Thursday, June 29, 2017

First Look + Wedding Party + Family Photos

One decision every couple needs to make is whether or not to see each other before the wedding. This was an easy decision for us to make as we wanted the intimacy of a first look photo with just us 2 (and our photographers, of course). Plus we wanted to get to our cocktail hour as soon as possible and taking photos after the wedding would have meant we missed that part of the evening entirely. I do like the idea of seeing your groom for the first time when you are walking down the aisle, but having a first look was the right decision for us (you do you!).

On the way to meet my groom!
We've gone on so many runs in this area. We crossed this bridge many times when we did a 3.5 mile loop run in my old neighborhood, so it was very cool to have our 'first look' here.

Some of my favorite photos are the ones that really captured our personalities and the playful nature of our relationship!

In this photo we were trying to impersonate each other's expressions.  Ha.
Our "oh my gosh we are getting married" expressions!
After 30 minutes of first look photos, our wedding party joined us! My sisters were my matrons of honor and I had them pick out a navy dress. Phil had a high school and college friend as his best men and his ushers were 2 college friends and a high school friend. The guys all wore gray suits that they already owned. We felt really good about the fact that no one had to buy a suit for our wedding. Again, to each their own, but we liked that no one had to spend money on a tux or suit rental. 

I struggled a bit with the decision about how large our wedding party should be. I've been in 10 weddings but I knew that I couldn't ask everyone whose wedding I'd been in to be in mine. In the end, I am so glad I decided to just have my sisters. There were fewer people to corral and it cut down on the cost of flowers since we only had to make 3 bouquets and there was an intimacy to just having my sisters standing up with me. Phil also felt strongly about having a small wedding party as he likes to keep things simple.

Since it had rained so much the week of our wedding, the area where we took photos was so lush and green!

To carry out the book theme of our wedding, the guys wore library card socks! My friend Nora saw these at a bookstore and purchased them for me. They were a fun detail to incorporate (I'm totally stealing Phil's pair, though!).

I love how the pictures with my sisters turned out. It was chilly that day (I was shaking in photos by this point since I'd been outside for an hour and it was in the upper 40s) so towards the end of the wedding party photos, we wore the shawls I got them as part of their bridesmaid gift!

After 30 minutes of wedding party photos, it was time for family photos! As I've mentioned before, I have a huge family! There are 19 of us total with spouses and kids!

Here we are with Phil's family - it's just him, his brother, and his mom as his dad passed away nearly 4 years ago. When you compare the size of our families, it's easy to see why mine can intimidate and overwhelm him at times.  ;)

When we were wrapping up family photos, the wedding guests were starting to arrive so we headed into the basement to hang out until it was time for the main event to start!

My mom put my veil in and headed upstairs to be seated for the wedding. 

I thought I would feel nervous at this point but all I felt was excitement and anticipation about being joined in marriage with the love of my life!


Jeanie said...

First of all, I think the First Look pix might be my favorite. There is such warmth and love there and it shows, big time! Smart idea.

I also applaud your sensitivity to budgets while keeping the look beautiful. Your sisters look terrific and the navy dress idea was brilliant. They will get far more wear out of that than the traditional bridesmaid gowns we all have in the basement! Nice choices. And the shawl was brilliant, too. Smart that you brought them -- sounds nippy!

I think I've given those socks as gifts or some similar. I love how Phil incorporated the theme, again with avoiding the expense on the suits. Very nice. You are a thoughtful couple (I knew this) and it shows!

Gracie said...

You guys look fantastic! And sounds like you made a lot of decisions with cost, practicality, AND romance in mind. You have to - otherwise you'd just be stressed, and so would your guests. Very thoughtful of you to consider things like costs for the bridal party.

Marlys said...

I think the "first look" idea is so neat! I've been searching my memory, and can't remember if we saw each other before the wedding or after! Whenever it was, it wasn't made special which I regret! I, too, was not nervous before our wedding - just so excited to marry your Dad!
Your pictures turned out so well! I am surprised we got such a good one of the family - not an easy task!

Alli said...

In Jewish tradition we always do photos first in part because the couple has to be together to sign the ketubah (wedding contract) before the public ceremony so I never even considered not having a first look. However, like you, I also really liked the idea of Chris seeing me for the first time without a crowd around. Obviously that is just personal preference, but to me it was more special that it was our moment, rather than a moment we were sharing with all of our guests.

Chris and I also both wanted a very small wedding parties which I am so glad about. I would've been overwhelmed if I had a large wedding party. I could not believe when I got engaged I was seeing that most "standard" bridesmaids dresses today are going for $300-$350. I could never in good conscious ask my bridesamids to spend that kind of money! Luckily, since I wanted something different, we were able to find dresses from a regular (non-bridal) retailer. I got a code for free shipping and let the ladies know that if they signed up for the retailers emails you got an additional 10 or 15% off. With all of that, the dresses came to like $90 and, because they were regular dresses with pattern, they really can wear them again. I actually think if they have them hemmed to knee length they'd be perfect wedding guest dresses.

I had meant to ask you if Abby and Emily coordinated dresses amongst themselves at all? Even though they were different dresses, I was impressed by how cohesive they were. Everyone looked so beautiful that day.

Your pictures are just so beautiful and I love looking at them!

Amber said...

I LOVE your First Look photos! They are so beautiful and it's such a special moment between the couple. I'm SO glad we did a first look as well. Partly because it was nice to get most of the photos over with ahead of time and partly because it was so nice to have that intimate and private moment together (with the photographers of course!)

Leigh said...

These are gorgeous Lisa! We did a first look as well and so glad that we did! It was such a tender and loving moment before the craziness of getting married/the reception

San said...

Wonderful photos, Lisa. I didn't know about custom of the "first look", but I love it. We took our photos after the ceremony and it was a bit rushed (I think I mentioned before that I also didn't like our photographer very much - e.g. we have NO photos with our wedding guests, parents or siblings! Shouldn't she have been on top of that?).

Your pictures are gorgeous and I love that you had a small wedding party (just with your sisters). German tradition doesn't know wedding parties at all and we only have a maid of honor and a best man.

Abby said...

Love alllll these photos!!!!! They are just so perfect.

So our first look kind of sucked. LOL. (I am just being honest 😂) I had lipstick on, ryan was upset BC he could kiss me or get too close as he was worried about make up on his collar, and we both giggled the whole time saying "there is a photographer in that tree" .......hopefully our lack if reverence over this moment isn't a sign?! 🤔lol. But walking down the aisle was the moment I remember closer to my heart.

I LOVE the shawls. And the photos with them. They were also such a life saver that day as it was so cool!!

Abby said...

Couldn't kiss me*

Stephany said...

I love the idea of a first look! I've been in two weddings and neither did a first look, so the picture process after the ceremony was looooong and guests were annoyed by the time we finally arrived for the reception. So I think I'd opt to do the first look, too! Plus, I like having a moment of just the two of us before the craziness of the wedding begins.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

The first look is such a neat idea!! I've never heard of that before - very cool!

I also really like the idea of the groomsmen wearing grey suits that they already owned. I actually think I like the look better than tuxes, with the slightly different greys, etc. Very sharp looking.

You have been in 10 weddings!!!! Wow girl!

Pazzta Tali said...

Everything was spot-on perfect at our wedding. And this was due in large part to the manager and the amazing wedding venues staff. Very professional staff, incredible food, spectacular view and when you felt like a guest at your wedding it cannot get any better.