Relationships

Would You Do a Wedding First Look?

wedding first look photos

When Alex and I got married almost 11 years ago, we had a first look, and it felt so intimate. So, when I saw these photos of Aveena and Alissa’s first look, I was dying to hear how they were feeling at that very special moment…

The couple got married in Bellevue, Washington. Aveena wore a traditional gold lehenga and Alissa wore a white gown from Emmy Mae Bridal.

wedding first look photos

Aveena: “Alissa approached me from behind and wrapped me up in a bear hug. My heart was pounding.”

Alissa: “I was nervous before our first look, so nervous. We didn’t spent the night together before our wedding, so we hadn’t seen each other for 24 hours.”

wedding first look photos

Alissa: “Walking up to her, I was incredibly jittery. Our photographer was encouraging me to take deep breaths. I felt like my biggest job was to stay in the moment.”

Aveena: “Fun fact — I tried on my wedding gown that day for the first time EVER. After finding it, I had only a quick turn around to get it stitched to my sizing, and I never bothered to try it on because I was too distracted. Thank god it fit!”

wedding first look photos

Aveena: “When I turned around…I don’t even know what hit me…it was like oh my gosh, this is insane, you’re so fricking beautiful.”

Alissa: “I was overwhelmed by how gorgeous Aveena looked.”

wedding first look photos

Aveena: “I’m Indian and was raised conservative Christian; our marriage didn’t sit well with my family, so, other than my sister, they chose not to attend the wedding. A lot of the planning season was so much fun, but we both were also trying to defend who we were and why we chose to marry each other. So, during the first look, it was like, the day is here and nothing is going to tear us down.”

Alissa: “It was like, we’re doing this, we’re here, I love you.”

wedding first look photos

Alissa: “I would 100% recommend a first look to couples. It’s a wonderful moment to take a breath. You get that special moment to yourselves.”

Aveena: “We still talk about it. Nowadays, I’m always like, should we try on our wedding dresses again???”

Thank you so much, Aveena and Alissa! Would you do a first look? Is anyone getting married during quarantine? We have a stoop wedding feature coming up, and I’d love to hear if you’re waiting or going ahead. xoxo

P.S. 12 wedding dos and don’ts, and four amazing wedding ensembles. Plus, another wedding first look, and which of these wedding dresses would you choose?

(Photos by Carley Jayne Photography.)

  1. Love this! My husband saw my dress a few weeks before the wedding because we did bridal photos so we could have pics of us displayed at the reception.
    It was so much fun to do a first look! It’s a very special moment.
    http://Www.Thecolorcollectiveblog.Com

  2. Karen says...

    Congratulations and thanks for sharing your story and first look- just lovely!

    • Beth says...

      Just got married this past weekend! We reduced our 150 person to 20 of the closest family members. Did a first look and it was really special.

    • Em says...

      Congratulations, Beth!!

  3. Tamara says...

    The look of sheer joy on their faces in the last picture!! ~swoon~

  4. We did a first look, mostly so we could get right to socializing with family and friends after the ceremony (vs. pose for photos… though we did sneak away for a few minutes and a quick drink by ourselves before joining cocktail hour, at the suggestion of our coordinator…which I highly recommend!). It was a sweet moment, but got silly VERY fast when the photographer suggested my soon-to-be husband… hold my veil in the wind while I run around him in circles?!?! At one point, it landed on me like a giant fishing net. It was weird, but we laughed a lot and the photos are some of our favorites.

  5. C says...

    We intended to do a first look, but due to some wedding day snafus we ran out of time. I love seeing other couples first look pictures and these make me wish we had gotten to do ours.

    That being said, not seeing each other before made the moment I walked down the aisle even more dramatic. I ugly cried down the aisle.

  6. Faith says...

    What a beautiful couple!

  7. Paige says...

    I wish I had done a first look and taken all of our family pictures before the wedding! I had thought it wouldn’t be as romantic when I walked down the aisle if my husband had already seen me, but now I realize nothing would take away from that moment. At the reception when I wanted to be having fun I had to wait for all of our family to gather for each group picture, there was always some relative that couldn’t be found. It was still a great night but that is the one thing I would change!

  8. Sarah says...

    I did a first look with my husband, AND I did a first look with my dad. My mom got to help me with the dress that morning, so giving my dad a first look was a sweet way to give each of my parents some special attention before the ceremony. My sister is a wedding photographer, and she told me that some of her best photos are of a dad’s reaction seeing his daughter as a bride. Sure enough, she was right. The photos of my dad and I are some of my favorites, and it was such a beautiful moment.

  9. Irene says...

    We are in the U.S. but decided to adopt the Swedish tradition of walking down the aisle together (my grandparents were Swedish and Norwegian) because it felt like we were entering into the commitment together (we also incorporated Jewish traditions).

    We spent the entire morning together because, as a few others have commented, the thought of being separated for a significant portion of the day didn’t make sense to us. It helped that we also didn’t do bridal parties, so it was just us and a few immediate family members over the course of the morning (ceremony at noon). We did get some photos of a quiet moment we spent together (me still in my robe) reading letters we had written each other. Our photographer snuck shots from outside the room while the two of us had a really special moment alone. Highly recommend couples consider something similar if they want to eschew the typical first look.

  10. Frannie says...

    We are actively planning our engagement right now, so this is timely. (Pandemic shoutout to anyone else who had spring engagement plans that went sideways!)

    I have no idea what kind of wedding we’ll have, but I’d really love to do a big getting ready thing with our closest friends and family, like maybe two rooms for men and women, but in the same house/space and no “rules” against seeing each other, freely going back and forth between the rooms, etc.

    Neither of us has a lot of family support, so we’ve built important friend groups in our lives. We’re also both prone to anxiety about the idea that we’re alone in the world because our family is so distant from us. I don’t see why I would do things on our wedding day that feed that anxiety, when I could feed the foundation of stability I’ve worked very hard to create.

    I know other people have different stories, and so the first look means something totally different to them. But overall I see myself panicking if part of my brain feels like I’m “hiding” from my future spouse until a designated time, when I already know I need lots of calm reassurance that things are already great, just as they are.

  11. Eva says...

    My fella and I were just reminiscing about our wedding weekend the other night, and I named our first look as one of my favorite moments. We were so overwhelmed with all the loving people in our lives who traveled from near and far to celebrate with us—we had Friday night drinks, a Saturday evening wedding, and a casual brunch gathering on Sunday morning. We wanted to have as much time as possible with everyone!

    That’s why it felt so meaningful to have these moments of intimacy punctuated throughout the weekend. The first look was one of those moments. Just us, plus family and our wedding party (i.e., our closest friends). It extended the celebration throughout the day and even gave a leisurely feeling to the day—a fun hangout (on the Greenpoint waterfront in Brooklyn) leading up to the evening festivities.

