Our Wedding

Lovely Tonight: First Look = Fail

Ok everyone, I promise that this will be the only depressing post in my recaps. Promise!

I am a big big big fan of first looks. I love that they have become popular in the past few years. For me, they can be some of my favorite photos that I’ve seen from other weddings. Having that “first look” moment between bride and groom was something I valued highly, and is precisely why we scheduled over 2 hours of time for the first look and bridal party photos, as well as additional time at our venue before the ceremony to take family portraits.

Needless to say, as I rode down the hotel elevator after putting on my dress, I was excited about our first look. My photographer was aware that we were doing a first look, but aside from that I hadn’t been explicit on the details. In retrospect, I probably should have laid it out very specifically. On the wedding day, I was so pumped full of excitement and energy that I kind of switched to a “go with the flow” attitude and wasn’t able to react properly when things weren’t set up in the way I had hoped.

I’ll lay it out for you. As the elevator doors opened, I walked into the hotel lobby. I was concerned about Justin’s location; I was hoping that our 2nd photographer had him set up and ready for our first look. Instead, this is what was waiting for me…

*All photos courtesy of Pilster Photography

Apparently, Justin was taking a “nap,” if you will. The photographers gestured at me…telling me to go wake him up with a kiss. Um…that was absolutely not what I had envisioned as a first look…there were end tables and chairs blocking all sides of the couch he was sitting on. I wasn’t able to get a clear path to my groom. I remember mildly protesting this idea, saying that there wasn’t enough space for me. However, I was also on “go with the flow” mode, so I just did as I was told without thinking too much. And…as a result, I present to you our first look…

Hello there, random guy in the background…

Yep. That’s it. In the first photo you can see the big smile on Justin’s face as I woke him up. However, where are the photos of the groom taking in how beautiful his bride looks as she twirls around? Or his reaction when I finally was able to show him the gown I had selected almost a year prior for our big day? There are no pictures of me sneaking up behind him and tapping him on the shoulder or covering his eyes. All in all: it wasn’t what I had wanted.

I will not lie to you: I am devastated over this. Perhaps I had made out the first look moment to be so much more than it really is…but then I see the awesome first looks from the lovely Mrs. Quiche, Mrs. Cupcake, Mrs. Frozen Yogurt, Mrs. Cowboy Boot, Mrs. Hamster, and Mrs. Mouse (the list continues but I won’t do that to you all) and I feel a sense of loss. On the day of the wedding I was not worrying about it; however, after the fact, I feel like I missed out on a moment of my wedding day that I had been looking forward to for months.

So, would I love to have the first look that I imagined during my wedding planning? Yes, indeed. However, the fact remains that the portraits Justin and I took afterward are indeed very very lovely. Thankfully, this wasn’t something that upset me on the wedding day itself. And although I am sad about it, I’ve moved on. You win some, you lose some. I’m forging on, and I have learned my lesson: if something is important to you on the wedding day, don’t feel foolish for being extremely specific on what you want…it might be the only way you will get it.

And with that little piece of wedding advice, I am moving onwards and upwards with my wedding recaps…and from here on out, there will be no more Mopey McMopersons! 😉
Was there a detail involved with your wedding day plans that didn’t turn out like you hoped?


The girls got ready, then the guys got ready.

I became a bride.


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  • I feel you on this. I had our first look all planned out. Rick would be in our backyard on our gazebo, my MOH would help me down the deck stairs in my gown and I would wait for her to go inside and NO ONE but photogs and video were allowed to see ‘our special moment’. Once we were alone, I walked up and tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around, I twirled, we kissed. We took a few pictures and then my DOC brought out our dogs, which is why the first look took place at home, so I could get a few pictures with our girls, it all sounds lovely right? And in memory, it was.

    BUT, when I saw the photos, they were all showing me and my face with Rick’s back. They didn’t take a picture of HIS reaction to any of it. I think the photogs were trying to stay out of the video shots, but it makes me sad that our first look wasn’t captured how I envisioned it. Definitely makes me realize, next time there is a big event with photogs to outline exactly what I’m looking for, but I did that with our e-pics and felt like I stifled the photog and his creativity so I let it be for the wedding. Sigh.

    At least we both have some pictures, memories and a story to tell the grandkids 😉

  • Awwwwww. What a bummer! It’s so hard to have these perfect ideas how what we want and how we think it should be in our head, only to be completely disappointed with the actual outcome.

    I was in “go with the flow” mode, too. I think it happens to the best of us. Hopefully the photographers can learn from this and do something differently in the future for other brides.

  • I forgot to say that I’m going to be a mope when I get to my girls walking down the aisle. I had six BM and only pictures of three of them. Not to mention, the three at the end were cut off from just bout every photo. Lame.

  • Big bummer, dude 🙁 That would upset me so much. I think all of us brides have something (or many somethings) on our wedding day that didn’t go exactly as planned or pictures that didn’t turn out quite right. I think it’s only natural to mope about it for a bit but eventually move on and (hopefully) get over it. Easier said than done, though.

  • Oh no! I know how devastating it is. This is exactly how I feel about ALL of our photos from our wedding. Even worse? I was VERY specific with both our photographers about what I wanted – we spent hours chatting I & even showed & emailed examples. I’m not looking fwd to doing recaps because I hate the pics so much. I’m glad this only happened during your 1st look, not all of your pics, but I’m sorry it happened at all.

  • Great tip! I’m still debating whether I want to do a first look or not, but, regardless, I will take your advice and not feel silly for being specific about something that means a lot to me. 🙂

  • I actually really like this! I bet waking up from his nappy nap to see YOU as a bride was a great surprise! I know it’s not what you imagined but it could be worse- I hope this ends up being something you grow to love after a few years.

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