Let me tell you a story…
The day was June 9, 2007. It was our day…our WEDDING day! Our ceremony was set for 4:00pm, so I spent the morning/afternoon with my girls…getting hair and make-up done, eating Chick-fil-A in the bridal suite, and getting our photos taken once we were dressed. Who knows what Brett did that morning!?! I guess he just hung out with his guys, made their way to the church, got dressed, and took their photos too!
The time for the ceremony came, the doors swung open in the back of the sanctuary, and my dad walked me down the aisle. I smiled at Brett the whole way down and I’m pretty sure he teared up a tiny bit when he saw me coming. EVERY GIRL’S DREAM!
All of this sounds awesome, right? But once I got to the altar, I couldn’t hug him or even talk to him. He whispered, “You look beautiful,” and I whispered back, “Thank you,” and we moved right into the ceremony. It was what we hoped for, a sweet time of worship and exchanging vows. I even made the entire room laugh when I couldn’t get his ring on and missed the line I was suppose to repeat from our officiant. Once I realized he was waiting on me to repeat it, I threw my hand up in the air, and said “HUH?!?” It was a silly blonde moment, but it’s a funny memory!
We were announced husband & wife, kissed, and exited where we had 30 seconds of alone time. Everyone followed us out, we hid away with our families and wedding party as the sanctuary cleared out, then immediately moved into photos. They went smooth, but were rushed. Everyone was waiting down the hall for us to enter our reception. Therefore, we actually don’t have very many photos of just the two of us.
(one of my favorite wedding photos of us–but unfortunately I don’t have any digital files from that day. That’s another story for another day!)
The reception began, we barely ate, we visited with everyone and went through the motions of a typical reception. I actually don’t remember a ton of that time because we talked with so many people! We said our good-bye’s, did a bubble exit, and got in the car to head to Nashville!
That’s when we looked at one another and said, “HI!” I told Brett, “I haven’t seen you all day!” It hit us…we spent our whole wedding day apart. We followed tradition for absolutely no reason and chose to not see one another before the ceremony. Since we chose that route, it meant we spent MOST of our wedding day with other people and not each other. We didn’t get to hug, soak it in, have a conversation, cry together, pray together, laugh together… we spent it apart and then pulled every which way by our friends and family. Now, don’t get me wrong! We love them! But it saddened us that we didn’t get any time together on the day that was ours!
This is why I strongly believe in First Looks. Yes, as a photographer it makes the day easier and takes some pressure off me while guests are waiting later…but as a BRIDE, my story is personal. As I always say, I will never force you to do a First Look on your wedding day! But I share my story from experience because I never want you to drive away from your wedding feeling like we did.