    Plus we hadn’t done an engagement photo shoot, so it was bonus time with our spectacular photographer + bonus change of scenery for photos :)

  12. Anonymous says...

    Oh gosh, it’s been a year and a half, but I still have such strongly ambivalent feelings about our wedding, and the “first look” question had a lot to do with it. We struggled to find a photographer we liked, and the person we ended up with wasn’t really a good fit. We had told her we didn’t want to do a first look, but on the day of, she showed up and was like, “OK! Ready for your first look!” I still don’t know why – and I regret it every time I think about it – but instead of telling her no, we just kind of went with along with it. Which meant that we weren’t prepared and it ended up totally awkward. You can absolutely tell in the photos too – they’re terrible, we look soooo uncomfortable, and it just started things off on completely the wrong foot.

    The ONLY good thing was that, as someone else mentioned, I had gone all day without seeing my fiance, which felt SO WEIRD, especially on such a big and stressful day, so it was such a relief to finally see him, I burst into tears! I guess you could say that confirmed that we were meant to be together because in the midst of feeling so out of sorts, having his arms around me instantly made me feel safe and comforted.

    Not to be a downer and not anytime soon (there are so many more important things going on in the world right now), but I wonder if CoJ would ever do a post on having complicated feelings about your wedding? I think it’s something that doesn’t really get talked about, because we’re taught that it’s supposed to be the best day of your life, and it’s also so hard to admit to being disappointed in something that cost so much money and took so much effort (and our wedding was relatively small and modest!). Reading Priya Parkers’s “The Art of the Gathering” a few months later really clarified why, after researching a million blogs and doing a ton of careful planning, our wedding still didn’t feel “us”. We’d probably never renew our vows, but we definitely have talked about having some other party or event with our friends and family in the next couple of years (post COVID-19) that would in essence be a “re-do” now that we have a better idea of what wanted out of that day.

    (Also, I want to acknowledge the privilege inherent in all this. We were able to afford and have what in many ways was a lovely wedding, because we were able to save for it and because my parents helped offset the costs. My heart goes out to everyone who is having to cancel or reconsider plans right now and to anyone who looks at all of the extravagant and seemingly perfect weddings on the internet and feels shut out of that world.)

    • Anonymous says...

      Me too! I think that we thought we knew what we wanted. But we didn’t. It is still awkward, 17 years later.

    • I definitely agree! I would love to see a post in this vein. When I got married, I was so young and made so many choices out of obligation. It was the right decision to get married, but I wish I would have felt more confident in what I wanted for my wedding at the time.

    • silly lily says...

      Still married after 42 years. I’m not sure how this happened but I NEVER expected my wedding to be the best day of my life, and turns out, that was a gift. It allowed me to recognize my best day when it happened: the day I realized I would love him for the rest of my life. It helped a lot that he felt the same way — sometimes you really do just know. I understand I’m a very lucky person, to be able to say that.

      Since then we have welcomed two sons, two daughters-in-law, and our sixth grandchild is on the way. Every one of those days were moments of supreme joy but it helps to remember that they were only possible because of my very first “best day”.

      I wish readers in the planning stages of their wedding understood that it’s basically a ceremony, a party and a dress. The actual marriage, if it’s a good one, has already happened, and will continue to happen as you experience (hopefully) numerous “best days”.

      Try to relax and not sweat the details. Your wedding is not likely to be absolutely perfect…….something usually goes wrong and you will laugh about it later. Have you chosen the right partner? Then the most important detail has been finalized. Just enjoy. Good luck!

  13. Katherine says...

    Gorgeous!!! I’ve seen this floating around IG too and I’m so glad we got to hear more about it! :)

  14. Ellie says...

    Lots to say on this topic! I am a wedding planner/coordinator and got married 3 years ago.

    I always have recommended a first look to couple for logistical reasons (easier from a coordination standpoint for a variety of reasons) and because it is sometimes the only part of the day they have alone together, plus they can join cocktail hour. BUT I have always said that if a couple wants to keep the tradition of not seeing each other, then it’s totally doable.

    My husband and I are both Jewish and it is traditional to see each other before the ceremony for Bedeken and Ketubah signing, so that was an easy decision (we did a private Bedeken just the two of us after Ketubah but close enough).

    Despite my years of wedding coordinating, there was one thing I didn’t expect to learn from my first look: For the most part, modern couples marry for love and consider our parter to be our best friend. We often live together and see each other daily. So to not see each other for the majority of the day on a HUGE day is just weird. My wedding day is a bit blurry and anxious leading up to first look, but then once we saw each other, I was able to relax and enjoy. Hopefully that helps couples make a decision one way or another :)

  15. Megan says...

    We did one, I would highly recommend it if either of you is especially nervous! My husband was a ball of nerves that whole week, so I knew this would help calm him a bit before the actual ceremony. We both arrived at the venue separately and the photographer arranged for us to meet on on a beautiful stone balcony out back. When my husband saw me he didn’t have much of a reaction, and internally I was like WHAT!!! Come on!! But then a minute later a friend of mine who had come early to help with set up saw me and had what I would now call an “Eliza at the end of Hamilton” style reaction and that more than made up for it :)

  16. Laura Greenwood says...

    My husband comes from a very Scottish family and they have been known to sport their kilts here and there. From the moment we became engaged I asked and hoped and prayed he would wear his kilt (I truly think there is nothing more sexy) and he played it so cool– we kept our outfits secret. Finally, a week before the wedding he said “please stop asking, it’s not going to happen. I bought my suit, it’s all settled!” which I accepted as truth. When I went to walk down the aisle with my dad later that week–Ye Banks and Brase played on small pipes and harp, what is life?– I saw a dashing Scot at the other end of the aisle wearing his MacLellan tartan and the rest of the full-meal-deal (socks, purse thing, jacket, oh my!). I couldn’t believe my eyes and I yelled to my dad “HE’S WEARING A KILT” and started bawling. It was so funny and deliciously authentic and everyone laughed and cried and I’ll never forget it as long as I live. I even more loved that it happened in front of everyone. I think if I had done a first look I would have cried too hard!!!

  17. Sandra says...

    This is beautiful. No first look for us. I just would have been too conscious of the camera, and it would have prevented me from being present in the moment. I love that our “first look” was when I was walking down the aisle, even if it isn’t captured perfectly on film.

  18. KJ says...

    My husband and I didn’t do a first look and it was the BEST decision ever (for us). To be at the back of the church, music playing, doors open and everyone stands to look at me – and yet all I could see was him. I was nervous about all of that attention on me prior to the moment but it was truly the most emotional I was the entire day. I wasn’t someone who “dreamt” about my wedding day from childhood on but it was truly out of a fairy tale. For me, I knew that a first look would have ended up being more about the photos than the actual moment and I loved the idea of seeing him for the first time that day, walking towards my fiance, but walking out at the end of it as husband and wife. There’s no wrong way to go of course – just wanted to toss it out there for the people who aren’t sure!

