. 


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