Choosing to do a first look was something we always agreed on…once I explained what it is to Mr. PaC! Neither of us was superstitious about seeing each other before the ceremony. In fact, he hung out in the bridal suite part of the morning! Our decision to have a first look was practical and romantic, an odd pairing for sure. It would allow us to streamline the jam-packed post-ceremony schedule, provide us with one-on-one time to calm any nerves, and give us those swoon-worthy couples shots every couple desires.
I waited alone in the bridal suite until the photographers signaled they were ready. With my first step toward my groom, I knew there would be no slowing down the whirlwind of love and happiness that was bearing down on us. Everything would go by in a blink. Silently and thoughtfully, I reminded myself to be present since I do not possess a superpower that would capture every glorious moment.
One last once-over before meeting my groom!
Our first look was very intimate: just the two of us and the photographers. Setting it up felt like an elaborate game of hide-and-seek. I knew who I was seeking but not where he was hiding, as the location of the first look was a surprise since I left it to the photographers to select the best spot. The photographers got into position. Mr. PaC waited patiently at the bottom on the stairs. Ready or not, here I come!
“I hear the rustle of a bustle,” Mr. PaC quips as I descend the stairs.
Daring not to look
I don’t think I breathed once as I descended those last stairs. I had tunnel vision and it was locked on Mr. PaC. There was no one else. Time slowed and all noise, except the soft swishing of my dress, disappeared, just like it did for our engagement.
The magical few seconds before the rest of our lives change!
Photos like these are why we made room in our budget for a second shooter. Without the extra camera, I would have never seen Mr. PaC’s anticipatory grin!
“Well, what do you think? Is my dress what you imagined?”
Eyes locked and a tender kiss
Our first look rolled into the first series of bride and groom portraits featuring the dramatic architecture details as our backdrop. The natural light pouring in that huge window was killer! How genius is our photographer for choosing this location?!
Lounging like we own the place
Eeeeee—one of my top five favorite (couples) photos!
Another delicious black and white photo—adore the gown detail!
Heather squeezed in a quick bridal portrait in front of that amazing window…and then it was time to head outside.
One of the rare rear views of the gown un-bustled. Love the way it draped and folded. *sigh*
If you think this concludes the dramatic couples photos, you’re in for a treat! Brace yourself because the Pain au Chocolat photos just don’t stop. You’ll be begging for mercy before the end. Picking our favorites among the hundreds of bride and groom portraits was no easy task. We were overjoyed with how stunning our photographers made us look. (They must have a magic lens!)
Our first stop was the boxwood garden where our ceremony would be held. The tea room, opposite the ceremony site along the boxwood-edged flagstone path, provided a lovely backdrop for our “secret garden” portraits.
We are kissing in so many of these…but it’s our wedding! An extra kissing shot here or there isn’t so awful.
A serious one (It helps if you’re not looking at the camera.)
The serious faces don’t last long; we prefer to laugh.
The silhouetting in the following shots is just stunning.
Told you—another kissing shot
A shout out to one of our engagement photos
Reacting to seeing some of my favorite people. Mr. PaC feigns surprise to mirror my genuine delight.
From the boxwood garden, we trekked across the mansion’s rear lawn to locations our photographers scouted in advance.
My sash takes flight in lieu of a veil.
A romantic gesture
K-i-s-s-i-n-g under the chestnut tree
A favorite that became a Facebook and Pinterest profile pic
The generational difference: My mom couldn’t understand why the photographer cut our heads off, ruining an otherwise great photo. Moms are cute like that.
Miniature bride and groom
Leaning in for a sweet kiss
Phew! That concludes our first look and couples portraits. Will you do a first look too?
(all photos by Heather Fowler Photography, unless otherwise noted)
Catch up on our PaC recaps!
- In the days leading up to the wedding, I wanted to be sedated.
- I walked the line between calm and stressed for the better part of our rehearsal day.
- “Don’t panic” and its friends were what Mr. PaC kept telling me on the way to our rehearsal dinner.
- Best wedding morning advice: wake up slow and tackle the day at your own pace.
- Once at our venue, our DIY projects were assembled with our own two hands.
- The girls get ready with champagne and chocolate-covered potato chips.
- The guys are ready…and waiting.
- She’s mine! All mine! (The dress that is.)
- Brown-eyed girl (and guy) portraits.
- Something old and new, borrowed, and blue.
- My sneaky groom has a secret heart when it comes to surprises.