Wedding Wednesday: Tips On Your First Look

Hi everyone! Welcome to my first installment of WEDDING WEDNESDAY. Where I talk all things wedding, including tips, tricks and just some thoughts on the wedding process as a whole, from my perspective. It is crazy to think that a year has gone by, and I am just NOW posting about my wedding. To be honest, it was a crazy-stress filled time and once the party actually happened, I was SO thrilled that the planning aspect was over. I know there are so many brides out there who live for wedding planning, and enjoy every minute- I however, was not that bride. I found it to be stressful, and all around a daunting task. 

As I talk more about this process in depth, I will go into more detail about why I felt the way that I did, but as for today, I am here to talk about the first look. For those of you who do not know what a "first look" is , it's a chance to see your significant other prior to the actual ceremony. It's a fairly new photography trend that allows you to have intimate time with your sweetheart without everyone in your entire life staring you down as you walk down that aisle. Ryan and I knew right away that we wanted this option for two reasons. One: We both hate being the center of attention, and we wanted this moment to keep as our own. One we could have to ourselves, a pure moment in the midst of the chaotic day we had ahead. Two: We wanted to party with our guests at the cocktail hour and not spend the entire time taking pictures...Win, win, am I right? 

Without further adieu here are my top 5 tips for making the most of your "First Look."

1. Make sure the groom is in position before the bride arrives- This is crucial for many reasons. You definitely don't want the surprise to be ruined, so it's important to have photographers who know what they are doing, and have had experience in this before. We were so lucky to have Jenn and Derrek of Flora & Fauna on our wedding day, they were so talented, and knowledgeable in this process, they truly made everything easier. They were in touch about timing, which made it easier for us to just show up, and do what we needed to do!

2. Bring Tissues- There WILL be tears. And if you're an overly emotional woman like myself...there will be A LOT of tears. This moment felt so bottled up for so long, and then once you see each other everything you have been working towards and thinking about has finally come to fruition. When you see your significant other waiting for you there, it's just a sigh of relief, but also such an overwhelming moment of love and all encompassing feelings. 

3. Choose your location before hand , and make sure it's versatile! - This may be more of a personal preference, but I think choosing the location is CRUCIAL for your photos. When choosing a location, I knew I wanted a spot that had shaded areas, but also that had different barns, and houses we could use as backdrops. We chose a park near our house that had a "old town village" exhibit that was exactly the feel we were looking for. It was the perfect location for us, and I am so happy it ended up working out the way that it did. The Village is a collection of original, replica and reconstructed 18th and 19th century structures, so the vintage feel was definitely important in my decision making. You want to pick a place that isn't in direct sunlight either, because then your photos will not come out the way you had hoped (and depending on the month you'll be dying in sweat). 

4. Make sure you plan enough time in!- For us this was every important. Since I pride myself on being an excellent planner, I timed out the day for everyone including the photographers, videographers, family and friends etc. This came in handy because everyone had a time and place of when they should be at each location. I gave us about 2 hours total to be shooting our first look and bridal party shoots. This included family photos, bridesmaids and groomsmen, and our first look all bunched into one two hour session. When you give yourself enough time, you aren't rushing through the photos, and everything feels more relaxed. Always remember almost every wedding day runs a little late, so be prepared to create a schedule that works for you!

5. Let go of the fact that someone is standing close to you and taking photos of you- Remember when I said that this opportunity is a chance for you to see you sweetheart and have "alone time." Well yeah, while this is true, someone still has to be taking the photo right? I thought it would be weird to have someone standing a few feet away snapping photos of me, but then I realized that I needed to let that go, and I needed to be in my moment; in our moment. Once you see your significant other, the rest of the world melts away, and it's just the two of you. So when you're feeling insecure about someone seeing you at your weakest point, just remember that this is their job, and they've done it a thousand times, but also that this is YOUR moment, and you only have it this one time. Embrace it, enjoy it, cry, laugh, do whatever you need to do. Most importantly remember that the world stops for a second when you lay your eyes on the man/woman you're marrying. 

All photos courtesy of our amazing photographers Flora & Fauna