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Wedding: The First Look

by Meghann on January 31, 2013

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Derek and I decided early on that we would do a first look before the wedding ceremony. Personally, I’ve always loved the idea of a first look (especially now after having experienced one myself). There’s something so intimate and personal about seeing your groom all dressed up for the first time before everyone else. I was thankful to have the extra moment or two to talk to him, give him a kiss and let the experience truly sink in. All I kept thinking was this was it, this was the man I was going to marry me, and I knew then and there that I couldn’t wait to be his wife.


We did the first look at the dirt road behind the barn. The shuttle driver dropped my photographer and I off at the road’s entrance, then my sister brought Derek to the road a few moments later with strict instructions to keep his eyes shut.


(photo credit: Jessica Wuller)

Once they got closer, I was told to close my eyes, too. Derek and Kelly walked passed me and I could hear the playful teasing and jokes going back and forth between the two of them. Apparently Derek didn’t even know I was there at this point.


Once Derek was a good distance in front of me, my photographer told me to open my eyes and give my groom a tap on his shoulder.


This was quite honestly one of the bigger moments I had been waiting for all day. I wanted to see Derek. I wanted to talk to him and tell him I loved him and I couldn’t wait to marry him. No one else mattered. Just him.


I approached cautiously and gave him a tap.


He turned around and I’ll never forget the way his eyes lit up when he saw me for the first time.


Or how happy I was to finally see him.


My rock was here. I could finally relax and just enjoy the ride.



MeghannDerek0198.jpg MeghannDerek0200.jpg

It wasn’t long before the tears came. I was just so happy to see him.



(photo credit: Jessica Wuller)





Derek showed off the cufflinks I had sent my brother over with earlier in the day.


And he presented me with a beautiful pair of sapphire earrings, which haven’t left my ears since.




The photographer let us have a moment to ourselves, then it was time for a couple of more photos before heading back to the barn.



The first look was one of my favorite moments from the day. I will treasure the memories of seeing my groom all dressed up for the first time forever.

Did you do a first look?

Photo credits: Andrea Hubbell Photography unless otherwise noted

*Other wedding-related posts can be found here*

1 Sabrina January 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm

These pictures are amazing! The love is clearly present.
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2 Mrs. Swan January 31, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Wow! The picture of him wiping your eye made me teary. Such beautiful pictures. No first look for us- but then again that was 10 years ago and I had never even heard of first looks. ๐Ÿ™‚
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3 Maureen January 31, 2013 at 1:23 pm

What an amazing moment between you two. We didn’t do a firdt look, but in 2005 I don’t think that was even a thing. lol
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4 Renae @ MissFit Mixed Chick January 31, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Beautiful Pictures!! I like the idea of the first look. I think I would do something similar..Maybe the whole Bride on one side of the door/wall and groom on the other. Where we can only talk to each other and hold hands but can’t officially see each other until the actuall wedding.
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5 Rachel Wilkerson January 31, 2013 at 1:27 pm

OK, I totally got teary reading this post! I love the picture of him touching your face, and the second to last one. We weren’t planning to do a first-look but this may have convinced me.
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6 CaitlinHTP January 31, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Aw I cried reading this post!
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7 Regina January 31, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Could either of your smiles be any bigger?! Especially Derek’s when he’s giving you the once over. And could you be a more beautiful bride? You guys are such a gorgeous couple. The love you share radiates from your pictures. Congratulations!!
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8 Shanna, like Banana January 31, 2013 at 1:37 pm

So lovely Meghann. What a truly special moment you will cherish forever.

We also did a first look (I called it a ‘reveal’) and instead of me crying, my hubby was the crier! It was so tender, so sweet.
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9 Robin B January 31, 2013 at 1:37 pm

This post gave me goosebumps! So adorable. I love the picture when he is holding your face. I wasn’t sold on sneak peaks before the wedding but this totally changed my mind! So intimate and meaningful. Definitely piggybanking this idea! Congrats again!

10 Aly January 31, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Beautiful!! We did a first look and it was one of my favourite parts of the entire day – like you, I’ll never forget the look in my husband’s eyes when he first saw me. Also like you, he gave me sapphires although mine are in the form of a ring :).
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11 Katie @ A Full Plate January 31, 2013 at 1:46 pm

I always cry when I see first look photos! This is definitely something I want to do for my wedding…I want that special moment with my groom. It must have been so nice to get a few minutes to yourself before all the craziness happened!

12 Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution January 31, 2013 at 1:49 pm

I’ve already decided to do a first look, so this made me CRY! I can’t wait to have this experience. It’s one of the things that I’m most excited for on my wedding day!
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13 Amy January 31, 2013 at 1:54 pm

We did a first look, and the photos that were captured during those moments are my favorite ones of the day!

