Weddings Atlantic

Here Comes the Bride...My Personal Experience with the "First Look"

Brittney Toner

We chose to do a “First Look” for a couple different reasons... time-saving reasons, wanting that little intimate moment reasons, seemed to be trending reasons. But I think the same concern comes up for everyone who is contemplating a “First Look”, and that is; will this take away from the "here comes the bride moment" ???? 

Weddings now a days seem to be a lot about bending around old traditions, with brides replacing cakes with donuts, passing on the garter toss, or heck - getting married AFTER starting a family. Times are a changin' !! The First Look gives the couple an opportunity to "take it all in" without having to share this special moment with everyone else, all at once. Sure, maybe that is exactly what you want - is to share that with all your closest friends and family and that's great too! But here is why my "First Look" didn't take away from that coming down the aisle, tears in my eyes, longest, shakiest walk of my life... 

Our First Look was great. Patrick turned around too fast, before I was ready, instead of waiting for the "ok, now", he anxiously turned at the sound of my nervous laughter. Instantly, I welled up with tears and hid in his shoulder for the entire time my photographers were trying to capture the moment. Looking back at the pictures after it wasn't what I would have envisioned it to be ... all those Pinterest pins of the perfect First Looks... because like I said I completely hid myself in his suit jacket. But with that said, I will remember the moment for the rest of my life. I'm happy it was captured just as it was, my body finally feeling relaxed in his arms. I can remember exactly the way my stomach felt (like it was doing somersaults), how comforting it was to just let myself be there with him for that moment. All the planning, the stress, the years together everything all up to this moment on this day that we were going to get married. I honestly never felt so heavy and so light at the same time... Soon after we joined out wedding party and family for some pictures before heading to the venue and I felt that much more relaxed for the rest of the day. 

UNTIL.... sure you may think the First Look (and the rum and coke) would take the edge off of the minutes leading up to the walk down the aisle but not for this girl! I paced the room for what was probably about 2 weeks, although I have been told it was under 20 minutes (lies)... My bridesmaids helped me get on my veil as I sat in a chair due to a sudden case of legs made of jelly

**TIP: I added a veil for the ceremony that I didn't wear at my first look, for a little coming down the aisle surprise ;) 

Finally, it was time. As soon as I came around the corner and saw Patrick's face it was like the first time I saw him again that day. I had the same somersaults in my stomach, but with new tears welled up in my eyes. I didn't register a single other face in the crowd. I made it to the alter with what was left of my bouquet - my hands shook so bad down the aisle I served as not only the bride but the flower girl. 

My FAVORITE pictures of the whole day are our pictures during the ceremony. Nothing about the fact that we had already seen each other earlier that day took away from the feelings that we had in that time and how special it was to be there, surrounded by those we love, saying our vows. 

I meannnn like I said times are changing! I stood there looking at man I had lived with for the past 4 years, we having been raising children together, we have had ups and downs, we have travelled together, had the flu together, seen each other at our worst and at our best and even with ALL THAT - facing him at the alter felt exactly like what getting married should feel like; like the start of something new, something exciting and special even if the very next day we would go back to the same life we have been living for the past few years. 

SO I am here to tell you, from my experience, nothing will take away from coming down the aisle to marry the person you love. Not a first look, not a tear in your dress, not a catering issue, rain when you wanted sun, nothing. No matter if you choose traditional or something more "you", that very moment when you two are standing and facing each other about to say "I do" will be exactly the special moment it's meant to be. 

xo Ashley