Like most grooms I meet, Ray wanted to wait to see me for the very first time when I walked down the aisle on our wedding day. In theory, this moment is a really grand reveal that is part of an age old wedding tradition. His fear was that if he saw me prior to the ceremony it would somehow take away from how special the moment is supposed to be but I was determined to show him differently.
Now before I go into all the details about our big reveal I wanted to give you some insight as to why I always recommend a first look to my clients:
Practicality with timing & logistics is probably the biggest reason. By doing a first look your timeline can be more relaxed, & you won't need to rush through photos or have a long gap between the ceremony & reception.
You get to spend more of your wedding day together instead of just a small (& busy) portion of the day.
If you &/or your fiancé don't love the idea of the spotlight being on them, a first look might be to your benefit so that the moment can be more intimate between just the two of you instead of hundreds of eyes staring at you.
You get to enjoy your cocktail hour with your guests.
Those few minutes before the ceremony begins is already filled with a lot of anticipation & emotion that seeing each other prior allows you to enjoy the ceremony more and get those gitters out of the way.
It gives you a moment before the day officially started to connect with one another.
If you’re having a winter ceremony, first-look wedding photos are critical if you want portraits taken with natural light (which I promise you do!)
You won't need separate forms of transportation to get the bridesmaids & groomsmen from the getting ready location to the ceremony. Everyone can just be together on one big party bus!
For all of these reasons & more, Ray and I ultimately decided to have a first look of our own but I was determined to marry his want for the more traditional moment with our need for a first look, so I setup the most romantic and intimate first look I could dream up.
& I think once you experience our moment perfectly captured below, you'll agree that I succeeded.
When the time came, Ray stood up at the alter at St James 1868 where we were going to be married later that day. The room was dimly lit & the aisle was lined with over 200 candles.
There, Ray read his letter from me.
When he was done reading my letter, A Thousand Years by Christina Perri started playing over the speakers, the church doors opened & I walked to my groom just like I would for our ceremony only the church was empty.
It was an emotional, intimate moment that Ray & I were able to share just the two of us (plus our incredible photographers and videographers). The moment was more grand & special than I even thought was possible.
We were able to talk, kiss, laugh, hold onto each other & really embrace this special moment together without having to be rushed right into the ceremony or be stared at by 150 of our guests.
After the wedding, Ray told me it was his favorite part of the wedding day & I would have to agree. It was the most magical moment I have ever had and definitely one I will never forget.
Photo Credits: Uttke Photography