First Looks: Four Ways They Elevate Your Wedding Experience

Comment

First Looks: Four Ways They Elevate Your Wedding Experience

As you plan for your big day, chances are that you've thought about a first look. You've gone back and forth and decided that you want to go the traditional route, after all, that's the way it's been done for decades. Not that there is anything wrong with forgoing the first look, but not everyone is aware of how awesome and worthwhile they are, because they get caught up in how “non-traditional” it is, and they immediately write it off. Trust me, I know, you want your groom to be so surprised and overcome with joy when you walked down the aisle that he bawls at the first sight of you! Isn’t that EVERY girl’s dream? Who doesn’t want that reaction? But little do you realize, that even if you have an intimate first look, your groom will still melt at the sight of you. You will feel so loved and also feel like a million bucks!

IMG_5268.jpg

I’ve come to this conclusion. Some brides love “traditions”.... but what a bride REALLY wants when it comes to her groom seeing her for the first time, is a REACTION. Those who are not interested in a First Look usually think that by seeing each other beforehand, they will lose part of that reaction. They also assume that it will not be as emotional or as intimate as it would be if they were coming down the aisle. What I have found (this is starting to sound like a research paper!) is so ironic! Everyone knows that wedding days are a bit stressful for the bride and groom.

The whole day is focused on them, they need to look their best, they need to be on time, the groom has no idea what side the boutonniere is supposed to go on and little by little... the tension grows. It’s before the ceremony and the gravity of what is about to happen starts to sink in and the calm, col- lected groom who was playing golf just a few short hours ago is now starting to feel a little anxious. So what happens next? The groom waits in a little room somewhere for his que from the coordinator. It seems like it’s taking FOREVER. Finally, the coor- dinator leans her head in and hurries the groom to get ready. With clammy hands, the groom enters the ceremony and what does he find? .... he finds anywhere from 80-300 people and they’re all look- ing where? Right at his face... because everyone has expectations and anticipation about his first reac- tion.

IMG_5269.jpg

This is the farthest thing from a private, intimate moment. Sure, it’s SO powerful and SO wonderful...walking down the aisle is one of the BEST PARTS of the WHOLE wedding day! But when you walked down the aisle... He won’t be a nervous wreck...he will have spent the morning with you and your best friends and the pressure was OFF. By the time the ceremony rolls around he will be ready to ENJOY your beautiful day!

All of the above not enough to sell you? Here are my favorite FOUR reasons why First Looks elevate your total wedding experience. 

IMG_5271.jpg

1. 40% MORE PORTRAITS

You’re investing a lot into your wedding photography. With a first look, you’ll receive 40% MORE por- traits of the two of you... and those are the images you will decorate your first home with! (Believe me, our house is PACKED full of our portraits!) With a first look, you make the most out of this large investment and get the most for your money.

IMG_5273.jpg

2. ENJOY THE SURPRISE FREELY

You actually get to have intimate time on your wedding day with your man. Most brides don’t realize that when you come down the aisle and totally SHOCK him with your gorgeousness... he can’t even tell you how amazing you look. He can’t touch you, embrace you or even SPEAK to you. You have to wait until 30 minutes later when the ceremony is over for him to react and tell you how amazing you look. And after 30 minutes of the ceremony, the reaction isn’t the same as the initial first glance.

IMG_5282.jpg

3. EXTEND YOUR DAY BY 3 HOURS

First Looks allow you to extend your wedding day. Normally the wedding day would start when you come down the aisle, then the ceremony would end, you would rush through portraits so that you’re not late for the introductions and then it’s reception time. With a first look, your wedding day is ex- tended by almost 3 hours! Instead of being rushed for your bridal party portraits... you actually get to enjoy them and have fun hanging out with your BEST friends on your wedding day. The WHOLE first half of my client’s wedding albums are filled with images just from this time together before the ceremony.

IMG_5287.jpg

4. YOUR ONLY ALONE TIME

First Looks allow you to be TOGETHER and alone on your wedding day. Normally portraits are a little rushed after the family formals, and it can be hard to really get back into that “lovey-dovey” mode.... especially with family around! When you have just shared your first look, you’re READY to love on each other, and I always capture some super sweet images during those moments!

