As many of you know, Dave and I chose to do a first look at our wedding. We went back and forth on the issue several times, and originally planned not to do one, but changed our minds just a week before the wedding. The first look, for those who don’t know, is when the bride and groom see each other before the wedding ceremony. Typically the photographer attends and photographs the moment. Some couples choose to include their bridal party or parents, while others (including Dave and I) prefer to have just the two of them and the photographer. Today I wanted to do something a little different and share thoughts on a first look from both the bride and groom point of view. Below you can read both mine and Dave’s thoughts on our first look!
Though Dave and I originally agreed to skip the first look and see each other for the first time when I was walking down the aisle, I was always intrigued by the idea of the first look. Every couple I talked to who had done one recommended it for so many reasons. I knew it would result in amazing pictures, and from a more practical standpoint, ease the pressure on the wedding day timeline. But since Dave was adamant about not seeing me until I walked down the aisle, I conceded.
Then, a week before our wedding, we met with our photographer. Because we have big families and a big wedding party, it was clear our timeline would be rushed to get all the pictures done. There would be so many pictures to get through with such a short amount of time between the ceremony and dinner! After that meeting, Dave decided that it really would be best if we had a first look. Words can’t adequately describe how happy I am that we changed our minds!
Spending the day in the bridal suite getting ready with my mom and bridesmaids was amazing! It was relaxing to sit, eat, and have my hair and makeup done. Also, it was fun spending the day with all of my best friends! But as the day went on, it because more and more clear that my outdoor ceremony was going to be rained out. My nerves started getting the best of me. As it was getting closer to time for my first look and I was getting my dress on, I couldn’t wait to see Dave!
We were lucky enough to get a break in the rain to do our first look outside. We were originally supposed to have our ceremony at the gazebo outside, and decided to do our first look there instead. As I walked outside, down the sidewalk that was originally going to be the aisle, Dave was standing in the gazebo facing away from me.
I walked to the top of the steps, and the photographer told him to turn around. The first moment we saw each other was amazing and made the first look absolutely worth it. Seeing the way he looked at me in my wedding dress, I’ve never felt more beautiful in my life. We were both all smiles. Even though there were multiple photographers there with us, I didn’t notice at all. It was the perfect moment for just the two of us, both intimate and exciting.
Not only was the moment amazing, it totally changed my frame of mind! For the rest of the afternoon, I had zero nerves. Any frustration or stress I had over having to move the ceremony inside was totally gone. I was stress-free the rest of the day!
What’s even better, is that now we have some truly amazing pictures to remember that moment by!
A first look is not at all what I had envisioned doing at my wedding. Not that I fantasized about wedding plans my whole life but I always pictured seeing my bride for the first time all dolled up the minute she turned the corner to walk down the aisle. I stuck to my guns on not doing a first look all the way up to about a week before the day, when Erin and I were driving home from a meeting with the photographer and the look on her face when the subject came up.. A bride gets what a bride wants.
It wasn’t at all as bad as I thought it would be, the anticipated pressure of someone with a big camera (and in our case, three persons) waiting to capture your every expression with no staging or safety net is a lot to add to a clouded mind on a busy day but there was something raw and pure about the moment. The photographers seemed to melt away into the background and all the stress of everything else went on pause.
The pictures turned out great which was expected as we were blessed with the perfect photographer (yet another testament to my wife’s thorough and at times psychotic level of research and planning).
Anyone open to the idea should go for it, it’s an event you hope to only do once and you should take every opportunity to steal an ultra-special moment with the love of your life on your biggest day.
Did you, or would you, do a first look on your wedding day?
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