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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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Mandee Matthews



Award-winning Wedding Photographer located in Florida but available for travel.

MEET Mandee

Why you should consider a “First Look” on your wedding day

Lets talk about this whole “First Look” epidemic. The first thing that I will say about them is that they are AMAZING but not everyone knows how amazing they are because they get caught up in how “non-traditional” they are. But its okay that I talk about those brides because guess what… I was one! […]

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Lets talk about this whole “First Look” epidemic. The first thing that I will say about them is that they are AMAZING but not everyone knows how amazing they are because they get caught up in how “non-traditional” they are. But its okay that I talk about those brides because guess what… I was one! But what I didn’t realize was that even more then tradition, I wanted a reaction. I wanted Chad to be so overcome with joy as I walked down the aisle that he burst out in tears. What girl doesn’t want that? And I absolutely loved looking into Chads eyes as I walked down the aisle, we locked eyes and it was a moment that I will always remember. But I want to take the time to explain to you what no-one explained to me. And I will say that if there was one that that I would go back and add to our wedding day it would be doing a first look. Dont get me wrong, I loved walking down the aisle to my soon to be husband and it was a moment that I will treasure FOREVER. But now that I’m a wedding photographer and I’ve experienced so many precious first looks and have recognized HOW sweet they can be, I wish we would have done one. I could talk about this all day, but today I’m just going to give you a few things to consider why doing a first look is beneficial.

1.You get to enjoy the surprise FREELY

You actually get to have intimate time on your wedding day with your man. Most brides don’t realize that when you come down the aisle and totally SHOCK him with your gorgeous-ness… he can’t even tell you how amazing you look. He can’t touch you, embrace you or even SPEAK to you. You have to wait until 30 minutes later when the ceremony is over for him to react and tell you how amazing you look. And after 30 minutes of the ceremony, the reaction isn’t the same as the initial first glance. Just remember that if you wait until the ceremony to see each other, that there are 50-300 pairs of eyes on you. When its just the two of you (and me off in the distance with my big ole zoom lens) he feels comfortable enough to react in whatever way he wants 🙂

2. This might be your ONLY alone time on your wedding day

First Looks allow you to be TOGETHER and alone on your wedding day. Remember that this is your only time to be alone the whole day! The day is planned out completely from ceremony to reception and there isn’t time that set aside to just be together. Couples take this time to cry with each other and laugh and cry some more… and then that puts you in the PERFECT mood for your romantic portraits. Normally portraits are a little rushed after the family formals and it can be hard to really get back into that “lovey dovey” mode…. especially with family around! When you have just shared your first look, you’re READY to love on each other and I always capture some super sweet images during those moments!

3. It gets rid of all of those nerves

This is one of the most beneficial reasons to do a first look. I don’t care how calm and collected a groom looks, I can assure you that he’s nervous. And with every ticking minute he gets more nervous. But with a first look happening at the beginning of the day, the nerves are gone and when nerves are gone, TRUE EMOTIONS ARE FREE TO BE EXPRESSED. He doesn’t feel the pressure of all eyes on him, he just right there in the moment with the woman he’s about to promise forever. For the simple fact of nervousness, Its totally worth it.

4. It doesn’t ruin the walking down the aisle moment

One of the main reasons that I hear brides don’t want to do a first look is because they don’t want to take away from the moment of her walking down the aisle. Let me just day that it does NOT. The moment your groom sees you walking down the aisle, he knows that he is about to promise his life to you and that is still special even if he has already seen you! Take Matt + Hayley for example below, the first set of pictures is during the first look and the second set is during the ceremony when Hayley was walking towards him. Every emotion filled him during the first look AND the ceremony and it is the sweetest!!



5. You get 40% more Bride + Groom portraits!!

Yes, you read that right. When you’re not doing a first look we are doing ALL of the bridal party portraits, family portraits, AND bride and groom portraits (which are the ones that you hang up in your new house) in an HOUR. That means about 20-30 minutes for bride and groom portraits which in my experience are the most important images, because it is YOUR day after all 🙂 With a first look, you have about 3 hours to get all of those portraits, so just imagine how many more we can get. Not to mention that you are investing a lot into wedding photography, you make the most out of this large investment and get the most for your money when choosing a first look.

Let me end this by saying that NO ONE is required to do a first look and I used to feel bad about sharing this information with couples because I didn’t want to be pushy about it, But I have seen way too many benefits of it to not share it with my couples because after all, I want the BEST for my couples 🙂 Sweet bride, this is YOUR DAY.. If you choose to not do a first look, that is TOTALLY fine and many people do that. I just want to give you all the facts before you choose, there are many couples that value tradition and I love them just the same! I would LOVE to answer any questions you may have about first looks. Feel free to comment below with them!



"Mandee is amazing! She is so kind and ensures you have a great experience. She makes you feel comfortable when taking photos & you have a great time doing it. Her photos are beautiful. I am so grateful she photographed our engagement and wedding photos!"

"Mandee is amazing! She is so kind and ensures you have an amazing experience!"


"Mandee made my wedding! She was sure to capture every moment and the pictures were absolutely beautiful! Her communication was great from the time I booked her and she created a timeline for us to follow on my wedding day, which was very helpful. If you’re looking for a photographer who you can trust, Mandee Matthews is THE one."

"If you're looking for a photographer you can trust, Mandee is THE one!"


We could not have picked a better photographer for our wedding! Mandee is so sweet, such a fun personality, and makes you feel so comfortable in a situation where nerves and anxiety are high. Our pictures turned out beautiful - so bright and crisp - the perfect style for us.

"We could not have picked a better photographer!"

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