IMG_5310.jpg

Comment

Bright, Colorful San Antonio Wedding at 1850 Settlement | Savanah + Preston

Comment

Bright, Colorful San Antonio Wedding at 1850 Settlement | Savanah + Preston

October is my favorite month for so many reasons, but I have to say, starting out October 1 with Savanah + Preston's heartfelt wedding literally took my breath away. You may remember them from their engagement session earlier this year - these two people have so much love for each other, others and God. Their wedding day, from start to finish, was about bringing their families together and serving others, including hosting communion for all of their guests. Their vows were sentimental and sweet, drawing tears from most of those in attendance. They said "I do," under a gorgeous Texas oak tree and danced the night away in a rustic, twinkle-light lit barn and dashed off into the sunset to make their way to Costa Rica for their honeymoon. More than anything, I left this wedding with a heart so excited to watch these two be partners for life. I know whatever they will do, they will serve other and each other. 

This day wouldn't have been possible without the Williams/Grimes and Gideon families, as well as the amazing vendors who helped make this day so memorable, including:

Venue: 1850 Settlement
Planning: Blume Haus Events
Florals: Consider the Lillies
Bakery: Bird Bakery
Videography: Lady Bird Studios 
DJ: Toast Entertainment
Wedding Dress: Mayfair Bridal 
Catering: Heavenly Gourmet

 
 

Comment

Texas Hill Country Wedding in Fredericksburg | Kersey + Trent

1 Comment

Texas Hill Country Wedding in Fredericksburg | Kersey + Trent

Kersey and Trent first met in San Marcos, TX when working at the Texas Health and Racquet Club in San Marcos and became fast friends. Their second date was a date to the GRAND CANYON and it was easy for them to tell that after that, they were meant to be together. Their lives have been full of adventure - living in a tiny home outside of Sequoia National Park in California and hiking on the regular with their tiny, beautiful daughter Brixton. On a beautiful September day in Fredericksburg, Texas (Kersey's hometown) they say "I do" on a sprawling ranch with 150 smiling faces witnessing their love. Their day was relaxed, beautiful, rustic and quintessentially Texas (right down to the food and the drinks). I'm so excited to see this family grow and love each other so well. Congrats, friends! I love you so dearly!

1 Comment

Glamorous, Black Tie Houston Heights Villa Wedding - Alex + Matt

1 Comment

Glamorous, Black Tie Houston Heights Villa Wedding - Alex + Matt

Alex and Matt married on a warm day in the Houston Heights. It's rare that I've seen two people so loved as these two. Each person in attendance radiated so much warmth towards Alex and Matt that it was emotional just to be in the presence of such affection. After working with Alex for the last year and a half, I'm so, so sad the wedding is over but overjoyed that Alex and Matt get to be together forever.

1 Comment

Minimalist Bridal Session at One Eleven East | Austin Wedding Photographer

1 Comment

Minimalist Bridal Session at One Eleven East | Austin Wedding Photographer

If you remember April in Texas, it was plagued with rain and so many rescheduled sessions. This bridal session needed to happen rain or shine, since my sweet bride, Alex, was making the trip down with her now mother-in-law to visit her sweet maid of honor. We originally had plans to shoot in one of Austin's many beautiful parks, but just before we made the leap to schedule an indoor venue. Thankfully Erica + Ashley over at One Eleven East came to the rescue with the perfect, minimalist and inviting location.

Yesterday this amazing woman got MARRIED to her handsome husband Matt - she is now Mrs. Lane! AH! Now I can finally share her amazing bridals. Alex, who is the epitome of class and grace, truly made all of us fall in love. Her classic and elegant BHLDN gown and her amazing taste in florals were just the cherry on top of her easy-going spirit and warm presence. If you've been following PVP for the last couple years, this lovely lady will look familiar - we first worked together in 2014 when she was graduating from Texas State! Ready for a #TBT? Check out the last photo in this set. :) It's been a joy to work through the wedding process with them - including their engagement photos in San Marcos last fall.

Dress: BHLDN
Venue: One Eleven East
Florist: Posey Floral
HMUA: Sonar Beauty

I told you I would share one of my first photos with Alex way back when! Here is this lovely lady graduating from college, and NOW she's a married woman! I just adore you Alex - thank you for letting me be a part of your perfect day!

