I've been in enough weddings to know that I wanted to do a first look. Not only does it take the pressure off the timeline, since you can finish most of the pictures before the ceremony instead of leaving a large gap between the ceremony and reception, it allows some really relaxed and sweet moments away from all of the guests.
One thing that my married friends kept telling me was, "The day goes by so quickly, make sure you take some moments for just you and Tom, and make sure you have time to breathe and enjoy everything." The first look did just that for us.
And let me just say, none of this would have happened, or been as fun and relaxed as it was, without our amazing photography team, Tico&Red. We were able to just hang out and enjoy the quality time with our wedding party, and trust that they would capture all of the moments.
But first let me back up a bit. The day started with the boys at the Westin getting ready and being goofy. They had a lot more free time than the girls did, and I've heard stories of pillow fights, and candy runs, and general hijinks. They also went out to breakfast at American Joe's, where my parents happened to run into them. (I tend to think they were just checking up on Tom, making sure we didn't have another runaway groom moment!)
The girls also started out with breakfast, dining at Xhale, but then there were hair appointments to get to, jewelry decisions to be made, and bouquets to put together. The morning was a whirlwind, and before we knew it, Johnny was showing up to start photographing details. At the same time, Nicki was showing up at the Westin to shoot the boys getting ready.
Johnny took some standard pictures of the rings and the dresses, but also captured some fun moments. Brooke and Zaida had never seen the dress, and it had been a while since Linzy saw me in it, so after Nicole helped me get dressed, we did a mini first look with the rest of the bridesmaids. That was the first moment that it REALLY hit me that today was not a normal day, and that amazing things were happening. After that, Tom and I both separately opened the gifts that we had gotten each other, and that Matt had swapped for us earlier in the day. Tom got me some great jewelry that was inscribed with the date and our new married name, and I followed the inscribing trend and got him a wallet card with a special message on it for him to carry with him.
At this point, it was time to go! I was so ready! As we marched through the hotel and out the front door, I realized something: There is no blending in when you're wearing a wedding dress, and have four matching bridesmaids following you. Cars slowed down, conversations were stopped, and cell phones came out. There are so many people out there with random pictures of us! I was having so much fun just being in my dress, and walking around in it, I was enjoying every minute. There were no nerves, no butterflies, only excitement and contentment. However, I don't think Tom was quite in the same state of mind, as he stood on Comm Ave, waiting for me to show up, not quite sure when that would be. I'm sure it was a bit nerve wracking, but the one good thing about a first look is, instead of having all the wedding guests stare at you in this moment, he was able to have it in private, with just the support of his best friends.
To be continued...