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Hi There! Welcome to the Moments By Madeleine blog. Follow along for all things wedding, inspiration, travel and lifestyle.

Hi, I'm MADELEINE.

The First Look: To add it or leave it!

Nov 6, 2020

We absolutely LOVE when our couples ask us to build in a first looking into their wedding day timeline. We know it is not the most traditional addition to the day but it is such an intimate moment for a couple to share together before stepping into marriage. Let’s chat about some benefits of a first look and give you some insight on whether it is right for you!

Banff Wedding Photographer: Juan & Angie // Banff Wedding Planner: Moments By Madeleine Weddings & Events // Banff Wedding Venue: Fairmont Banff Springs

Why We Love Them.

They are your very best friend. You wake up the morning of your wedding, feeling excited and perhaps a bit anxious. Is your spouse the person that calms you? The person you go to when you are feeling all the feels? Seeing each other before your ceremony can give you that space away from guests to share, ease each others nerves and just be together.

You want to enjoy your cocktail hour. We get it! You’ve thought about those signature drinks and cute canapés since your menu tasting, enjoy them! It will give you the time to visit with guests prior to dinner so you and your honey can sit together without feeling the immediate need to say hi to each table!

You don’t want to feel rushed for photos. A more traditional wedding day timeline would place bridal party photos and bridal portraits between the ceremony and the reception (during guests cocktail hour). When you add a first look you can take the extra time with photos prior to your ceremony as you can pick your first look time! We like to place a first look about 2-3 hours before the ceremony.

Lighting! This is really important with a winter wedding as we often are fighting with an early sunset, especially in locations like Banff, Canmore and Lake Louise in the Rocky Mountains. When you have a first look, we can schedule your ceremony a little bit closer to sunset to prevent a large gap between ceremony and reception!

You can add a personalized touch! Maybe you’ve been saving a beautiful vintage bottle of champagne for your wedding day, or would prefer to share your personalized vows in a more private setting. Take this time to do what is just so the both of you!


Take a peek at some of our favourite first look moments with Moments By Madeleine Weddings & Events couples!

Calgary Wedding Photographer: Every Little Thing Photography // Calgary Wedding Planner: Moments By Madeleine Weddings & Events // Calgary Wedding Florist: Black Earth Floral

Calgary Wedding Photographer: Kelsey Vera Photography // Calgary Wedding Planner: Moments By Madeleine Weddings & Events // Calgary Wedding Florist: Flowers By Janie // Calgary Wedding Venue: Hamptons Golf Club // Calgary Wedding Hair & Makeup: MSlay Studio // Calgary Bridal Boutique: Durand Bridal // Calgary Custom Suits: Atelier Ensemble


“Weddings are stressful, there’s no denying that. Even when you have the help of an amazing planner, your nerves are still firing off in all different directions on your actual wedding day. This is a BIG DAY. We made the decision to do a first look because of that, it’s a big day full of nerves, expectations, and a million and a half friends and family members gawking at you. Before walking down that aisle, saying the i do’s and all the pretty words, we wanted to share a moment together. A moment that was reserved solely for us (and our photographer). It was a magical moment, and one that washed all the wedding day jitters away. It was remarkably special, and remarkably intimate. I highly recommend it to any couple looking for a quiet moment together on a crazy busy day.”

– Brianna Carney, married November 2019


Calgary Wedding Photographer: Tim + Court Photo and Film // Calgary Wedding Planner: Moments By Madeleine Weddings & Events // Calgary Bridal Boutique: Blush and Raven // Calgary Wedding Hair & Makeup: Bellamore Beauty


“Surprisingly, I don’t love first looks for the sake of photos. I love a first look because it allows the couple a moment to just BE together, which is so rare on a wedding day with so many things and people grabbing your attention. The day flies by so quickly, and you’ll be glad you at least took a few minutes to really soak it all in together.”

– Courtney Ingram of Tim + Court Photo and Film


Calgary Wedding Photographer: Nicole Field Photography // Calgary Wedding Planner: Moments By Madeleine Weddings & Events // Calgary Wedding Venue: The Pioneer on 8th // Calgary Wedding Florist: Fall For Florals

Lake Louise Wedding Photographer: Kadie Hummel Photography // Lake Louise Wedding Planner: Moments By Madeleine Weddings & Events // Lake Louise Wedding Florist: Flowers By Janie // Wedding Venue: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise


“First looks are a beautiful way to share an intimate moment together before the emotion of the ceremony.  It’s so comforting to see your person, especially if nerves feel high. Revel in some quiet time together before the day gets started.”

– Kadie of Kadie Hummel Photography


Jasper Wedding Photographer: Tricia Victoria Photography // Jasper Wedding Planner: Moments By Madeleine Weddings & Events // Jasper Wedding Florist: Elysion Florals // Calgary Bridal Boutique: The Bridal Boutique // Calgary Custom Suits: Atelier Ensemble

Want to keep some of the tradition but still want to share in a private moment together? Chat with your wedding planner or wedding photographer about a first “no look”. These two wrote love letters to each other and prayed for each other prior to walking down the aisle. It allowed them to cry and laugh as one without seeing each other before the wedding ceremony.

Calgary Wedding Photographer: Tim + Court Photo and Film // Calgary Wedding Planner: Moments By Madeleine Weddings & Events // Calgary Bridal Boutique: Blush and Raven // Cochrane Wedding Venue: Cochrane RancheHouse

Whether you choose an intimate first look or wait till the aisle for the big reveal, there is no right or wrong way! Chat with your honey and make the decision together based on what feels perfect for the both of you.

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We love to share all the love stories we get to be apart of. Follow along for all things wedding and beautiful.