IMG_0722.jpg

1 Comment

Mueller Lake Park Couple Photos | Austin Texas Wedding Photographer

Comment

Mueller Lake Park Couple Photos | Austin Texas Wedding Photographer

Truthfully, I don't get to shoot for fun very often. It's always something I mean to do, but I just never get around to it - I often prioritize my clients, their needs and how I can make their experience unforgettable. There is nothing wrong with this - in fact, it's one of my favorite part of my job! Luckily, in late July, I convinced Chelsea and Clayton to let me shoot them in Mueller Lake Park near our neighborhood in east Austin. The best part of this shoot was getting to toy with film and shooting them in hybrid-fashion with digital. It was scary sending in my first roll to be developed, but MAN. When I got those beauties back, I fell in L-O-V-E. I'm excited to work film into my workflow more and more. Are you in love with film, too?! Let me know, we will be sure to shoot some during your session, too. :)

Biggest thanks to Chelsea + Clayton for letting me capture their one year anniversary, and to the FIND lab for providing me beautiful scans. XOXO

Comment

Downtown Austin Anniversary Photos | Ashley and Arti | Austin Wedding Photographer

Comment

Downtown Austin Anniversary Photos | Ashley and Arti | Austin Wedding Photographer

Two years ago, Ashley and Arti were arriving in San Francisco for their romantic San Francisco City Hall Elopement. They hired me to tag along and capture all the magic. After the "I do"s were said, we adventured off to the Marin Headlands and the Sutro Bathes. It was easily one of the most magical weddings of my entire career as a wedding photography. In honor of their two year anniversary, we reunited for a picnic in downtown Austin. They toasted champagne and snuggled in the heat - these two have such a special place in my heart. Hugs to you both, Ashley + Arti!

Comment

Relaxed Bull Creek Park Engagement Photos | Camila and Juan | Austin Wedding Photographer

Comment

Relaxed Bull Creek Park Engagement Photos | Camila and Juan | Austin Wedding Photographer

Camila and Juan first met freshman year at the University of Texas at Austin. Funny enough, they had chemistry together. They met right before finals through a mutual friend and became fast friends. Camila knew Juan was something special. Between their first date at the campus Chic-Fil-A (couple after my own heart!) to today, they have spent almost seven magical years together. 

One day, Juan decided to take Camila on the best Texas Hill Country road trip ever - swimming at Jacob's Well, floating in San Marcos and a proposal on Mount Bonnell. After she gave him the obvious answer "yes!", Camila was surprised by their family and friends for dinner at Mi Madre's - an east Austin classic.  She's since she joined Juan in Midland and this fall, they will tie the knot at Addison Grove in Austin, TX!

Are you obsessed with these two yet? Need more reasons? Just take a peek at their relaxed, silly and oh-so sweet engagement photos at Bull Creek Park. Just look at those smiles!

Comment

Texas Hill Country Engagement Photos | Tracy + Will | Austin Wedding Photographer

Comment

Texas Hill Country Engagement Photos | Tracy + Will | Austin Wedding Photographer

The funny thing about this session is this was not the first time we tried to capture Will and Tracy's love on camera. Not the second, either. This was the THIRD time. Between meeting with Will and Tracy, Tracy got a new job, they moved to Houston and Texas experienced one of the wettest seasons in years. Just as we arrived at our location, the rain clouds rolled in - what did Tracy and Will do? They absolutely killed their session in record time, but you better believe they didn't skimp on the love or the snuggles (even in the 90 degree heat). Here are a few of my favorite snaps - enjoy! XOXO

Comment

Hannah + Greg - Sunset Station Wedding - The Spire - San Antonio Wedding Photographer

5 Comments

Hannah + Greg - Sunset Station Wedding - The Spire - San Antonio Wedding Photographer

Hannah and Greg got married in downtown San Antonio in a flurry of hugs, kisses, gifts, dancing and plenty of *clinking* after knowing each other most of their lives. The Browns and the Saleks have been family friends for ages, and to quote Hannah's father, "I always hoped Hannah would grow up to marry someone like Greg, someone so kind and compassionate and good to other people." These two have spent 2+ years loving one another for each other's patience, humility and grace.

5 Comments

Savanah + Preston | San Marcos Engagement Photos - Meadows Center San Marcos, TX

Comment

Savanah + Preston | San Marcos Engagement Photos - Meadows Center San Marcos, TX

Savanah + Preston came to me from one of my sweet, sweet past brides, Amber. We first met for coffee in San Marcos, Texas - a special location to all three of us. Upon meeting, you could tell Savanah and Preston are sweet, quiet people who love each other dearly. They both hail from San Angelo, Texas but fell in love at Texas State University when Savanah was an undergrad and Preston was getting his master's. Between Alkek Library and Whataburger, it was a Texas match-made-in-heaven. When they're not killing it in their professional lives, they find time to hike the hill country, love on their family and go to church. Did I mention Savanah is also serving as an active duty member of the U.S. Army while going to school to be a dietitian?! These two are TOO awesome. 

