I love first looks. There is something so intimate, so tender, so magical about a bride and groom seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day, quietly and (almost) alone. There is none of the pressure of standing in front of hundreds of friends and family, no particular time-line to get on with (so if the bride has to take a few minutes to bawl her eyes out and then get her makeup fixed, it’s okay!). But mostly there is the opportunity for them to hold their husband/wife-to-be and really soak in the beautiful enormity of what they are embarking on that day. In those moments nothing else exists. No details to finish up, no flowers, no color palettes, no menus, no guests lists, and…dare I say it?…no photographer…which is one of the things that I loved to watch most of all. There is no awareness of being in front of the camera at all. Everything – EVERYTHING – else melts away and it is just them and their love. It is very hard for me not to cry. Which, of course, is why I do. Every time.
When I first met Deb and Gary I was struck by the warmth and intense affection that they had for each other. It was truly wonderful to witness that again in their first look.
Deb and Gary worked closely together to design a wedding day that was so personal and full of details that really expressed them as a couple, from their artistic, quirky personalities to their cultural backgrounds and world views. They wanted their wedding, on a visual level, to reflect a kind of vintage/industrial feel (which they also incorporated into their engagement shoot, in downtown Buffalo), and we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time for portraits that captured that look.
Thing is, there are added practical benefits to first looks as well. Since the bride and groom have already seen each other, it opens up the opportunity to do couple (and even family!) portraits before the ceremony even starts. This is especially a plus for weddings with later ceremonies (which get increasingly tricky as the summer winds down). Since Deb and Gary’s ceremony and reception were in the same room at Pearl Street Brewery in Buffalo, and they wanted to glide seemlessly between the two, we took advantage of the time and light before the ceremony and rocked out portraits!
The tenderness that these two shared overflowed to their friends and family, whom they brought into every aspect of their day. I never get enough of watching two people be so incredibly happy!!! It is absolutely one of the best parts of my job. From their first look to the end of the night both Deb and Gary literally glowed. I love watching days like that unfold.