we love to feature our lovely clients and share their stories with you! we've even had the privilege of following some clients from engagement to wedding to newborns and family portraits. feel free to browse around and hear their precious stories. and of course, we'll share our own stories here too!
The doors open. The music swells. Everyone stands and you enter the room, glittering gown and veil flowing behind you. 300 people are staring at you, but you only see the sharply dressed man in the tuxedo at the end of the aisle. And the only person he has eyes for is you.
Every bride dreams of that moment that you walk (run? fly?) down that aisle towards your best friend to commit your lives to one another – and I’m here to tell you, it really is as incredible as you’ve dreamed. I have a few “core memories” in my life that are burned into my mind and walking that aisle (towards my usually stoic husband with tears in his eyes) is one of them. As we’ve talked to engaged couples, this moment is usually the most important in their wedding day. Sometimes there is a fear that it won’t live up to the expectations, that something might make it less special. As wedding photographers in Louisville, KY, we especially hear this sentiment when we bring up the topic of “first looks”.
But for Jeremy and I, our “aisle moment” was made even more special by the fact that we had seen each other a few hours earlier (photo above)! We personally opted for a first look for a lot of reasons – here are just a few I’ll share, both as a former bride and as wedding photographers in Louisville, KY:
From the moment you wake up and realize “I’M GETTING MARRIED TODAY” to the moment you are about to walk down the aisle, the nerves are gradually building. It makes it hard to eat (which you need to do on your wedding day!), hard to think and hard to enjoy the time with your bridal party and family. But when you know you’re going to have an intimate moment with your groom in a few hours, it’s so much less intimidating. Once you see each other, the nerves are gone and everything is just fun and delight! And that brings us to the second reason…
You’re getting married because you like this person, right? So much that you want to spend the rest of your lives with them! So, why would you want to spend the most important day of your life apart? You’d be surprised how little time some brides and groom have on their wedding day, especially if they have an evening wedding. Once your ceremony is over and you’re at the reception, there are literally hundreds of guests to greet. You might not have more than a 5 minute conversation between your ceremony, dinner and first dance. Sharing a first look guarantees that you’ll have some uninterrupted time together without the pressure of guests, family, bridal party and cake cutting. As your photographers, we try to give our couples space during their first look and YOU tell US when you’re ready to get started with portraits together. These unhurried moments also allow us to capture sweet moments like the ones below at the Frazier History Museum.
The third reason that sharing a first look is such a positive is that it ensures you will have twice as many portraits as a couple. Timelines can be tricky when you’re managing the schedules of two families, a bridal party, a venue and other vendors – trying to squeeze family portraits as well as your own portraits as a couple in between the ceremony and reception can be a tight fit. Again, if you’re having an evening wedding, it makes it even more complicated. A first look allows you to have 2 sets of wedding portraits (before and after the ceremony) as well as having the option to schedule family portraits before the ceremony.
We make a timeline consultation a priority for every couple – this is a 30 minute meeting about 3-4 months before your wedding with us where we help you design a custom timeline for your wedding day. Obviously, a first look is not a requirement, but we HIGHLY recommend that you make a first look a part of your day. As we experienced on our wedding day, it only made our “aisle moment” that much more special since we had gotten to spend time together, anticipating what that moment would be like.
If you’re a bride, are you doing a first look? Tell us how you feel about them in the comment section. If you’re a former bride, what did you do for your wedding? Looking back, are you glad you made the decisions you did?
To read more in this series, visit Part II: Choosing a Wedding Venue and Part III: Wedding Day Timelines: Planning for the Unexpected