Monday, January 7, 2013

My Love for a First Look

I know so many people who just got engaged and, therefore, have thought a ton about my own wedding planning process since I loved it so much. It was really and truly one of my most favorite parts of life thus far. One of the best parts of our wedding day was our first look. I decided I loved it so much I wanted to share more about it with others. 

When Tom and I first met with our photographer she started to ask us a bunch of questions we hadn't even begun to think about. Some of the questions we simply could not answer at that time (16 months before our wedding). However, one question she asked was, "Would you guys like to do a first look?" Tom first asked what a first look was and then immediately said NO. A first look is when the bride and groom break the tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding. Instead they have a formal time before the wedding to see each other. This time is captured by the photographer. Therefore, when the bride walks down the aisle the groom has already seen her in her wedding dress. Tom was being all traditional and immediately said, "No, absolutely not!" I could appreciate his view. However, through the course of the conversation we decided the first look was best for us for the following reasons: 

1. We both get a little crowd shy and HATED the idea of so many people staring at us during this intimate time.

2. Our ceremony and reception were at the same site and it would be very difficult to get good pictures if we were going to have the reception immediately after the ceremony. We would miss our whole cocktail hour and still may not have enough time. *this was our main deciding factor. 

3. We liked the idea of having our first time seeing each other completely focused on us. This was both for us and our photographer. Our photographers had nothing else to capture except for us seeing each other. 

4. We got to pick a gorgeous spot for pictures of the two of us. They couldn't have turned out better. 

With that being said, I was in my friends wedding back in 2008. She did a first look. While I didn't fully understand it at the time I did know the pictures were gorgeous. I included some of her photos to show just how great and different a first look can be. 

Lizzie met Tom out on the deck of the mansion where they got married. 
He waited patiently as she crept up behind him
He was all smiles as he turned to see her. 
And she was so excited when he finally looked
Then there were tears 
and hugs
Lizzie's first look was totally precious and something I remembered from her wedding day. I still wasn't convinced I would want that for myself but after having my own first look I could not be more sold. Tom and I both say it was a favorite part from our day. He was dropped off by his groomsmen and waited in the park. I was dropped off by my ladies and walked to meet him. We had fifteen minutes just the two of us. It was a perfect way to start the day together.
Tom awaiting my arrival
Me walking to meet Tom
My anticipation is all over my face.
Tom takes a deep breath
Getting ready to tap his shoulder for him to see me!
We had two photographers at our first look. One was up on the bridge and one was down level with us. We got two views of so many great shots. The aerial shots from the bridge were an awesome surprise when we viewed our photos a week later.
the shoulder tap
The EXCITEMENT and JOY... I waited for this moment for so long
and hugs
lots of hugs (from another angle)
my sweet husband asked me to model my dress for him
we had many precious private moments
And he got to tell me how he thought I looked...without a hundred plus people listening
then he modeled for me
and we had a good laugh

and we had more moments of just chatting
and checking out my hair
and kissing my hand
and telling each other just how excited we were that our wedding day was finally here!
And then, when our moment was over, we remembered there was a photographer there. And we smiled for her. 
I would not change this part of our day for anything. If we did the day over and had 4 hours between the wedding and reception we would still do a first look. Sure, we broke the tradition of seeing each other as I walk down the aisle. However, neither of us felt that made that moment any less special for us. We loved having our time together to get our jitters out, talk about the day and tell each other how great we thought the other person looked. All the family, friends, food, dancing, toasts, kisses and kind words helped make our day what it was, but it never would have been the same without our first look.

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