The pic of Derek wiping away your tear make me melt a little!
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14 Erica January 31, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for a while and have never commented, but HAD to on this post. These pictures are beautiful and you make a stunning bride! What an amazing moment to have captured in photos ๐Ÿ™‚

15 Katie January 31, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Happy tears reading this post!!!! love it!

16 Annette @FitnessPerks January 31, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Amazing photos that caught such a special moment!! LOVE it. ANd gorg earrings.
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17 Natalie @ Free Range Human January 31, 2013 at 2:07 pm

This is such a sweet story. We didn’t do a first look because I’ve always liked the idea of the traditional meet at the altar, but I can definitely understand the appeal!
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18 Lindsey January 31, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I love those photos! We did not do a first look and I actually wish we could have. I think in the church even though there was a first look there were so many other emotions with all those people around you.

19 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 31, 2013 at 2:36 pm

What beautiful photos! Is it weird that I love the ones of you crying? Too sweet. And I’m not sure what I’d want to do, haha I think it’s hard to anticipate those kinds of things when you don’t even have a groom in mind!
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20 Erin January 31, 2013 at 2:41 pm


21 deva by definition January 31, 2013 at 2:58 pm

I have this post open, and a post full of wedding vows on A Practical Wedding open right now. I am a sobbing, blubbering mess at my desk. I love the picture of him wiping your tears, I love your faces seeing each other.

We are getting married in May and we decided after we photo’d a friend’s wedding and their first look that we will be doing a first look before our ceremony, too. I cannot wait for it, I really can’t.
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22 Colleen January 31, 2013 at 3:01 pm

A little teary eyed over here!! The photos show so much of your’s and Derek’s emotions and love! We never did a first look, but we got married in 2000 and I don’t think there was such a thing then, if so I never heard about them.

23 Heather January 31, 2013 at 3:02 pm

love it! the second to last photo is my fav. I didn’t have a first look, I’m pretty old school and wanted the first time Bobby saw me to be as I was walking down the aisle. Not sure what I would do if I could do it again. getting some photos out of the way would be nice!
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24 Erin January 31, 2013 at 3:02 pm

What a beautiful post! You definitely had me tearing up. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal moment.
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25 Amanda January 31, 2013 at 3:04 pm

This is perfect and adorable. I was always kind of sold on the first look or around-the-door idea because I know I’ll be a ball of nerves on my wedding day (whenever that might be, haha!). You and Derek make such a wonderful couple. You can see the love in these photos.
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26 Courtney January 31, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Oh goodness, this one made me tear up! What a beautiful moment to capture. ๐Ÿ™‚
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27 Courtney January 31, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I am trying to convince my groom of a first look and I think this post might help my cause! Not only do I like the idea of being alone with the groom (well with the photographer), I think it will make the photos less rushed than if they were after the ceremony and I’m a crier so I am hoping seeing him before the wedding (and not for the first time while walking down the aisle) will help me keep myself in check, haha!

28 Angela January 31, 2013 at 3:11 pm

We also did a first look and I completely agree with you! It was so exciting to have that moment, one you will never forget. I think it would be great to see each other the first time walking down the aisle too, much more intense…but I’m not sure if I could handle all the nerves before hand. And I like the private moment. ๐Ÿ™‚
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29 Laurie. January 31, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Ok, I cried too!! Beautiful!

30 erica January 31, 2013 at 3:12 pm

love it!
when we did our first look we were cracking up because the photographers and videographers told him i’d walk up behind him and tap him on his right shoulder at which time he should turn right to turn and look at me. i didn’t get the memo and i tapped him on the left and he’s like “what should i do?!?!?!” and everyone is yelling at me “tap the right shoulder! the RIGHT shoulder!” lol.
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31 Silvina January 31, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

32 Cathy January 31, 2013 at 3:26 pm

The pic of him wiping the tear from your eye is beautiful! <3

33 RunEatRepeat January 31, 2013 at 3:27 pm

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34 Carly D. @ CarlyBananas January 31, 2013 at 3:37 pm

This is adorable. Congrats, you two.
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35 Jodi January 31, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Excuse me, I have something in both my eyes…
I am loving the slow retelling of your wonderful day. Thank you so much for sharing!

36 Beth January 31, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Aah, tears are brimming over my eyes! Those photographs are beautiful! I love looking at First Look photos, but I think my fiance is pretty adamant about waiting to see me until I’m walking down the aisle, so I don’t know if we’ll get any of those photos. I’m glad yours turned out so well!
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37 MegG January 31, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Totally adorable and great scenery for a it! We did a first look, I was afraid he was going to look into a reflection from a window nearby so I made a joke and told him not to! We laughed our way through the whole moment, which is very us. I love those photos, you’ll cherish yours so much.
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38 Lauren January 31, 2013 at 3:57 pm

I have to admit that I’d never heard of a first look! (However, I’m getting married in 10 months, so I’m filing this away in my memory). The pictures are beautiful and very moving. What a special moment for the two of you.

