Friday, July 15, 2011

May Day!: The First Look that Almost Wasn't

I fell in love with the idea of a first look very early on in the planning process.  For those of you not versed in wedding lingo, a first look is a chance for the bride and groom to see each other before the wedding ceremony. As an avid Weddingbee reader, I saw so many awesome first looks, and with all the good reasons for having a first look (time alone before the wedding, a special moment, cool photos), I was completely sold.  But there was a problem: Mr. Goodlaff didn't really want to do one.  He wanted to see me for the very first time as I came down the aisle to become his wife. 

He gets bonus points for sweet sentimentality, but I have to be honest: when he wasn't really into the idea, I was crushed. I decided not to give up, so I kept bringing it up and bringing it up, in the hopes that Mr. Goodlaff would warm to the idea.  A few days before the wedding, he finally gave in.  It might have had something to do with all the craziness of family constantly surrounding us and the very little alone time we had, or maybe the photography timeline scared him into it, but either way, he came around and agreed that a first look maybe wasn't the worst thing in the world.

My inner Bridezilla was mollified by this turn of events, because I knew exactly how I wanted our first look to--well--look.  Less than two weeks before our wedding, I had fallen in love with the first look that Laura (of Wine and Cheese, Please) had done, and it was so sweet and perfect that I knew that if Mr. Goodlaff ever changed his mind, I could only hope to have a moment half as beautiful. 

The peeking around the corner totally did me in, and that was that.  Of all the first looks I've seen, that one was the best; I just knew that the ivy-covered wall at the back of the Foundry would be a stunning background for our fist look.

But it wasn't to be.  The ivy-covered corner was bathed in sunlight and as such was unfit for pictures.  Minutes before our first look was to happen, we picked another spot right across the street from the Foundry, and used this obliging hedge instead:

Mr. Goodlaff and I stood on opposite sides of the hedge, and then Niki had me turn around and face away from the camera.  Meanwhile, Mr. Goodlaff started coming around the corner...

He tapped me on the shoulder...

I turned around, and there he was!

"Check me out!  Do you like my dress?"

Mr. Goodlaff had a little something in his eye. He says it was dust, but I think he was covering to preserve his manliness!

When the warm fuzzy moment was over, we got back to our normal, goofy selves:

I am so thrilled with how our first look turned out, even though it didn't go exactly according to plan. It was so nice to have a quiet(er) moment for ourselves before the craziness of the wedding, and to really take time to check each other out and appreciate how good we both looked.  

If you're on the fence (or someone else is on the fence) about the idea of a first look, I whole-heartedly recommend it.  The one thing I wish I had insisted on was just us and the photographers there for the moment.  A lot of family was hanging around, and though I hardly noticed that they were there, the moment wasn't as intimate as it could and probably should have been.
Will you be doing (or did you do) a first look?

Miss something? Catch up here:

It's All About Me
Sharp Dressed Men
Girls, Girls, Girls
My Chariot Awaits
Dress Success
Beginning the Bridal Transformation
Painting Faces
Perfectly Coiffed
Calm Before the Storm

All photos (except one) by Niki Ross Photography


  1. I love the first look photos. Yours are just beautiful. I especially love the one where he is looking at you and you are smiling (right after he taps you on the shoulder).

  2. Awesome photos, and love that the Mr. had a piece of "dust" in his eye. Groomzilla said NO WAY to the first look, I am all for it. I want to spend AS much as possible with friends and family at the reception and actually want to be able to make it to the cocktail hour but Groomzilla is NOT budging.

  3. i love it! the first look pictures came out perfect even though they weren't initially exactly what you wanted. we're not doing a first look, but i think we're going to do a corner shot with our hands holding each others. :)

  4. Ah, I was surprised to see our photo on your blog!! :) I'm SO GLAD we did our first look..they are some of our favorite photos. I'm glad you guys were able to make it happen!