  19. Michelle says...

    We chose NOT to have a first look. My husband and I got married in the church I grew up in, a beautiful church built in the 1800’s with intricate woodwork and exceptional frescoes and stained glass. I always knew I wanted to be married there, and that my first moment seeing my husband would be walking down that aisle in front of all who love me. It was so special the moment they opened the double doors into the sanctuary and right there at the other end of the walk was my partner for life <3

  20. Sarz says...

    I’m awaiting a call from the doctors who are currently removing two blood clots from my father’s legs. Surely, Cup of Jo would offer the distraction I needed! Sure enough, I saw this beautiful couple, and was reminded of what justifies all the far less pleasant things in the world. My dad would surely agree. Maybe I’ll share the story once he’s resting at home. 😊

    • Pru says...

      Hope your dad is okay Sarz.

  21. I’m a wedding planner in Canada and this past weekend I hosted a day of elopements in a vineyard. Five special couples got married and it was so joyful!

    I think the pandemic has encouraged people to focus on what’s most important: marrying the one you love and celebrating with only those closest to you.

    I’m so excited for intimate weddings to continue on post-pandemic!

    xo

  22. so glad I read this before anything else this morning. HOW BEAUTIFUL! The photos are gorgeous. Wishing you a healthy and happy life together!

  23. Claudia Gator says...

    They’re both so beautiful! And the dresses! Adorable! :))

  24. Hannah says...

    Aaaaah God, they both look so gorgeous!!!

    My husband and I got married almost a year ago and we had a first look, too. It was perfect! <3

    We did it right next to the church – everyone but the photographers and us was already inside and we had that moment just for ourselves. My husband later said that he was incredibly nervous up until the point when he turned around and saw me. And I was just BEAMING at him. Those pictures are some of my favourites of the whole day.

  25. Kelly L. says...

    No, I wouldn’t. I have (younger) friends who have done them, but they seem to be more about getting the perfect pictures, not really about sharing a genuine moment between two people. If the photographer wasn’t there, it would be a genuine, intimate moment. That being said, you do you!

  26. S says...

    Thank you for this representation. I am Asian, gay and not sure whether I would ever come out to my parents and for that reason, marriage has always been off the table for me. It is so nice to see someone look HAPPY despite the lack of support from their close ones. Gives me hope. Wishing these two the very best in life.

    • Em says...

      Sending love, S. I’m sorry that you have to deal with whether or not you can or want to be out with your parents. Wishing you all the future happiness in life and love <3

  27. Cathy says...

    What an absolutely beautiful couple! Their complete joy just shines through in the photos. I really hope Cup of Jo has more more LGBTQIA+ content like this in future.

  28. ED says...

    What a beautiful, radiant couple. Wishing them every happiness.

  29. I couldn’t do a first look because my makeup artist took too much time to get me ready,there was traffic, so once I got to the church it just was a whirlwind from there on till the end.

  30. Maggie says...

    What a gorgeous couple! Both those dresses are absolutely beautiful–and more importantly, you look so, so happy. :) Congratulations!!

  31. Emily says...

    So lovely.

    We did not do a first look. My husband and I actually felt very much like the day was about us and a continuation of our story together, so we spent the previous night together and even walked down the aisle together. Plus he had helped me choose my wedding dress because he’s super picky and I knew he would tell me if he didn’t like it! Haha!

    For me personally I’ve been in the bridal party for dear friends and seen how nervous people are before walking down the aisle and I just realized that the person I wanted with me through the whole process was the person I was getting married to! Maybe misses some of the symbolism of the “union” but in this day and age when you’re already cohabitating and everything, I find some of the symbolism outdated anyways!

  32. Becky says...

    We chose to do a first look! But I was SO jittery and nervous and on such a blissfully weird emotional high that day, that instead of the sweet blushing bride tap on the shoulder that most people probably give to their groom, I crept over to him like a freaky little dinosaur-creature and full-on yelled ROAAARR!!! as I pounced on him! I have no idea why I did that but he was definitely surprised.

    • Kate says...

      Hahaha! This is great! And funny for me as I actually was dressed as a dinosaur for our first look. I played the Jurassic Park theme tune as I walked in and wore an inflatable costume. Luckily he found it hilarious.

  33. Rebecca says...

    This brought tears to my eyes!
    Aveena– as someone who identifies as an Asian American Christian who fully affirms that love is love and that God blesses marriages and covenants of all kinds, I felt simultaneously deep grief and deep joy reading about your wedding and particularly about your family choosing not to attend your wedding. May you and your family be so, so blessed through your marriage in the years to come. Your union is beautiful and wonderful.

  34. Jamie says...

    So beautiful and so joyful ❤️

  35. Karin says...

    First looks were not a thing when I got married 20+ years ago, BUT our photographer had us do a bunch of photos, just the two of us, the weekend after we returned from our honeymoon. We dressed in our wedding outfits all over again.

    The photographer said she does this because couples are SO much more relaxed after the whole day is over, and it’s true – these are the best photos of us and turned out so beautiful.

    Gorgeous brides and I wish both of you every joy.

  36. Alyssa says...

    These two are gorgeous! I am so sorry Aveena that your family isn’t supportive. Please know that you have family in the wonderful people who have read this story and are sending you love. <3

  37. Summer says...

    We are eloping on a mountaintop in about 2 months. We plan to get changed into our outfits at the top and then have a first look. Even thinking about seeing my future wife all dressed up has me teary! It seems nice to commemorate the moment that you see each other for the first time on your wedding day.

    Also, love these photos. Congratulations to Aveena and Alissa!

  38. As a professional wedding photographer who has been in the business for more than a decade, I ALWAYS encourage couples to see each other prior to the ceremony. Thank you so much for highlighting what makes this such a special experience for couples. I am such a believer that I have written an entire page that I send out to couples to help them understand how seeing each other prior to the ceremony is good for THEM. If I could only give couples one piece of advice, this would be it.

  39. Jenny Stanley says...

    My husband helped me get dressed and then we walked into the wedding venue together. Haha!

    • Emily says...

      us to!

  40. Kathryn says...

    We just got married a few weeks ago. My whole life, I’ve dreamed of that moment when my husband would see me coming down the aisle as his bride.
    As things began to fall apart (or come together? It’s amazing how things work together for our good), I felt frenzied, trying to hold our wedding together. We tried to hang on to the simple things we cared about– what music we’d have, how our friends could still attend from afar– and forgot all about what color cake box we should buy.
    When our photographer told us we’d have to do a first look to make the pictures work with our covid wedding plan, I just laughed. The casual change just added joy. I was so happy to spend all the day with him, laughing and enjoying what was to come!
    I’ve grown to love shattered expectations. They make room for so much more.

