**Photos courtesy of Daniel Peter Photo, www.danielpeter.com.**
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On the day of our wedding, my husband and I decided to do a "first look." While the age old tradition says a groom shouldn't see his bride until the ceremony, we decided to go with the more contemporary trend of not only seeing each other before the ceremony, but also spending time together and taking a limitless amount of pictures. After reading Britta's post about first looks, I was convinced.
I cannot explain how glad I am that we did it this way! It allowed us to relax and enjoy each other's company, and it kept the stress level down because it reminded us both of the true meaning of the day. After all, we were choosing each other for life because we know that we make each other better. I know that Justin brings me back down to earth and makes my fervently excitable (and sometimes a bit ADD and overwhelming) heart a little more calm. In contrast, I know that I help soften a sometimes very serious Justin. What could be better to ease the anxiety on your wedding day than seeing the ONE who you have chosen, the one who makes you better?
After getting ready all morning, we finally had our first look around 3:30pm. There was some nice green space outside of our hotel, and the photographers suggested that it could be a great area for the first look.
I waited in the center of a small and shaded green park. One of our photographers walked Justin around to the other side of the building and then set him free to find his bride!
I knew he would look handsome, but it is still a whole different thing to see it in person! I thought I would be a crier in this situation, seeing my almost-husband in his tux for the first time on our wedding day, but I was simply beaming from ear to ear.
Having a first look made everything more real to us, but perhaps more importantly, it helped us feel calm and relieved. Instead of having so much tension build throughout the day, we were able to spend even more of it with the one we love.
Our bridesmaids and groomsmen had watched from behind the trees as we "found" each other for the first time! We then took a few more pictures and some video footage before loading up into the bus to head over to our venue, Bridgeport Art Center.
Once we got there, we took a lot of pictures outside. We made sure to get as many combinations as we could think of... the bride with her bridesmaids, bride with each bridesmaids, groom with groomsmen, everyone together, bride's family, bride's siblings, groom's family, groom's siblings... so on and so forth.
At one point, it turned into a long string of solo shots of me, with everyone else lounging around and most people watching.
After shooting for an hour or so, it was time to head inside to prepare for the ceremony. A few of our guests had already arrived, and we were T-30 Minutes until the processional began!
Bride's Dress: Jim Hjelm via Volle's Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: J. Crew
Tuxes: Formally Modern
Flowers: Ashland Addison Florists
First Look Location: Hyatt Regency McCormick Place
Venue Photos: Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft