When I first entered the rental home where Julia was getting ready, I immediately noticed how peaceful and calm it was. She was just hanging out, chatting with her stylist, and enjoying the afternoon sun shimmering through a nearby window. Michael would soon join her -the two were planning to get ready together- but he was out with friends at the moment. Sure, the typical wedding day nerves were there, bubbling just below the surface. How could they not be? This was a big day, the day they would leave coupledom and start a whole new family. But anxiety? Stress? Nope, none of that. Just happy smiles and lots of laughter. Of course, that's exactly how they wanted it. Being a lawyer and a doctor, the day was fully planned and thought out well in advance but Julia & Michael also recognized the importance of not sweating the small stuff. Instead, they let their plans play out as best they could and chose to just go with the flow of the day. And it turned out to be a pretty awesome day indeed.
Because Julia and Michael opted to get ready together (something I fully endorse since The Husband and I did the same thing), they also chose not to do an official first look. Instead, the "big reveal" came as Julia walked down the hall to meet her husband-to-be. The two hung out in the kitchen, double-checked each other's copy of their vows, and had a little snack together. Michael even helped her with her shoes before we headed out for some pre-ceremony photos!
Since Julia & Michael chose not to have a formal wedding party, we had lots of time for bride & groom photos both before and after the ceremony. Though it wasn't originally planned in the timeline, I stole them away for about 15 minutes during cocktail hour for a just a few quick photos around Cornerstone. You really can't beat that late afternoon sunlight!
If you're debating whether to do a first look or to see each other before your ceremony, I can tell you from my own experience that it definitely does not diminish the moment where you meet your spouse-to-be at the end of the aisle, surrounded by all your loved ones, ready to say "I do" and publicly commit your life and love to each other.
Julia & Michael - thank you so much for choosing me to capture such a fun, laid back, sweet and sentimental day for you. I'm honored to document such happy memories for you and your families and wish you two many years of laughter and love. ♥
A fun little side note - Julia and Michael met on Match.com. Of the four weddings I've shot pre-maternity leave this spring, three were couples who met online. We could do a whole Stephanie Court Photography commercial for online dating!