    • Kathryn says...

      For those of you debating on a postponement, I want to add that our wedding did not feel any less of a wedding, though it looked quite different than planned. Of course, not every wedding can or should go ahead these days! But don’t be afraid of doing “less”. We’ve decided it makes the words and the emotions and all the intangibles that much more.

  41. Linny says...

    How sad for the family that wasn’t there – they missed out on the beauty and the love that the rest of us are so moved by that shines through these photographs! Congratulations on your marriage!

  42. Vicki says...

    These two are the cutest love all the joy in their faces! I had a hard day and seeing this lifted my spirits.

  43. Yael says...

    We sort of did! We had a traditional Orthodox Jewish wedding, so we spent the entire week before the wedding without seeing each other or speaking (!). I saw him for the first time a few minutes before the ceremony at our bedecken (where he puts the veil on me) all his friends sang and danced him to me where I was waiting with female friends/family. The photos of our faces from that moment are some of my favourites.

    • Yael says...

      My name is also Yael and this is also my story too <3. (When I first saw this comment, I was like, did I write this? Did I comment on this post and not remember? Haha.)

  44. Laura says...

    Sooo sweet! 💜

  45. Alyssa says...

    I’m getting married in six days! We weren’t planning a first look since it will just be us and our parents now (on a beautiful mountain farm, luckily!), but this makes me think twice about that decision!

  46. We didn’t, but I wanted too like many other brides. Instead my now-husband was high and brought his niece into the bathroom where I was getting ready to meet me. My dress, my face, my anticipation (mostly) were focused on a romantic notion of meeting him in an embrace before standing before our friends and family. Well, almost 30 years later it must still rankle or I wouldn’t have commented. But it’s just one of life’s experiences where we don’t get a do-over. Marrying him though? Never a do-over, this is solid.

  47. Katie F. says...

    We didn’t necessarily do a “first look” but we took pictures as a couple before we did family and wedding party pictures prior to the ceremony.

    I was running a few minutes behind that day, and thought for sure my husband would be there waiting for me and our photographer to arrive, as he’s normally annoyingly punctual whereas I am annoyingly perpetually running five minutes late, even on my wedding day. BUT, as he hung out with friends the morning of, he lost track of time a bit and when he realized it, he scrambled to get dressed and accidentally got dressed in one of his GROOMSMEN’S SUITS. After realizing his mishap, he got ready in a hurry and rushed off to meet us.

    All I remember is my punctual husband running up a little out of breath and telling us about the whole ordeal, and it made me laugh so hard. It broke the ice and I was just so relieved and happy to see him. One of those funny little wedding memories you never forget.

  48. Sophia says...

    My husband and I didn’t do a first look, but I love looking at other photos for people who do. All the love!

    I know this wasn’t the focus of this moment, but big hugs to Aveena for her parents not being at her wedding. As someone whose parents weren’t in attendance because my marriage didn’t sit well with them, I found it to be simultaneously hard and so liberating. I’m so glad they had a beautiful day where they could freely express their love for each other and be themselves completely.

  49. AJ says...

    Beautiful! Congratulations to you both! Love this ❤️

  50. Stephanie says...

    We did a first look for the practical reasons of taking wedding party and family portraits before the other guests arrived. So our first look wasn’t super private, although everyone kept their distance while I walked up to my husband and tapped him on the shoulder. I learned later that he was already mic’d up, so our videographers heard our silly baby talk, hah. Super not private.

    But we ended up having our private moment together between guest portraits after the ceremony, and cocktail hour. After we took photos with our guests, they were all ushered over to the bar, and we just hung back at the ceremony spot. We didn’t plan it, but the event staff dropped off some hors d’oeuvres for us, and we just hung out for 10 minutes as newlyweds in bliss before joining our guests at the bar. It was a sweet quiet moment together in the middle of a busy and chaotic (in a good way) day.

    • Julia Larson says...

      Love this! We are extremely lucky that both sides of our families are supportive of our interracial, queer relationship. My partner and I decided to do a virtual wedding when our original plan was cancelled because of Covid. We’re having an online ceremony in my friend’s shop in Austin, TX. My sister is officiating virtually and everyone is attending online..in 8 days!

  51. Annie says...

    I am so excited to see this gorgeous couple and from near where we live! Y’all are beautiful, and I LOVE that you shared these photographs!

  52. Elly says...

    Chills, on chills, on chills. STUNNING.

  53. Heidi says...

    This post is beautiful… a bright spot in my day!

    We did not do a first look, but as my bridesmaids and I were getting ready to walk outside to the ceremony, I saw my groom through a window… I looked down from the second floor at him and saw him greeting our guests and smiling while fidgeting with his tie and shaking hands. It was so sweet.

  54. Christina says...

    Yes and No :-). Not in the way you mean here, but we had all our pictures taken before the ceremony and then walked the aisle together as Swedish couples traditionally do. I honestly don’t remember what my husband did or where he was when I got my hair done though. Maybe he dressed our one year old kid and himself!

    The two brides in the photos are stunning, and so sweet!

  55. Gia says...

    Omg! So sweet! The thought of trying on or hanging out in your wedding dresses together down the road?? Amazing!

  56. erin says...

    beautiful couple! congrats, ladies ❤️

  57. We got married five years ago in Greece. We didn’t do a first look (I have NO idea how we would have squeezed it in, everything went so fast!) and I think because our photographer was so amazing I don’t regret not doing it all.

    Our ‘first look’ involved a fun tradition of my husband knocking on the door of the room where I was getting ready with a group of traditional musicians and his groomsmen, and everyone singing poetry to convince me to open the door and take his hand in marriage. Super fun but 0% intimate since our entire wedding party was present.

    That said, I absolutely love looking at other people’s first looks- they make me tear up EVERY TIME. Such a sweet moment. :)

  58. Michaela says...

    What a gorgeous couple and moment!

    I never imagined we would do a first look at our wedding, but as the day approached it just made sense. We were first influenced by attending a few weddings where the celebration was put on hold for 2-3 hours while the couple got photos done with their entire families—it was so boring to try to kill time as a guest in between the ceremony and reception. But I also remembered something a friend had said on her wedding day, that her soon-to-be husband was the one person she knew could calm her nerves, and that made sense to me too. I ended up feeling like, this is our day, I want to spend as much of it together as we can.

