Saturday, February 15, 2020

our wedding day | the first look

During the beginning stages of wedding planning, I was torn between wanting to have a first look and waiting until I walk down the aisle to see Ryan's face for the first time. 

I was chatting with a good friend who used to do wedding videography, and she told me about how the tradition behind seeing the bride for the first time during the ceremony is actually not romantic at all. It stems from arranged marriages, when the groom had no idea who was going to be underneath the veil, and at the risk of the bride being "ugly," the family didn't want the groom to run away. Ha! Long story short, not super romantic. Even though it's now used as a way to catch the groom's initial, immediate reaction, we wanted those moments all to ourselves.

Enter: the first look.

With a 6 o'clock ceremony time, our plan was to wrap up makeup by 2:30, take bridesmaids photos in our robes, and be at the venue for our first look by 3:30. By 2:45, one of the stylists was still touching up the bridesmaids' hair...and they didn't finish until 3:30. I don't think I initially realized just how behind we were, which was probably a good thing. 

Skipping the minutiae, we still had plenty of time for our first look. I had more of a "first" first look than Ryan, because I pulled up in our party bus as he was walking down the stairs of our venue. I was so excited to see him, but I feel like I look nervous in the initial picture below...likely because I was nervous. And looking back on some of these, I think it looks a bit like I'm posing for them. Whoops. Guess I won't quit my day job and become a model, after all.

When he turned around to see me, he smiled in the way that makes all the skin around his eyes crinkle, which is my favorite of all his smiles. 

For those who don't know him, Ryan is goofy, but he carries himself in a very stoic, serious fashion. Any time I get him to really laugh, I want to write down whatever joke or anecdote I said so I can save it for later use, just to get that smile. 

Once we started to turn around for photos, I began reminding him to "smile like you like me, not your photo shoot smile where you look uncomfortable." While you might think to yourself, "yikes! calm down lady," this is actually me reminding him to relax, because I could tell he was feeling the nerves, too. 

But in that moment, my "poses" fell to the wayside, and I let myself soak in this time together, and that's when we truly started to relax. If you could have listened to my internal monologue this day, I guarantee it would sound like a loop of "soak this in, look around, take it all in, remember this moment" intertwined with "I love this man" and "wow he's smokin' hot."

Because isn't he?!


photographer | emily mathewson photography
dress | justin alexander
hair & makeup | femme akoi
venue | station house st. pete
flowers | the bride's bouquet


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