Wedding photographer, avid reader, & macaroni and cheese connoisseur

meet tay


A first look is an important decision.

First of all, I am not here to force anyone to do anything they do not want to do. First looks are a big decision due to its complete step away from a traditional wedding where both partners don’t see each other until the big “aisle reveal”.  I’ll give you some of my favorite reasons to have a first look, and a couple of good alternatives. One is if you’re against seeing each other and one if you’d like to go one step further.

Weston Red Barn Farm - Kansas City Wedding Photographer

Why I, as a wedding photographer, love first looks:

  1. Timelines – More often than not, wedding timelines derail. All of the sudden, there’s no time for this or that, but a first look can save that. Seeing each other before the ceremony means fewer photographs to grab after. We can knock out all the wedding party photos + the ones of just the two of you beforehand. That means your “cocktail hour” (should you choose to have one) is limited to an actual hour to grab family portraits and anything else that we missed before.
  2. Genuine Emotion – One of the reasons I provide an engagement session with all of my wedding packages is so that we can get to know one another. When it’s time for that first look, you should feel better about crying in front of just little old me as opposed to the 100-250 guests. My husband and I were all nerves. (You’ll see what we chose to do if you scroll down)
  3. Privacy – Sometimes a first look is the only real 10-20 minutes you get alone with your partner during the day. I snap your moments then leave you to have some privacy and give each other encouragement. Lately, this is even where private vows are exchanged!
  4. Modern Technology – Phones are getting bigger, better, & fewer people are willing to put away theirs at ceremonies. There’s a slim to none chance I can’t work around those people in your aisle, but wouldn’t you prefer it if you had captured those moments screen free?
  5. Photos – This one is selfish, but first look photos are ALWAYS adorable. The reactions are priceless and they make for amazing memories to look back on in your photos.

First look not for you? No worries

I understand that some people want traditional, they want the surprise, they want that feeling of being given away or meeting their partner in front of the ones they love with complete and total surprise.

We can totally do that. But I also have an idea you might love and want to incorporate. If you trust me and my team to get you in and out without seeing one another, this may be for you.

write a letter

Yes, I know what year it is. Yes, you can type it. But think about it. You can pull that letter out when you have your first real married fight to remember how you felt. You can show it to your kids one day, your grandkids, your best friends that need a reminder of what love is.

We’ll find some cute chairs or a nice big door and we’ll make it happen if you want. Just remember that there are so many ways to create these moments and I’m all for giving you a hand.

First look alternatives!

Want a first look but not with your partner? Bring the person who raised you, the person who influenced you as an adult, the person who you admire the most. Hell, maybe even just your best friends.  I swear there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

Here’s a photo of my mom and my husband’s mom seeing us for the first time after we chose to get ready together.

Want to get real wild?

Get ready together.

You can read more about our wedding day and decisions we made here, but this was the second most important one to me. (Right after walking down the aisle together) I was nervous, I was scared, and I don’t do crowds. You wouldn’t believe how comforting it was to dress my partner and have him do the same on our day. Don’t be afraid to do something different, comforting, and unique for your own day.


Should I have a first look?

I have been asked to write this one million times. In fact, I have sat down to do it and then I realize I don’t feel qualified. I still don’t, but for the 1 person I might help? Let’s just try it. There are some unavoidable things in life, but as much as I can […]

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Hey Tay is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Kansas City, Missouri. Tayanna services the greater Kansas City area. She often provides services across the United States. She specializes in fun, unposed, and personality filled wedding and portrait photography. Available for travel worldwide.