We had another chance to together and bask in their awesomeness during their engagement session back in San Marcos - below are just a few of the sweet images from their day. I can't wait to capture their big day in San Antonio come October!

Comment

Margana + Sam - UT Austin Graduation Photos - Austin TX Photographer

Comment

Margana + Sam - UT Austin Graduation Photos - Austin TX Photographer

Margana and Sam are the cutest set of roommates! The are both graduating from the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas. Sam will soon be taking on the world of advertising in Chicago and Margana is planning to kill it in the Miss Texas pageant (She is currently Miss Travis County - how cool is that?!) We spent our Friday afternoon frockling around campus and giggling over Sam's endless supply of movie quotes and Kardashian impressions. It was so lovely to capture these two - their free spiritedness and their excitement for what's next. Thank you for allowing me to capture these moments for you, Margana and Sam!

Comment

Kristyn - Brentwood Christian Senior Photos | Austin Portrait Photographer

Comment

Kristyn - Brentwood Christian Senior Photos | Austin Portrait Photographer

Kristyn's high school graduation is quickly approaching! Soon she will be off to Tennessee for college and making an impact in the world by being a teacher. Kristyn, her mom and I spent a blustery spring day walking around the Seaholm District in Austin - we were constantly surprised by how many spots we kept finding and falling in love with.

I don't often shoot high school seniors, but I'm so happy I made the exception for Kristyn! This girly is extremely talented - she lettered in theater, she sings in her school choir, she's active in church, she's in National Honor Society, she used to manage sports...you name it. She is also extremely sarcastic, in the best way. ;)

I'm so excited for you future, Kristyn! Go forth and do great things - cheers! Xx

Comment

Jacqueline - UT Austin Graduation Photos - Austin Portrait Photographer

3 Comments

Jacqueline - UT Austin Graduation Photos - Austin Portrait Photographer

It's never easy to wake up for a sunrise session (6 am wake up..ZzZzZ), but Jacqueline made is EASY. This sweet girl is graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in less than two months with a degree in sociology and business foundations. Immediately after, she will be moving to Colorado while her husband takes on law school. She spent the entire morning laughing over our shared love for dogs, Amazon, candy and good, ole fashion BEAR HUGS! She brought along her darling sister Addy to keep us company and I can truly say they are the best of friends (see the end of the blog for the cutest photo of them EVER! Thank you for the fantastic morning, girlies! Can't wait to see all you accomplish in the future.

3 Comments

Star Bridal Portraits - UT Austin - Austin Texas Wedding Photographer

Comment

Star Bridal Portraits - UT Austin - Austin Texas Wedding Photographer

I had the privilege of meeting Estrellita (more affectionately known as Star) in college in our student organization. She is someone who exudes happiness, determination and passion in everything she does. A few weeks ago, Star married the love of her life, Zen, in their hometown of Mason, Texas in the presence of their family in friends. I'm so happy we were able to capture these bridals beforehand, especially because we needed to capture this amazing wedding dress, which Star crocheted entirely herself. Talk about talent! Congrats, MRS. Stewart! Cheers to you + Zen!

Comment

Nicky + Bryan Anniversary Session | McKinney Falls State Park Photos | Austin Wedding Photographer

Comment

Nicky + Bryan Anniversary Session | McKinney Falls State Park Photos | Austin Wedding Photographer

Do these faces look familiar? They should! Nicky + Bryan got married at the beautiful Gruene Estate in March 2016 - since then they've been exploring and adventuring every opportunity possible during their first year of marriage. These two love each other so well - they are hilarious together, making every moment of our session a joy. There is nothing like being married to your best friend. I can't wait to keep up with these two for the next 20+ years and see how their love continues to grow. Happy ONE YEAR, friends! You're wonderful!

Comment

Jennifer and Thomas | Luling Texas Wedding at Zedler Mill | Austin TX Photographer

Comment

Jennifer and Thomas | Luling Texas Wedding at Zedler Mill | Austin TX Photographer

Jennifer and Thomas' wedding at Zedler Mill in Luling, TX was a day I won't soon forget. I originally met Jennifer when she was the maid of honor at the wedding of another one of my brides at the same venue (...which I'm completely in love with.) From the moment I met Jennifer, she exuded sunshine and love for all those around her. Flash forward almost two years and we reunited to celebrate her marriage to Thomas. They met through Texas State University's Baptist Student Ministry and were automatically smitten with each other. Their first date was to the Wimberley glass blower and they became engaged at Prayer Rock. I like to joke that they had the perfect Texas Hill Country love story.

Comment