39 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More January 31, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Such beautiful photos & such a beautiful couple!! ๐Ÿ™‚
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40 Caitlin January 31, 2013 at 4:07 pm

OMG. I want a first look just for the photos. I honestly have never heard of it and always thought I wanted to see my future man whoever he may be see me in my dress for the first time when I’m marching down the aisle. But now…I think that I want a first look! OMG so special and these photos almost made me cry!
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41 Reenie January 31, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Teary-eyed here!! Love love love the one with Derek’s hand on your face…. your photographer captured some beautiful, touching moments with you two. ๐Ÿ™‚


42 Karen January 31, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Those picture and this post are so sweet. I love reading your blog and this post was my favorite!

43 Jenn (eating bender) January 31, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Oh my GOSH, Meghann. I am so in love with every inch of this post. What a beautiful moment – you are so stunning and Derek so handsome. Thank you for sharing such a special part of your day!
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44 Megan January 31, 2013 at 7:08 pm

oh my god I LOVEEEE this. Stunning photos!!

45 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats January 31, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Aw pictures are great! I’m not a fan of the first look but can see the appeal. I’m glad it worked so well for you guys ๐Ÿ™‚
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46 BroccoliHut January 31, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Aww, these pictures are so gorgeous and touching! Thank you for sharing with us! You can just see the emotion and love in both of your faces. Lovely.
We did a first look too. Seth waited in the church garden while I got ready, and then my mom and the photographer brought me to the garden entrance. The photographer told Seth to turn around to see me, and he burst into tears! He had to take a few minutes to collect himself before we could continue with the pictures. It was so sweet!
Just another affirmation of why I chose him to be my husband ๐Ÿ™‚

47 Sara@RunningInPinkProject January 31, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Awww. His hand on your face= sweetest photo ever. We didnt do a first look but I think its a really nice idea for couples.
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48 Melissa January 31, 2013 at 8:44 pm

We didn’t do a first look. We thought about it, but we really wanted to see each other the first time as I walked down the aisle. I briefly thought about changing my mind, but in the end I was glad I didn’t. Everyone’s different!
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49 Kristen @ notsodomesticated January 31, 2013 at 8:48 pm

That is so darn sweet!! We didn’t do a first look, because I wanted to do the traditional thing and have him see me for the first time when I was walking down the aisle. And it was an incredibly special moment. But we did pray together before the wedding … he was on one side of a wall and I was around the corner so he couldn’t see me, and we held hands and prayed. It was a neat moment, and our photographer got a nice picture while we were doing it. ๐Ÿ™‚
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50 Elisabeth January 31, 2013 at 9:45 pm

I love that picture of him wiping the tear from your eye ๐Ÿ˜€

51 Alissa January 31, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Ah the first look is such a good idea! I have never heard of that tradition. I may have to implement it into my own wedding day next spring. Beautiful pictures!
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52 Melissa February 1, 2013 at 12:45 am

So awesome the photos of you and Derek and your first look! Your photographer did such a good job capturing that moment. Will certainly be photos to treasure! I’m very jealous of such good photos like those. The first look is probably a more current thing, and not something frequently done almost 10 years ago when I got married. I certainly like the idea of the first look. Congratulations and Best Wishes to you and Derek! You were a lovely bride and you two seem very happy together.

53 Debbie B. February 1, 2013 at 5:50 am

I love these pictures and how they captured the moment. So happy for you.

54 Dani's Dish February 1, 2013 at 6:17 am

Wow gorgeous photos. You can really feel the love and emotion in the pictures. Congratulations ๐Ÿ™‚
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55 Brittany February 1, 2013 at 6:42 am

Love this post Meghann. It makes me want to do a first look!
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56 Army Amy* February 1, 2013 at 8:56 am

Aww! Such a sweet moment between the two of you! We didn’t do a first look, but a first look does make for really sweet pictures. And that’s a beautiful location, too.*
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57 Lauren @ Team Giles February 1, 2013 at 9:31 am

Meghann, this beautiful!! Made me get all teary-eyed. Loved the one of your groom wiping your tear away. Just precious!
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58 Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed February 1, 2013 at 9:59 am

I got tears in my eyes reading this! I really want to do a first look, for the sole reason of not missing the cocktail hour haha. This post really solidifies wanting to do one! You both looked amazing. I love your hair!!!!
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59 Jen February 1, 2013 at 9:59 am

LOVE this- it gave me chills! We didn’t do a first look (I didn’t even know they existed when I got married). Your pictures are gorgeous! You really made a beautiful bride.
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60 Molly February 1, 2013 at 10:07 am

This is beautiful! I especially love the one of Derek brushing the tear from your eye ๐Ÿ™‚

61 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions February 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Wow. I am far, far, FAR away from ever getting married, but I’ve thought about first looks and never really considered it to be something I wanted to do…riiiight up until about 2 minutes ago when I read this post. The pictures are incredible, you look simply RADIANT once again, and the whole experience really just sounds so sweet and memorable. Hmm. Things to think about…(if I ever get married, haha ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
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62 Emily N February 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Awe, and now I am tearing up… What a beautiful moment!
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63 Mi-an dela Cruz February 1, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Never heard of first look til now! Thanks sharing!! Photos are amazing and def doing this at mine!

64 Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie February 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Omg the photo of him wiping the tears away from your eyes is so freaking beautiful! I love it!

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