Wednesday, May 8, 2013

First Look

The idea of a first look was something I was strongly opposed to prior to planning my own wedding.  That moment when a groom first sees his bride as she's coming down the aisle is so sweet.  Why would you want to take that moment away?  But as we planned, it just made sense to get all the pictures over and done with before the ceremony.  We wanted to enjoy cocktails with our guests and didn't want to be rushed to squeeze everything in while our guests had to wait for their dinner.  Plus, since it was a winter wedding and I had an early sunset to worry about, I wanted to get all the photos in while we still had the light.  I'm so glad we did it that way.  We had time to savor the moment and hold hands and get all moony without a bunch of eyes on us.  Plus, turns out a groom seeing his bride for the first time is pretty sweet no matter when it happens. 
When I was ready to step outside, someone had to go find Joe where he was hanging out with his groomsmen and the rest of our families who had arrived early for pictures.  I got the thumbs up that he was outside and ready and just before I stepped out, I peeked around the door to see Joe's dad walk out to come keep Joe company outside, totally oblivious to the huge moment we were trying to orchestrate.  I had to duck back in really fast and someone had to go shoo him away.  I'm so glad I peeked!
I waited for my mom to fly up from Texas before shopping for my dress.  I wanted to go with my mom and my brother, Matthew, who lives in NYC.  I had the whole day planned out with appointments at several boutique bridal shops in Manhattan.  I was so excited, but the day turned out to be a bust.  I just didn't fall in love with anything or nothing fit right.  When I did put something on, I felt like I was wearing a Halloween costume and I was so nervous that I just wasn't go to have the wedding dress buying experience I had hoped for.  My mom was only in town for a week and I really wanted to find the dress while she was with me.  My mom insisted we make another appointment for when she was in town at the bridal boutique in Nordstrom.  I had seen a dress online there that I couldn't get out of my head.  I made the appointment, but I wasn't very excited about it. 
On the day, I went with my mom and my cousin, Laura, and I just wasn't feeling it.  I didn't even shave under my arms or wear the proper undergarments because I was that over it.  I tried on the dress I'd seen online and liked it a lot, but it didn't feel like it.  Then I tried on my dress and my mom and Laura started crying and I suddenly felt like a bride.  That was it.  Done and done.  Plus it happened to be on sale off the rack and so I ended up with a $2000 dress for under $1000.  Of course, when I had to lift my arms so the seamstress could take measurements for alterations, I wish I'd taken things a little more seriously.
I will say though, that as much as I loved my dress, it was the veil that really made me feel the most like a bride.  I really loved that veil and I love how it looks in pictures and how it made me feel.  I'm so glad I went with the floor-length, or my veil moment as I kept calling it.  If you're going to wear a veil, then wear a veil, you know? 
Photographs by our lovely and talented photographer
Tomorrow: the ceremony.