Our first look is very high in my favorite moments from our wedding day. I can't recommend it enough for anybody else planning a wedding! Here's why...
Prior to our first look (held in an apple orchard behind the barn), I was getting ready in a farmhouse room with all my bridesmaids, my maid of honor, my mom, and a few other friends. It was an absolute blast, and the energy was really high. I'm pretty sure they could hear us in the room next door! But my butterflies were going nuts, and my nerves were starting to fray.
As soon as I left the farmhouse, all I could hear were the birds singing. I felt beautiful, having just finished getting ready. I followed Brittney, one of our photographers, to the orchard, where Kristie was waiting with Shana.
That's when it really hit me: I was about to get married to the woman I love! The details -- like having forgotten to bring deoderant (don't worry, that's what bridesmaids are for), wondering whether or not the guests would find their way to the ceremony, if everyone else would be ready in time -- just...fell away. We were together, and that's what mattered. Both of us calmed down immediately, and just spent time talking about how GREAT the other looked!
The photos we got from that time together in the orchard still take my breath away. We look fresh-faced, relaxed, and so happy. The butterflies were gone. It felt like a tiny oasis in a stressful (but happy) day.
Here's where an important recommendation comes in: find photographers you feel really comfortable around. Over the year and a half that we've known them, we've become so close with Brittney and Shana. Having them there with us in the orchard felt completely natural, and our comfort level showed in the photographs.
It took none of the magic away from seeing Kristie waiting for me at the end of the aisle. It was almost better -- I already knew what she'd be wearing, how she'd look. That helped with my anxiety, and Kristie's too. It was still a wonderful moment (Kristie cried when she saw me!) because it was in front of all of our family and friends, and felt very, very real.
Until we got back to the hotel that night, our first look was the only time Kristie and I spent together, the closest we got to being alone. It was a treasure. Having family members and friends from around the world celebrating with us all day and night was amazing, and I wouldn't trade it for the world, but it was really nice to be with my bride for a little while!