    Our actual first look moment wasn’t terribly magical, though! I approached my husband from behind and tapped his shoulder. As he spun around and looked me up and down, his face was plastered in a grin that probably looked like elation to an outsider, but that I recognized as panic. “How are you feeling?” I asked him. “Freaked out!” he replied through near-gritted teeth. I thought he was about to run away and ditch me outside the church! He later clarified that he was just so nervous (a big group of arriving family members had seen us and decided to congregate and watch from like, 20 feet away) but that he did mean “freaked out” in a *good* way. 😂

  59. Laura B. says...

    My fiance and I got quarantine engaged…and we have no idea what to do with our wedding. Even though every venue I’ve casually called has weekends booked basically through summer 2021, I’m personally struggling to make plans just to get a haircut. It’s so possible to do something wonderful even if it needed to happen tomorrow. I’ve just felt so stuck.

    I also think I’ve allowed myself to quietly think everything will be ok soon, not “normal” but a version of normal that feels a lot more like home. Not making any wedding commitments, under the “lets give it a little more time” rationale, has let me hang onto the false hope this is all going to be over tomorrow. Crazy right?

    The things we learn about ourselves in the cupofjo comments!

    • Emily L says...

      I have no idea if something like this would work for you, but a wedding photographer friend of mine is offering a “micro wedding” package that includes photography, planner and officiant for those who still want a wedding, but can’t safely have one that they may have been planning.

      Best of luck to you both! And I agree, such a strange time to make any kind of plans.

    • Stacey says...

      Congratulations! It was interesting to hear your thought process – thanks for sharing :)

      We just got quarantine engaged too!! It’s super fun and also feels very confusing / impossible to plan anything. I’m sticking with trying to be okay with the feeling of uncertainty for now, as I’ve dealt with everything else related to this horrible pandemic…

  60. As a former wedding photographer, my husband would say these are usually some of the best pictures, and he always wanted couples to do them. However, as someone who second shot many of his weddings, as well as someone who had a first look at our wedding, I would say this is extremely personal. I would also argue that it is always much better to have the least amount of people present when this happens. I think it’s hard to have genuine emotions when your entire wedding party is watching (this always made me cringe!). It was always super sweet when people would have first looks with their parents, if that is something that is meaningful for them. Again, I would just say that you should do a first look if that’s what you want to do. If I did it again, I would do a first look, but not even with a photographer present!

  61. Nancy says...

    I got married a few weekends ago at a ceremony with just a few family members. Because I didn’t have my bridesmaids or any friends there and our guests were to arrive only in time for the ceremony to minimize risk, my fiance hung out and chatted with me all through hair and makeup, and then helped me get into my dress. Was it climactic? No. But it was so us, and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

    • Danielle says...

      My husband and I did a planned elopement and getting ready together was one of my favorite parts.

  62. Lauren E. says...

    I really wanted the romance of my husband seeing me in my dress for the first time while I walked down the aisle, so we didn’t do a first look. But we also only had 25 people so it still felt very intimate. For us, it was perfect.

  63. Susie says...

    Beautiful story! Made me teary:)

  64. Meredith R. says...

    My husband and I got married in Brooklyn and did our first look down at the piers in Brooklyn Bridge Park. I didn’t know what direction my husband was coming from so our photographer asked me to hide in the bushes while she went and got him. I wound up being in there for like 10 minutes! It’s still one of my favorite memories of the day, me in a long white dress, hiding in the bushes, and lots of New Yorkers just walking by and flying kites like it was totally normal.

  65. Denise Rodriguez says...

    My goodness so much beauty and joy in one photo! Husband and I had a small wedding at an Italian restaurant in Queens, no first looks.

  66. Chandra says...

    I would definitely do a first look! All the primping and planning as a bride or groom is mostly for your beloved, so why not take that moment before the cameras, friends, tears, and toasts arrive to enjoy each other in your wedding wear.

  67. Mak says...

    We postponed to next summer. A disappointment, but right for us. Our wedding was meant to be in 2 weeks! My heart goes out to all the 2020 brides and grooms who have agonized over what to do! And really, to everyone who has had to change plans this year (aka all of us) <3

    • E says...

      Our wedding was supposed to be on July 25th, and we’ve decided to wait until next year. Thinking of you!

    • Mak says...

      E, July 25 was our original date too! New date is July 31, 2021. We’re in this together :)

    • Jessa says...

      Same here! May 2020 is now May 2021 – thankful it could be postponed. Flexibility is a great asset to marriage – and life :) <3

  68. imb says...

    “I’m always like, should we try on our wedding dresses again???”

    hahahahahahahaha

    Yes. Yes you should.

    • Molly says...

      RIGHT?!? Both dresses are amazing! I hope they can each try on the other’s dress too! :)

    • Sadie says...

      Just make sure you TikTok that shit.

  69. Arielle says...

    What a lovely couple! These kinds of stories are like balm for the soul right now – it’s so important to also recognize moments of love and light.

    My husband and I did a first look, and it was my second-favorite part of the wedding day (first favorite: eating breakfast sandwiches in bed together before the craziness of getting dressed began). We did our first look on the High Line in NYC, and it was simultaneously intimate—time for just the two of us to enjoy each other—and a public celebration because we got so many good wishes from strangers! I smile just thinking about it :)

    • Molly says...

      I loooove that you had breakfast sandwiches together in bed before starting the day!! :)

  70. M says...

    This is such a beautiful post! <3

    I would love to see more LGBTQ+ content on CoJ. As others have said, this is a wonderful, inclusive space and minority representation of any kind feels respectful here, not tokenistic.

    I still remember and treasure the essay you published a year ago today by Haylie Swenson, about discovering her bisexual identity whilst being happily married to a man. In a society that tends to view things in black and white, bisexual visibility is so, so important and I will always be grateful to you for sharing Haylie's experience.

    • jane says...

      I feel like there are the perfect amount of inclusive posts for a mainstream site: occasional posts, super organic, natural and friendly. I mean it’s not an LGBTQ+ site. It’s about all women and already does a great job of including more alternative lifestyles than you’d expect on a women’s lifestyle blog and they happen quite regularly which is great. Someone must be doing an equally great lesbian/LGBTQ+ lifestyle blog somewhere for those who want even more?

    • Jessie says...

      @Jane: I’m confused. I’m a woman married to another woman. Am I not “mainstream”? I should go to a special gay website if I want to read about LGBTQ people living their lives? I do not have an “alternative lifestyle.” I am a married woman with a family and a job and a life, and I really enjoy this blog just like everyone else that reads it. There is no maximum quota for content about people who are different than you are and you are not entitled to dominate some space defined as “mainstream” while every one else is marginalized off to niche websites and publications. This comment really bums me out.

    • Max says...

      @Jane –

      To read, “I feel like there are the perfect amount of inclusive posts for a mainstream site,” is really upsetting. Who are you to determine what is the perfect amount? What is “mainstream.”

      I would strongly encourage you to reconsider why you feel this way and why you felt the need to leave this comment.

    • Cathy says...

      I completely agree M – I too would love to see more LGBTQIA+ content on CoJ.

