First Looks

I know that from the very first time you put a white towel on your head and held a bouquet of barbie dolls as you walked slowly down the long hallway in your house (I can't be the only one that did that), you dreamed of seeing the surprised and contented face of your handsome groom awaiting you at the end of the aisle (hallway). And when that moment came to fruition it became one of the sweetest I have ever experienced. Surrounded by my dearest friends and family, knowing that each person I passed on my stroll down that barn-aisle fully supported my joining Ben Glass as partner and wife. And each person there had a vital role in shaping each of us into the people we had become, ready for that moment and for each other. It was better than I ever expected as a little freckle-faced girl stumbling around in my mother's high heels and red lipstick.

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But that wasn't the first time I saw BG on our wedding day -- we opted for a "first look" which meant that we could take the majority of our wedding photos before the ceremony. Since the photography was one of my biggest priorities for the day (surprised?), I wanted to ensure that we had plenty of time to document every last detail and still enough time mingle with our guests. Meeting Ben before our ceremony is another one my most favorite moments.

Our photographers

did a fantastic job of giving us space and letting us enjoy the moment, I completely forgot they were there. I could giggle and cry and we hugged and kissed and I could show him my cowboy boots and he tried to warm up my nose and we just held hands. The instant I saw him the nerves I didn't expect to have just vanished and I was reminded why I was in a big white dress and assured that the running around like crazy for the last few weeks was totally worth it. That this was about more than a big party - it was about he and I - and seeing each other first and sharing that intimate moment together, alone, was my favorite part of the entire day.

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I write all this because photography is still my top priority for a wedding day (again, shocker), and it's my job to fully educate my couples about all of their options. That said, the choice of whether or not to see one another before the ceremony is 


 up to you. Below are a few perks to having a first look :

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Your hair and makeup are fresh for photos. * You are relaxed, not worried about getting to reception quickly. *  For evening weddings, you're not worried about running out of light. * And best of all, you get that quiet, intimate moment for you and your honey (sorry moms, you're not even allowed to peek), quite possibly the only time that entire day that you'll be alone. It can reset your mind and your perspective. Not to mention, you get to show off your killer wardrobe.

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Again, the choice is completely up to you. For efficient photographers, the final image count shouldn't be any greater whether you have a pre-shoot or not, so don't feel that you'll be missing out if you opt not to see one another beforehand. If couples are having a hard time deciding, I suggest they talk to their married friends to get as many first-hand accounts on each experience. Whatever you choose, at the end of the day you'll be Mr. & Mrs. and that's all that matters.

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Images of our wedding by

John & Lindsey Bamber

: photographers extraordinaire.

Kate & Brett Lifestyle[d] Love Shoot

I think it's obvious why I immediately liked Kate the moment I met her - but if her strawberry locks and freckled complexion wasn't enough to win me over, her super sweet personality would have in no time. And wait until you watch this video of Brett's proposal - you'll instantly like him, too. He's pretty head over heels for Kate and they make a fabulous pair. The two love spending time together outdoors running, biking, sailing, and seeing movies - Up and Despicable Me two of their favorites. Brett is a sailing instructor (thus the sweet proposal hookup), so we spent some time in the hot sun at the Hoover Sailing Club in Westerville and then headed over to Studio 35 where I forced them to drink warm Coke... All styled by the fabulous Nichole R., of course. The photo of the boat in the first set is the one on which they were engaged - it just happened to sail on by while we were there. Dear Catherine S. let us borrow her bike at the last minute and those sweet stripey straws are from Jack & Lulu - check out the rest of their adorable collection! I had a blast with them and can't wait to celebrate their marriage later this summer!