Sunday, September 27, 2009

First Look Revisited-Photos Before the Ceremony

Ok, how many weddings have I attended---maybe over 1000? I rarely get teary at weddings any more, for one thing I am normally too busy trying to get everyone down the aisle! Once in a great while something will get to me though. Well, today I happened to be in the ballroom just as the photographers went out to the garden with Audrey to do some pictures. I snuck over and peeked out the windows. Oh my gosh, she looked absolutely radiant. Her gown, her veil (modeled after Audrey Hepburn's in "Funny Girl" she told me later--stunning!) she just looked amazing!

So I'm in the ballroom getting some photos of their centerpieces and their cake and all, and kind of keeping my eye on what was going on in the garden.

The breeze was gently tickling her veil and the ruffles on her train. It was really a beautiful afternoon to be in the garden. I happened, (just by chance of course, ahem) to be over by the windows as Ethan came into the garden. What an electric moment!!! He nearly broke into a run! It was evident that he could hardly wait to get to where she was standing! The smile on his face went from ear to ear, and obviously the emotionality of the moment was affecting him too.

I wish I could find the words to tell you how poignant, how tender, how sweet this was. The tears were streaming down my face! I couldn't help it, it was such a beautiful scene.

I had nearly recovered myself, (silently thankful that I had used my Blink mascara so at least I knew I didn't have raccoon eyes!!) when they both pulled out the tissues and dabbed at each others' tears. I lost it all over again. SO sweet.

(This is also a great photo to check out the veil! Is that incredible or what?!)

It was just so, SO special! I am hoping that Ethan and/or Audrey will post a comment on this post about how it was from each of their perspectives. I think it would be very helpful to those couples who are considering doing a "First Look" moment before their ceremony, and might be on the fence about it.

If you are dead set against it, that's fine, we can work with that. It's possible to get those photos done during the cocktail hour and still move things along. However if you are one of those couples who are considering it, well, it never hurts to hear what someone who has been there has to say about it, right?

Did YOU take your photos before the ceremony? Tell me about it, you can always comment anonymously if you're shy. I have friends who did this 30-35 years ago and still get choked up about it. We need to hear from you ALL!

Let me know what you think. Tell me about your experience. Keep your eyes on this post and hopefully, when the dust settles, these two will tell us about how it was from THEIR perspectives!


Amy said...

I WISH we'd done the pictures before the ceremony. We missed half of our reception because we were doing entirely too many posed photos in the lobby, and we missed the other half because we were going to greet people at the tables (after moving the ceremony indoors due to hideous weather - pre-chapel).

I wish you'd known then what you know now, Mom! Can your son-in-law and I have a do-over? :)

Anonymous said...

From the Bride's Perspective:

I was so nervous the entire day. More nervous than I thought I would be. I mean I have been with Ethan for 7 years, so this day has been coming for a long time, but when you put so much time and effort into something you can't help but be terrified and hope that everything will fall into place. I had just spent the morning getting my hair and makeup done when I arrived at Aberdeen. I was in my dress just a few minutes when one of my photographers (Jane Clemons) came to get me for the "First Look" in the garden. She and I walked out together and she told me that she was just with Ethan and that "he is really nervous". That alone made me tear up, I felt bad that I could not be with him this morning to comfort him.

Jane left me to get into position for the photographs and I waited. My heart was racing and I was breathing really heavily. I kept imaging his face coming around the corner, so I could prepare myself for the moment, but nothing could have prepared me for what happened. Finally after I think 5 or so minuets, I saw him. Through the trees in the garden he was looking for me and our eyes met. I saw that he had tears in his eyes and of course being a girl, I started to cry too.

He came up to me and wrapped his arms around me and we both cried. We were both relieved at just the sight of each other, it was the most amazing part of our day. I will never forget how nervous I was to see him for the first time or how relieved I was when he came around the corner. If I could tell a bride only one bit of advice before her big day, I would say this...See the Groom before the ceremony. I know it's not traditional, but I can say from experience that it helped relieve a lot of nerves.

On top of the intimate moment that was given to us by the amazing staff at Aberdeen and our wonderful photographers (Jane and Leroy Clemons), we had plenty of time between the wedding and reception for family photos. The whole day just seemed to flow nicely. Also, when it did come time to walk down the aisle, I was more relaxed and in control of my emotions. I still cried when I was walking towards Ethan, but it wasn't out of control. We are both completely happy with our decision to see each other before the ceremony and I would not change that for anything.

Audrey Plummer

P.S. My veil was made by Roberta Mead as a tribute to my mother. She always wanted me to get married in the same wedding dress Audrey Hepburn worn in "Funny Face", but since that dress is not really the style these days, I had Roberta make the veil, so I could have something similar to my mom's dream. I absolutely loved it!

Anonymous said...

From the Groom's Perspective:

Wow. Just the thought of the first look brings back all of those memories of feeling anxious, nervous and just an emotional ride. This advice is for the upcoming brides and grooms nearing the big day.

I really do highly recommend a first look Before the wedding ceremony just so that you two can share that moment with each other in privacy, along with your photographers which will be hidden the entire time as to give the effect of being alone. You have way too much to worry about the final days leading up to your marriage to worry about losing it down the aisle. A first look gives you the opportunity to calm each other down, releave some of the emotions that have been building up and to have some quality alone time just before the vows are exchanged.

If you cry, no big deal. If anything, you want to cry that way you are with the person you love, and not in front of your entire family sobbing like a child. You have time to collect yourself, breathe and embrace with one another. This is your day, you can do whatever you want. I know seeing each other goes against tradition, but who cares. Have fun, enjoy, and just hang on because it will be a ride, a loving emotional one.

That was one of our best and easiest decisions to make on our day; because of the emotionality of the first look in the garden, anyone who would have been there would have cried - including our two photographers, myself, Audrey, and surprisingly Denna.

See each other before, you will never regret it after the fact.