      @Jane I am not sure what you mean exactly by “alternative lifestyles”, like Jessie said. A women’s lifestyle blog should regularly include ALL women, include women who identify as LGBTQIA+.

    • M says...

      @Jane: The tone of your comment implies that you think:
      1) Cis-hetero readers of this blog feel the same way you do and would not want to see more LGBTQ+ representation, when there is already what you deem “the perfect amount”.
      2) As a non-hetero individual, I should just be thankful that people like myself are included on this platform at all.

      I wrote my original comment as positive feedback for the CoJ team – a joyful cry of “Yes! This” – but you seem to have interpreted it as an invasive battle call for other people who are not “mainstream” to take up more space than you think we deserve. As Jessie says, this bums me out.

      I hope you reflect on where your feelings of discomfort and resistance are coming from, and why you think that more “alternative” lifestyle posts would take away from you in some way.

  71. Miranda says...

    what an amazing post and amazing photos. totally did not expect this.

  72. Michele says...

    They are so beautiful :) Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos! My sister’s much-reduced wedding is this weekend and I feel the same about needing to find the strength to be present in the moment.

    Silly nitpick, and please educate me if this is awful. Why do we need to say that the lehenga is traditional and the white dress just is assumed to be traditional? I’m not even sure a gold lehenga is that traditional (just like a white dress is a relatively new tradition in the US). Probably I just need to eat a muffin but it felt subtly demeaning to Aveena and Indian bridal fashion to me.

    • Amber says...

      Speaking as someone with a similar heritage to Aveena, I can tell you that the lehenga is traditional. So are saris and ghararas and shalwar kameezes and it is certainly not demeaning to describe them as such.

    • jane says...

      Yes have a muffin : D But it’s still interesting to discuss, as follows:

      The white wedding dress has been a traditional standard in the US for at least the last three generations if not more. Also one of the things that’s been underlined in the last couple months is how it is a mis-perception to perceive the traditions of other cultures as “demeaning” when in fact they are cherished in spite of messed up origins. I say the following in a conversational tone, fyi 💖, but have you looked into the traditional meaning of the white dress? What could possibly be more demeaning than that and the veil? It literally represented untouched meat up for sale trade or barter to the prospective male. Because nothing else mattered to men then that ownership of their “property” was assured. We know that and yet even today we still embrace the beauty of a designated white dress for weddings even as we’ve quietly swept the traditional meaning under the rug.

    • Michele says...

      I think I was more referring to the idea that we needed to say one was traditional but not the other. Couldn’t it just read “Aveena wore a gold lehenga and Alissa wore a white gown from Emmy Mae Bridal.”

      As in treat them the same with language instead of exoticizing the lehenga. It felt like it assumed white cultural familiarity but not Indian.

      I see I’m in the minority though so I will now desist :)

    • Michele says...

      And thank you Jane and Amber :)

  73. Shannon says...

    What a lovely couple.
    My wedding was scheduled for early April in California so we had to cancel when the initial lockdown was announced. We made a split second decision to get married that day before the county clerk’s office closed. It was not at ALL what we had planned and we are still trying to get our unexpected wedding date/anniversary cemented in our heads (it was going to be 4.4.2020, ended up being March 16, the day the shelter-in-place order was announced). The whole thing was wild and exciting and as people keep saying, a great story for our grandchildren. And it really stripped everything down to what really mattered most: that we got married. Photos from that day and our story here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_lVZBGhUBr/. We also made this amazing wedding invitation video using found footage from old movies (well, my husband made it, I offered creative input) – maybe one day we’ll make a new video about what really ended up happening. We also hope to throw a BIG party when the world is safe again, maybe in a couple years.

    • Jenny T. says...

      What a lovely story! Congratulations.

    • Rose says...

      I clicked on your Instagram post and teared up reading it! I’m so sorry that you didn’t have the wedding you were planning. Your commitment to each other and your relationship is beautiful.

    • meg says...

      oh I loved your instagram photos + caption so much! gorgeous couple, congratulations :D

    • Molly says...

      What lovely photos! You both look so happy to be getting married, & that is the important part. Plus you got to carry a bouquet of lilacs, so really, you win! Congrats on the marriage, & I know that all your family & friends will be ecstatic at the party you throw to celebrate next year!

  74. em says...

    These photos are so gorgeous <3

    My husband and I did a very small courthouse wedding. We didn't do a first look, because we woke up together and got ready together that day! One of my favorite parts of the day was him zipping me into my dress + me helping him iron his shirt, alone together in the hotel room. And then when we were all dressed and ready to go, looking at each other and saying "let's do this!" before heading out.

  75. Lisa says...

    This gave me the chills. They both look beautiful and are absolutely radiant.

  76. silly lily says...

    My husband and I had our first look at the altar 42 years ago. For us it was perfect and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

  77. Rachel says...

    Beautiful photos of a happy couple!

    I got married during quarantine. It’s the second marriage for both of us, who were both raised conservative Christians, though we aren’t now. Our original plan was to go to the courthouse with some friends as witnesses since my family lives far away and his family hasn’t been supportive. But due to the pandemic, the courthouse was closed, so our friend got ordained online, and we had a socially distanced ceremony at our local park. It ended up being perfect – just a few people who truly love us and wanted to celebrate with us.

  78. Ruth says...

    So sweet! We did this and I 100% recommend it to everyone. It was magical and we didn’t even notice our fabulous photographer capturing the whole thing.

  79. Lee says...

    My husband and I did a first look 8 years ago, mostly because I wanted to get a lot of photos taken before the ceremony began (haha). But that moment was so special and I love the photos from our first look!

    As for the Aveena and Alissa’s first look: (1) the dresses (OMG!!! They both look so beautiful!) and (2) you can totally feel the love and excitement in the photos! What a sweet and beautiful couple!!!

  80. Liz says...

    My husband and I got married last June and we decided to do a first look. We made the decision mostly because of logistics (doing formal photos before the ceremony would allow us to spend more time at the reception), but I’m so glad we did it! Our friends and family were looking on and we did ours by the water on this long walk way. My heart was pounding because we didn’t spend the night together and when I first saw him I was so excited – he looked so handsome even from the back!! I tapped him on the shoulder and when he turned around I felt so calm. I still think about this moment and get choked up. Which is weird because neither of us is very sentimental. I’d mostly recommend to do one because you get a few minutes to spend with your partner when you first see each other and it was so special to be able to do that, as opposed to launching straight into the ceremony. When I did walk down the aisle though I still had butterflies!

  81. Daniela says...

    My husband and I got married last September after going back and forth between then and spring of this year. So happy we opted for a short engagement and got married last year, my heart goes out to all the couples having to change their wedding plans.

