our wedding // getting ready + first look

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One of the most special aspects of our wedding was the location. We got married out on the land I grew up on. It’s where Matthew and I hung out when we started dating and where many precious family memories were made.

Of course, it was also a very stressful aspect of our wedding, as we were the ones who had to ensure there would be bathrooms for 200 people and no fire ants.

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The wedding party got dressed & ready at my cousin’s house, which is also on the property.

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Ready for another honesty hour? This was not the greatest time I’ve ever had. I was feeling so many things and nothing at all and I felt like I was going to burst into tears at any moment. Matthew bought me coffee and had someone send it upstairs to me and I just held it in my hands for an hour and never took a single sip. Thank goodness my sister forced me to eat or I would have been a wreck.

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I don’t know if I was stressed or in shock or just plain tired, but I simply sat quietly on a stool for hours while my hair + makeup was done. I mean, just look at my face:

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This is what I looked like for hours.

The boys seemed to have a much better time and I could hear them talking and laughing downstairs.

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As always, there were things that were supposed to be done that weren’t ready on time, for example my dress wasn’t steamed and I had our old timeline in my head so I wasn’t stressed about time but everyone else was.

I wasn’t even in my dress yet and everyone was freaking out “Matthew is already at the spot waiting for you!” Trust me, it wasn’t the first time I’d left him waiting and won’t be the last, I’m sure. 😉

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I finally got out the door and packed into the passenger seat of the car and rode the mile to where we planned our first look. As soon as I was walking toward the car I felt better. I felt excited and nervous and weird and ready.

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Matthew was waiting for me and I got out of the car and we got our set up figured out, and then… it got awkward.

I have no idea why but for some reason I didn’t know what to do and everything felt weird and awkward. We were talking to each other as he was faced the other way and I don’t remember what I was saying but I’m sure it was something like: “uhh, hi. i feel so awkward hahaha. what should i do? am i walking too fast? so, i’m um just going to reach out for your right hand ok? ok, don’t turn around yet. ok. is this good? i don’t even know. ok! tadaaaaaa!”

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After that initial awkwardness of trying to stage a grand reveal, the rest of our time together before the ceremony was incredibly fun and sweet.

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We were able to go down to the river to take some photos like we did for our engagement shoot, which was extra special, but, MAN, was it bright.

Future brides + grooms, listen to your photographers’ advice about timing and do what you can to schedule for the best light. We adjusted our timeline and did what we could, but at the end of the day October 25th was just. plain. sunny. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and everyone was all excited saying “oh, it’s such a perfectly gorgeous day, there’s not a cloud in sight!” and all I could think was “I could really use some overcast light today.”

We ended up with some great light after the ceremony and it all worked out in the end.

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To anyone on the fence trying to decide whether or not to do a first look, I would highly recommend it. At first Matthew didn’t want to do a first look, but after thinking more about it agreed to it.

It made sense for us due to our location – there was no way I wouldn’t be seen before the ceremony since we would be outside in a field. It definitely didn’t take away from walking down the aisle and I didn’t have to concentrate on catching Matthew’s reaction, instead I concentrated on not falling over my dress.

Being [almost] alone together before the ceremony was so special and calming and I can’t imagine not having the photos we got during that time. After such an intense morning it was a relief to go off with my about-to-be husband and have the chance to clear my head and regain focus on the day ahead.

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gosh I love him.


Our incredible photographers: Brett & Jessica

Other posts: wedding party

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our wedding // getting ready + first look

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