The First Look
One thing I truly regret not doing at my wedding is having a first look with Adam. At the time, I wanted to stick to the tradition of not having the groom see the bride until she walks down the aisle. But I have to say my mind has definitely changed when it comes to this tradition because I LOVE first looks.
On my wedding day, I was extremely nervous. I don't mind being on stage in front of people to sing, or even for public speaking-neither of those situations make me very nervous! BUT on my wedding day I was nervous because we would be on stage in front of 250 people...just standing there. I was afraid that I wouldn't meet my wedding guest's expectations of what I should have looked like on the day of my wedding, or that they would think the ceremony was too long, or that if I cried in front of them I would ruin my make-up and look like a hot mess! All of these were silly fears to have, and once the wedding started I was fine, but I had them nonetheless. The other thing I was nervous about was seeing Adam. I was SO excited to finally see him on our wedding day, but also nervous because I mean, it was our wedding day! We had been planning it for so long that I couldn't help being nervous to see the man I was going to marry! Looking back, I think having a first look with Adam would have really helped calm my nerves.
The second reason I love first looks is because the wedding day is really just about you and your groom. I've been noticing lately that on the wedding day, the bride and groom really don't get to have very much time alone together. When you decide to do a first look, you have already carved out a chunk of time to be alone with your future husband. It's time designated for you to just BE TOGETHER. There is no agenda other than you and your groom sharing an intimate moment. I think this is the biggest reason that I love first looks and wish I had done one on my wedding day.
Your wedding day is going to be a blast! You are going to spend the whole day with your friends and family, everyone you love is gathered in the same place and it's incredible to be able to share such a special day with those you love! But I think when you have a first look you are reminded why this day is happening in the first place. Sharing this moment with your husband grounds you in the fact that this day is about making promises to the one you love.
Not every couple chooses to do a first look. And this is fine! Everyone has their own dreams for their wedding day and there is no right or wrong way to do it! I just wanted to share some of what I have seen and experienced at weddings and how I have come to feel about first looks because of those experiences. Your wedding day will fly by. And you will have wonderful memories no matter what you decide to do. But I do encourage you to plan for some time alone with your groom because that's what this day is about. It's not about impressing wedding guests, or entertaining your friends, or even about how beautiful you will look. It's about you and your groom and the love you have for one another. So don't let the day pass you by without choosing to make time to share an intimate moment alone with your groom!
Here is a short clip from Ann and Ryan's wedding day that I edited together to highlight the joy they felt when they saw each other for the first time in a quiet corner of the Lindsay House Bed & Breakfast property. The photographer and I were there for this moment, but zoomed our cameras in and kept our distance so that Ann and Ryan could really just spend this moment alone with one another.