    We did do a first look! It was so sweet, my mom took photos of us on their balcony. It was a truly special moment. We went further and drove to our city hall wedding together, stopping at a bar first for a drink and snacks. We didn’t do a traditional wedding but the day was so perfectly us.

  82. Shelley says...

    Makes me feel all giddy and remember my first look with my husband. Beautiful brides! So sweet.

  83. ale says...

    my husband and i got married in maui 9 years ago. we only told about 10 people we were getting married – everyone else thought we were just going on vacation. so, we had 7 people at our wedding and my husband had never seen my dress or have any idea what it looked like. it was such a fun, easy, laid-back day and i wouldn’t want to change a single thing about it! but to answer your question, no first look other than just me walking down the “aisle” (a path of yellow flower pedals leading down to the beach!) towards him :)

    • Emily says...

      This sounds so romantic and beautiful, Ale. I would totally consider doing something like this on my favorite beach here in Northern California. <3

  84. Julie says...

    We eloped and we didn’t do a first look, we got ready together and it was so perfect. I love the photos of my wife helping me tie the knot on my jumpsuit.

    This is so lovely. As a gay woman seeing this post today made me feel so seen.

    If this made anyone else want to flip through wedding photos, here are ours, I went and looked at a few of our photographers albums this morning after reading this. So lovely.

    http://www.aaroncourter.com/blog/cathedral-park-st-johns-portland-elopement

    • Mary says...

      Such a beautiful wedding! Thanks for sharing 💝

    • Katie says...

      What a gorgeous wedding, Julie! Thanks for sharing your special photos.

  85. Kara says...

    Crying! Such a beautiful post.

  86. A says...

    I LOVED having a first look! I insisted that we walk backwards until we bumped into each other and then turn, because I didn’t want either of us to see the other first, haha. It made for awesome photos! And because we had to walk backwards (lol), our wedding parties were both there, and the photos of them crying kill me. Love the photos of these women and wish them the best!

  87. Kate says...

    These pictures are so beautiful! My husband and I also did a first look, mostly because our ceremony was later and we needed daylight. But it worked out well because he lost his glasses a few days before so he was very nervous and blind during the ceremony. It was nice to have that time together so he could really take in me I’m my dress and my veil without feeling pressure to put on an emotional show because he wasn’t able been able to see me clearly until I got to the end of the isle.

    • Alex says...

      This is so sweet AND funny :D

  88. Caitlin says...

    My husband and I both weren’t interested in a first look. We really wanted the walk down the aisle to be the first glimpse of each other. However! I convinced him that I DID want a first look moment with our photographer, and plotted with his Army Drill Sergeant brother to dress up in a white dress of his own. The pictures our photographer took of the faux first look are some of my absolute favorite and it was nice to orchestrate a little humor into an otherwise emotion packed day.

    Here’s a link to these hilarious photographs! https://jeffdose.com/caitlin-lars/

    • em says...

      omg this is so funny!!! also you look gorgeous and I love your tattoo :)

    • Marisa says...

      Hi Caitlin,
      This is so great!! Really funny idea! I can’t resist commenting on how beautiful your dress is on you, and your tattoo is absolutely stunning in the photos! Great job by your photographer!

  89. Cam Archibald says...

    Hi Joanna and friends!
    My fiance Michael and I got engaged last September in Spain. We planned a for a short engagement with a wedding on April 17, at a venue near where we live in Massachusetts, with about 90 guests. In mid-March, we postponed to August 21, of course, thinking everything would have blown over by then. In Massachusetts, it was recently announced that indoor weddings can host 25 people and outdoor weddings can host up to 100. We are eager to get married and begin the rest of our lives, being married on August 21 is the important part and the perfect party is secondary. So, we are going to have an outdoor ceremony and reception for about 40 guests – only people from New England. However, our venue has still not been able to confirm if they will be able to erect a tent for us, so while we wait, I am simultaneously planning the same event at my parents’ house! 43 Days to go… but not sure where! In addition, my fiance used to travel for work 4 days a week, almost every week. So this is the first time we’ve ever really Lived together full time! COVID has been quite the adventure for our relationship and hopefully will create a lifelong happy marriage in the future! Best, Cam

  90. Jodi says...

    They couldn’t look more happy or stunning!

  91. Carolyn says...

    My wedding photographer (who was also a friend) insisted that we do a first look – he said they’re always the best shots. The exact moment I saw my very soon to be husband looking dapper in his new suit, over his shoulder I also saw our reception tables all set up with THE WRONG COLOR TABLECLOTHS. The photos came out great! But even now, ten years later, when I see them I remember how horrified I was that the caterer had substitute baby blue for ivory, and threw off the color scheme I had agonized over for a year, LOL.

  92. Emily says...

    I think I would do it! But I also think I’d spend the night before with my boyfriend. Otherwise I’d never sleep. :)

  93. Tara says...

    This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. ❤️

  94. ANDREA says...

    I really shake my head at the idea of a first look. It seems to stem from sexist notions of what a wedding and a marriage are centered on–the requirement that women be pretty and chiefly bring their looks as a dowry to this relationship. The “first look” or seeing one down a wedding aisle for the first time ranks with promposals or unity candles–silly “traditions” that Americans like.

    • Emily says...

      I totally get what you’re saying, Andrea, but I think for a lot of couples it simply represents seeing the person you’re marrying on your wedding day and realizing how special it is and how much you love and adore them. :)

    • Laura says...

      I disagree. For my partner and I, our first look was a time alone to celebrate our love for each other! The majority of the day and wedding events were busy and we were surrounded by our family and community (which was wonderful), but our first look was just us and I loved that time. It’s a great memory of our wedding day.

    • Meg says...

      I thought it was actually an idea created on logistics. Logistically it’s easiest to take photos before the wedding ceremony, when you have more time and the light it likely to be better. So the first look it just a way to capture the excitement of seeing eachother all dressed up, before you do your picture session.

  95. seeley says...

    I love the idea! Seems very essential to have an intimate moment together before the official shebang. Very special.

    Today begins with me feeling very lonely and overwhelmed. I badly want a loving man in my life and dealing with that absence feels like grieving. I spent all morning journaling and feel a little better, but seeing this love story actually lifted my heart. Especially that last photo, the LOVE. Thank you!

    I am so glad COJ is so inclusive on such a mainstream platform. Even though I am hetero I really, really appreciate seeing love in all it’s dimensions, shapes and colors.

    • macauley says...

      Seeley – I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling lonely. Much love to you!

  96. Justine says...

    Awwww! These photos were the bright spot I needed in my morning. Thank you Aveena and Alissa for sharing this special moment with us!

  97. Kelly M says...

    Congratulations to these two! Both look so stunning and blissfully happy! I had never heard of a first look when I got married nearly 13 years ago. It’s a lovely idea.

