Monday, March 26, 2012

The "First Look" Pictures

The wedding would begin at 1:00, but most of the pictures were taken outdoors from 10-12 a.m. The purpose of this was two-fold: to minimize the time guests would have to wait at the reception while formal photos were being taken, and --most importantly--to allow the groom to get his first look at his bride.

When the idea of "first look" pictures was first presented to me, I balked. I'm old-fashioned. Traditional. He shouldn't see her in her gown before she came down the aisle, right? Well, my sister-in-law convinced me that this way of having the "first look" is far better because the groom gets to really take in all her beauty and not be rushed to turn to the minister after a quick fifteen seconds of her walk
down the aisle.

It still took me a while to get over myself and
my traditionalist mindset, but then it made perfect sense. When I really pondered it, I realized that the people closest to Ben and Dee would get to see their faces up close when they first saw each other. We wouldn't miss that. We might even get to hear his reaction. And she would get to be in his loving arms for a good while before the crowd came around. The other advantage is having all that wonderful natural lighting to work with. Nothing beats the great outdoors
for making people look their best.

Even though it was a chilly morning, the sun was shining and the
air was electric with joy and eager anticipation. These first few shots
show how we all dealt with our nerves and emotions.

Ben finds something
to toss.

Joel wrangles his
blasted tux.

And does that thing
with his lips.

Some use their
hands to tell stories.

Others fold them
in SBA (Standard But
Awkward) man fashion.

Some shove them
in their pockets.

Some point, and most
pay attention to the

Men in black
stand poised.
Ladies in pink
fuss with their
shawls and
flowers, trying
to keep warm
while waiting
for the bride
to show up.

Some cozy up
to each other, intensely
happy that this day has
finally come for their
precious 23-year-old
son. The wife asks her
husband, "Has it hit you yet?"
and he admits, "Yeah. A couple days
ago. I was sitting in my office
thinking...remembering stuff over the years." She asks
if he cried. "Kind of. Not like
you do, but y'know...." And yes,
she does know. She knows that he would have shut his office door to let the tears come and to blow his nose. And if anyone had asked,
he would've blamed the red eyes and sniffles on allergies. They wouldn't have believed him because his lips don't quiver when it's just allergies.

"Dad, I'm not
cold, but my hands

"Well, then, put
them in your pockets."

"Nah, then they'll be
too warm. I hate to be too warm!
Remember I have warma-
phobia?!? I 'll just do this with
the sleeves."

Hey, look! She's here!

Her mom is holding
her veil (the veil she
made because Dee wanted
one that was longer than
her train). The wedding
coordinator is giving last
minute instructions to
Uncle Ron. So is Dee. "Don't
let me fall!" (I don't think a
man of his rank and stature
is going to let that happen to
his niece.)

The groom's mother, seeing this
vision in white loveliness from afar, can't hold back the tears. She squeezes
the father's arm and looks up at
his face. "You're crying, too!" she
says with a giggle. "No, I'm not,"
he says. "It's the allergies again."
Quivering-lip liar. Can't fool me.

Meanwhile, the little brother

Can't wait to get this
over with. These
stupid pants won't
stay up.

All bachelors here except for
the bearded redhead wearing sunglasses. He gets the
credit for matchmaking.
In April of 2010, he invited
Ben to a birthday party for
his wife and her twin sister.
Just come along for the ride.
I'm not trying to set you up or
anything, bro.

Hey, she's coming!
Her mom was watching
Deirdra. Her sister was
watching Ben. Sarah and
Jillian were complaining
about having their hair falling.
The flowergirls were gaga
over the princess coming toward

The wait is almost over!

First look photos. I'm a believer.


All photos courtesy of Ambrey Zaun, friend of the family. The professional was Craig Schulte
of Salex Photography in New Jersey. (You can find a beautiful shot of Ben and Dee on his website.)


Laurie said...

Breathtaking is right! These are fantastic! What a beautiful, happy, blessed day!
Love, sweet love!
Thanks for sharing photos and story! I have enjoyed so much!
That was a BIG event!!!
I hope now you can relax some and bask in the joy!

Susan Kane said...

Felt like I was there, seeing the love and joy on their faces.

Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

Oh, I don't know about seeing the bride before she walks down the aisle. I'd have to ponder that a day or two, but I don't have any more children getting married so I won't have to worry about it with them. They definitely didn't see each other until that time, but that was 7 and 9 years ago. Time does change a lot of things. :o)

Such beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing!

Rachel Anne said...

PRICELESS!!! I loved your lead up to the big moment...I almost felt like I was there. Shed a few happy tears for the bride and groom - wow they look happy.

I'm a big believer in "first looks" too. I converted at my first daughter's wedding when I saw how much more they got to enjoy the day unfold...and calmed some of the nerves for walking the aisle.

Congratulations - what a fantastic event for your family!!!! Hugs!!

Amy said...

I've never heard of doing a big set up for everyone to be present for "first look photos" - but I will say that deciding to see each other before the wedding was one of the best decisions Steve and I made - and I was ADAMANTLY against it at first. I, like you, was a staunch traditionalist, completely opposed to the idea of Steve getting the slightest glimpse of me before the church doors dramatically opened and I walked down the aisle on my dad's arm. For various reasons, I came around to the idea, and I was so glad I did. Ours was set up so that I stood outside the empty sanctuary, and Steve stood at the altar, and I walked in by myself with only our photographer present. Steve met me halfway down the aisle. Those private moments before everything got crazy were so, so precious. We got to hug and kiss and talk to each other, and we shared what we had engraved inside each other's rings (which had been a surprise up to that point) and why we'd chosen it. I never would have thought I would want to do it that way, but I was so very glad we did.

Looks like Ben and Dee had a gorgeous wedding. So glad you have gotten to celebrate gaining a new daughter!