Wedding Week: Our First Look

Ian and I decided to do a first look, where we saw each other before the wedding ceremony.  It's a little untraditional, and a lot of people do it for practicality so they can take a lot of the family pictures before the ceremony even starts, reducing the time they are delayed from joining the reception.

It was important for me to do it for a different reason.

To me, the opportunity to have a first look with my soon-to-be-husband was a thousand times more intimate and special.  To have this private moment to ourselves, without the pressure of having 150 onlookers staring into our faces to try to see certain expected (or unexpected) emotions ... it made it more real.  This is just my opinion, and I have plenty of friends that want to go or have gone the traditional route.

But for us ... this was perfection.  Ian, me, and our photographer.  Silence, some tears, whispered words, a lot of nervous giggling, and tender moments.  Perfection.

Ian waits up front.  The photographer later had him turn his back to the aisle.
As Ian's back was turned, I walked into the room and stood at the back of the aisle, the very one I'd walk down to him during our actual wedding ceremony.
Right before I went up for the first look, I invited my mother and MIL to sneak upstairs and watch through the window.  This moment was very special for them.

At the back of the aisle, with Ian's back still turned, I got myself ready for him to see me...

...and I took a deep breath and then asked my soon to be husband to turn around.

I was so nervous for him to see me.

Tearing up, I made my way down the aisle toward my fiance.

His reaction was one I'll never forget.

He loved every single bit of my dress and the way I looked.

And of course I thought he was just as handsome as could be.

After our first look, I wanted to find my Dad.  He was set to be arriving at the wedding venue around that same time.  I was trying to arrange the way that Dad would see me for the first time with my photographer and a few of my wedding coordidnator's interns (pictured) when, all of the sudden, the elevator doors opened and out walked Dad.  My photographer quickly sprang to action and captured his reaction to seeing me for the first time.

In retrospect, even though I wish we'd had a little more special way for him to first see me, the look of shock and surprise on his face was totally worth it.

And then, for practicality's sake (ha!), we took a few pictures with family. 

Last picture of the engaged couple before the ceremony!

My parents and sisters

Ian's sister, brother, mother, and paternal grandparents
And when I did walk down the aisle to Ian, it was a completely different moment for us.  Him seeing me on my father's arm, being presented to him, and surrounded by all of our loved ones gave us an even more emotional and special experience.  Tomorrow, pictures from our wedding ceremony! 


  1. loved this! makes me so excited to have my first look with my soon-to-be hubby (one month from tomorrow)!!!

    thanks for sharing such sweet pictures :)

  2. Oh this is fabulous. Love your Dad's face and I bet that was such a special moment between you and Ian.

  3. We did a first look as well and I couldn't have been happier with our decision! These are of the most "real" photos I have from the entire day.

  4. Love the pictures of you and Ian from your first look!! I totally agree with you - that moment is so special! I debated the decision for a while but we decided to see each other before the wedding and it was so worth it. xo

  5. I love, love, love the expression on your dad's face! Ian looks like you took his breath away. Beautiful!

  6. Love it!! Our first look was special but me coming down the aisle on my Father's arm was even more so.
    Brad actually cried. :) He jokes that he had a seizure. LOL!!

  7. Totally just teared up reading this! So sweet!

  8. Your pictures turned out great! This was such a cute post!

  9. Aw that is SO special! I agree that I totally teared up seeing these pictures too! What a super special moment to have on camera!

    And you look GORGEOUS!

  10. You looked gorgeous! I wanted to do a "first look" so I would get the tears out of the way before the ceremony but PB would NOT let me. He insisted on not seeing me until it started! I *LOVE* that y'all did this. The look on your faces is perfect.

  11. These are amazing...I'm getting choked up, so I know they must be priceless to y'all!

  12. I just cried :) Such beautiful pictures. Your photographer did an incredible job capturing this moment!

  13. Your firt look pictures are beautiful!

    I am not sure if I want to do this or not. One part of me really wants to do them. It is such an intimate and beautiful moment between two people. But a small part of me says tradation (and people saying its bad luck to each other before the ceremony)is holding me back.

  14. These pictures are stunning. What a beautiful dress.

  15. I love the look on your Dad's face and the way Ian is looking at you in your dress is magical.

  16. I love how thoughtful and heartfelt all of your wedding planning was!

  17. April, your wedding must have been absolutely gorgeous! I still can't get over how beautiful your dress is. Have you done your birdcage tutorial yet? I was out of the country for about a month, and I need to catch up on my blogging!

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