Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Our ‘First Look’: A Quick Trip Around the World

I’ll admit that in the beginning, I was a bride adamantly opposed to doing a “first look” with the groom, not because of any “bad luck” superstitions, but mostly because I simply wanted to experience that “wow” moment at the start of the ceremony, when Stephen and I would lay eyes on one another for the first time that day. Well, I’m hoping we’ll still get our “wow” moment, but now with a few tweaks.

Every time I’m in California, I just have to visit the Gardens of the World botanical site in my hometown. This unique and stunningly beautiful location features different garden settings modeled after the styles found in various countries around the globe, including Italy, Japan and England. And one of my absolute favorites is the site’s California-themed Spanish mission-style courtyard.


It’s true that early in our planning, we tossed around the idea of taking post-ceremony pictures at the Gardens, where my sister also snapped our DIY engagement photos last spring. But as more wedding details were worked out, we decided it made much more sense to take our cocktail-hour shots at the golf course where we’re holding the reception.

Now, overall, I consider myself to be a low-key, compromise-willing bride. But after visiting the Gardens again in December, I made up my mind. Come what may, I have to take photos at this site on my wedding day. It’s gorgeous, different, and I love everything about it. The only way to make it work? Heading to the Gardens two hours before the ceremony, and doing a “first look” photo session there.


Will it be hot in the June California sun? Probably. Do I need a willing bridesmaid to traipse with me from photo op to photo op holding my train so that it doesn’t get dirty? Yes. Will we have to comply with the site’s detailed permitting process? Absolutely.

But do we think it’s worth it? You bet!






Are you doing a “first look” before the ceremony? If so, where?

(Photo Credits: Gardens of the World)

11 comments:

  1. I don't really know the "where", but I would definitely like to do the first look before the ceremony as opposed to after. My reason being is that I would like to be at my "freshest" during our photo shoot and I would really like to go straight to the reception and start on the festivities immediately after ceremony.
    I'll have to look up the Gardens of the World....not for the shoot, but it looks awesome. Someplace I'd like to visit. =)

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  2. We just made the decision to do a first look. I was all for it. I think that private intimate moment is something I will always remember. I finally talked my groom into it as long as we don't spend too much time together, lol. Ours will take place at our hotel on a large set of stairs!

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  3. We plan on doing one, but not sure where or how it will be done. Those photos look amazing.

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  4. Totally worth it! We will be doing a first look because we need to get some pictures of me in my gown before the costume change for the Hindu ceremony. Not sure where, but probably in the vineyards next to our venue.

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  5. The place looks gorgeous! Can't wait to see those pics!! No first look for us. We are sticking to the traditional way for this one

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  6. I'm wondering if we should do a first look (sans pics) just to get the jitters over with, then we can just be excited.

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  7. We were on the fence as to whether or not to do first look, but in the end I think we are going to do it. I'm not worried about superstitions. :) That place looks AMAZING!!! :)

    Love your new picture by the way. You guys are so cute.

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  8. It looks gorgeous and I'm sure it will be worth it in the end. Cute new picture!!

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  9. That location looks perfect. We did first look and it was great.

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  10. That place is amazing! How exciting. We are going the traditional route and not seeing each other before the wedding ceremony.

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  11. We both wanted to do the "first look" part...my fiancee didn't want it photographed however. I really do want it photographed, so we compromised...we are getting it photographed...but not showing anyone the pictures. My fiancee really wants the intimicy of that moment to be between us, which I found very sweet

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