(My wedding shot by Melinda Snyder Photography)
Whether it’s with your groom, your father, or just someone incredibly special to you, I will ALWAYS recommend a first look, and here’s why:
If you are anything like me, then you are probably skeptical about the first look. I was. 100%. I was that girl who dreamed the big moment would happen right as I walked down the aisle. All the tears, all the excitement, all the applause. All of the fairytale weddings start like that, right? But, get this…it still did, just in a little different, and maybe even better, way. Sure, I was hesitant, but being the food driven junkie I am, I was quickly persuaded into doing one, just for the sheer fact that I was having some bomb-ass appetizers during cocktail hour. And I refused to miss them. Seriously, I was given the chance to actually eat them without a waiter having to shove them in my face-hole in between poses, and I jumped right on that. Now I know that may not be everyone’s reason why, but it was mine. Romantic right? But, let me tell you, with out a shadow of a doubt, that was the best decision I could have made for our wedding day. After our ceremony, not only did I get to partake in those bomb-ass appetizers, I also got the chance to greet (mostly) everyone, take our family formals with no rush, get all of the hugs, and casually change my shoes and bustle my dress, all within the timeframe it would have taken to JUST do portraits! When you finish your ceremony, you immediately go into host mode extreme. I’m talking “Fine dining and breathing are all I know” level of hosting. (SpongeBob anyone? No? Just me? Okay.) Chad and I had already had our moments alone together, oogling over my dress and taking in the grander that was the day, that we were okay to go straight into host mode. I mean, that’s essentially what you’re doing right? Unless you’re Kim K, this will probably be the largest dinner party you will ever host in your entire life. And it goes by fast. So the fact that Chad and I were able to take a few moments and soak in the goodness of what today meant, it really allowed us to be fully present in the day itself. We were able to celebrate without being swept away in the wave of the “thank you for coming”s and the “so glad you could make it”s, and feeling as if we never got the chance to absorb this pivotal moment for us.
That’s what the first look is all about.
Picture this: Your groom is positioned in a beautiful spot outside, alone, and is waiting in extreme anticipation for you to arrive. The emotions from the morning, and the months before, all hit him right then and there – this is it – forget the centerpieces and the seating charts, he get’s to see what HE’S been waiting MONTHS for. His back is turned to you, as you quietly walk up to him and tap him on the shoulder. He turns around and witnesses the most beautiful sight he has ever seen. You, in that stunning gown. That gown that has been locked tightly away acting as the biggest secret you have ever kept from him. Hair done impeccably. Make up to the nines. He’s never seen anything quite so magnificent in his life. And he gets to marry that. He gets to spend the rest of his life…with this. That’s when the emotions start flooding in and he can’t help but shed a few tears, or be able to wipe that insane grin off of his face. All the while I am behind the scenes, capturing every. single. moment.
You are given as much time as you are needed. No interruptions. No distractions. No one but you and him, soaking it all in.
Once you’re ready, we can go straight into your portraits together! All of this time will allow us to roam the venue, bathe in the goodness of your love, and capture all of those “swoon worthy” moments together. These are the important ones. These are the wall-worthy, life-changing, awe-inspiring moments that make your day yours.
Once your portraits are finished, and if time allows, we can go into bridal party photos and maybe even immediate family portraits! (No, I’m not joking we really can do this. All before your ceremony.) And guess what, when it’s time to walk down the aisle, those butterflies don’t magically disappear. They’re still there, and sometimes even greater than before. Because now…Now everyone is there. All of your closest friends and family are going to cheer you on as you two take on the next greatest adventure together.
This only happens once.
Make those moments.
Whenever and where ever you can.
You wont regret it.
p.s. if you’re anything like me, then your a down-right daddy’s-girl. And freaking proud of it. Don’t forget him. He deserves these moments too.