  98. Agnès says...

    (the link to Aveena’s blog or insta doesn’t work).
    What an intense moment! they both look stunning and you can feel love! yes, we can all use these wonderful stories right now… thank you.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Fixed! Thank you so much!

  99. kristen says...

    My husband and I did a quick first look at the site of our small outdoor ceremony before we walked down the aisle arm in arm. Those are some of my favorite photos.

  100. Connie says...

    Jo, thanks for always being such a champion to all voices and perspectives. These photos are absolutely breathtaking. So happy for these women. :)

    My husband and I are celebrating our 12th anniversary on Sunday, and so I’m feeling nostalgic about wedding things. We did not do a first look, because my husband was traditional back then (less so now as we’ve gotten older!) and he never would have gone for that back then, but I would have been game for it then and now. It’s a neat chance to share a very personal moment and chase the ceremony jitters away.

  101. Favi says...

    Such a lovely post! You both are beautiful!

  102. Lucy Kalanithi says...

    LOOOOOVE THIS!!!!!

  103. Lucy W says...

    This made me cry! We postponed our August wedding until 2021, and honestly…I was devastated. It’s 100% the right decision for us, but it hollows me out when I think about how I would be feeling right now: the butterflies, the excitement, the joy. I still can’t wait to get married, and will be that much happier when the day is finally here!

    • Laura B says...

      I am in the same boat, originally 8/8/20 now 8/14/21. Even though it’s the right thing, it doesn’t mean it’s the easy thing. Sending you love!!

  104. Y says...

    These pictures are beautiful! Highly recommend not just the first look, but taking most of the pics before the ceremony. Your make-up is fresh and you are not rushed because guest are waiting. We had a few moments to ourselves, took pics with our small bridal party, enjoyed a glass of champagne together and took a breath together.

  105. Laura Carroll says...

    So stunningly beautiful.

  106. JRG says...

    i had a first look with my dad and my husband scheduled on our shot list and it was kind of underwhelming tbh.

    my dad came down too early and we just ran into each other in front of the hotel elevators, haha. oops. and with my husband, i had helped him pick out his tux so already knew what he’d look like and while he was excited to finally see my dress and so happy, it wasn’t the tear-filled movie moment i was expecting and like these ladies had.

    BUT i am glad we did it regardless because we were able to get nearly all our photos done before the ceremony which meant we (and more importantly the bridal party) didn’t have to miss cocktail hour which was perfect, haha.

    • Sarah says...

      Honestly, same. We were like, “Oh, hey, you look nice!” and that was kind of it.

    • Kari says...

      100% agree and had a similar experience! Like Sarah said, it was just like “oh hi! you look nice!” and we hugged and that was it. Still glad we did even if just for logistics.

      Also had an anticlimactic run in with my dad. Wedding was on their acreage and he was out in the morning doing some last minute yard things and he walked into the house still in his dirty yard clothes and saw me fully ready. Then he felt awkward he wasn’t ready so tried to avoid photos. Kind of funny, kind of a bummer but c’est la vie!

  107. Katie says...

    My gosh, this is beautiful, and isn’t that what we could all use right now? Just some love.
    Congratulations – you are beautiful and so is your story. Thank you for making my Thursday, and for reminding me that love is out there.

  108. Rachel says...

    My partner and I are getting married this October and keep trimming down our plans due to the virus (all of our guests are out of town). We finally decided to elope with just our parents and brothers and social distance by household. We dropped the hotel rooms for getting ready separately and have decided to get ready together at home. Our first look will involve him helping me into my dress and zipping me up. Somehow, this detail has made that first look even sweeter to me.

  109. Lorraine says...

    Absolutely beautiful! The pictures, the moment, the story. My husband and I are celebrating our 10-year (!) wedding anniversary tomorrow so I’ve been reminscing about our wedding day lots lately. We did a first look which brought me to tears, I’m so glad we did it. I caught a glimpse of him before he saw me – he was patiently waiting behind a curtain looking so stellar in his suit.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      aww, congratulations!!

  110. Suzanne says...

    This was so beautiful! Thank you for sharing such a touching moment with the world.
    <3!

  111. Olivia says...

    This is beautiful! My fiance and I were planning a quite large wedding for mid-August. We made the decision early April to postpone our reception. We will still be getting married on our original date with just our immediate family in attendance.

    Though I realize there are much larger things going on in this world beyond us, I have definitely grieved my dream day somewhat the past few weeks. Thank you for the precious reminder of all the good and beautiful things that we will still get to have!

    Our original plan was to have a first look (our ceremony is at 5:30 and logistically, with pictures, we needed to see each other sooner than that). We have now decided to wait and have a “down the aisle” first look. My sweet fiance, who quite infrequently has a helpful wedding opinion, insisted upon this. Who would have thought?!

  112. Laura B says...

    This is such a beautiful moment! My fiance and I are going to do a first look, I think I would be way too jittery to wait until walking down the aisle! Alas, our August 8 wedding has been postponed until next August (we’ve been together 15 years, what’s one more, right?) so until then, I will lovingly take daily peeks at my dress hiding in the closet!

  113. Rebecca says...

    I love this! I’m getting married in September and we’ve had to make a lot of twists and turns to get to our final plan. We were supposed to get married in Seattle with a larger ceremony, dropped it down to immediate family and some local friends and just made the call on Sunday to move the whole thing to Minneapolis with just immediate family! We’re both from that area so our immediate family won’t have to fly. Now we’re planning to make it a big wedding road trip out and back! It feels like the right move , but man… what a ride.

  114. Kate says...

    Beautiful brides!! Both dresses are amazing in their own way! Congrats on your marriage and wishing you both a wonderful life together full of many more sweet moments.

  115. Sonya says...

    So romantic! Gorgeous couple.

  116. Eloise says...

    Gorgeous!!!!

  117. Gosh, this post really hit me. I live in Bellevue, WA; I’m getting married to my fiancée in 11 days (!!!); and much of our family will be absent.

    Not even sure I can say anything else. This just struck me so much.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, wow, sheila! sending so much love your way.

  118. Maclean Nash says...

    What an absolutely stunning couple! I love both of their dresses and Aveena’s face in the photo of seeing Alissa for the first time is pure joy!

  119. jules says...

    Their pictures are so beautiful!
    I was considering a first look for our wedding but my husband was really set on wanting to wait for the aisle, so I agreed. Having that moment with my dad in the back and then seeing him for the first time at the end of the aisle was just perfect and had so many feels. I cried the whole way down the aisle and so did my dad. I think the emotion would have probably been the same either way, but I wouldn’t trade that walk for the world.

  120. Sara says...

    Abso-fricking-lutely stunningly gorgeous!

  121. Jennie says...

    I cancelled my wedding and ran away to Vegas to get married, so the whole experience was a first look!

  122. Alyssa says...

    This made me cry – and I never cry! Touching, beautiful.