This is going to be about all the in-betweens. All the millions of things that happens between the ceremony and the reception. May seem like nothing, but this time can be crucial.
THE GET-AWAY CAR
Now, this can be one of three things. What takes you from the ceremony to the reception, what takes you away from the reception, or both! We ended up not having one. Now, granted leaving the church isn't the BIGGEST deal, but we definitely did not have a town car to leave the reception in. I got upset. Plus, and I know we aren't talking about reception stuff right now, but at the end of your reception, you're starting to come down off your high and you're still a little wound up. I discovered that, even though I was over-joyed at life, little things still set me off.
Which leads me to a tiny lesson here. If you want your day to be everything you and your husband-to-be dream of, then honey you better know exactly what is going on at all times. Whether there is anything going on at all, whether you've planned anything or not, that's fine. Just be aware. Now, the only way to avoid this is to have a ballin' wedding planner you can trust with your life. Even then though.....man, I don't know. I suppose if you are doing a destination wedding or something you can't help it, but otherwise. I say do it all. That way, you know exactly whats going on.
This may be where I get some disagreement. But I don't care because I'm right about this and everyone who says I'm not right doesn't know what they are talking about because they haven't done it my way so they don't know any better!!!! SO THERE! Look people: do your pictures before the wedding, do NOT do them in-between. Yes, EVEN THE BRIDE AND GROOM PICTURES! Do a First Look! Yes, GASP I know, I just said to see the bride before the wedding!! AHHHHHHHH!!!! Get over it.
I used to be that delusional. I didn't want to "spoil the moment" (as my friend told someone before her wedding knowing I had just done my pictures that way). But in all seriousness, it doesn't actually spoil the moment. I remember talking to my coordinator/planner about it, and she told me she did a First Look. She too hesitated because she didn't want her husband to see her, but she was so eternally grateful she did. Her issue was crying. She said she was a crier and was petrified of getting up in front of the church and balling her eyes out during the ceremony with a hundred people staring at her with mascara running down her face. I was like, you know what? You are probably right. I went home to talk to BC about it, and he agreed. So we decided to do all of our pictures before hand. Bridal portraits are still not done for me, so I can't tell you anything about those, but we did alllllll of our pictures before the ceremony. And let me tell you....it was the best decision we ever made.
Now, if you do a First Look, obviously, you do all your pictures by yourself and with your girls, etc. And the hubs does all his pics by himself and with the guys. But then, and most of the ones I've seen, have the bride sneak up on the groom in some location that is just by themselves. Now with us, we were out in front of the church, so not so private with the traffic and whatnot, but it was just us and the photographers. I found out later the bridesmaids watched from a window in the church, which was really cute. Anyways, I got to sneak up on BC, which was so fun, and when he turned around, his face was priceless! I didn't really cry or anything, it was just a fun moment. We stood and talked about our day, what we had done, crazy things that happened, whatever. We talked about our outfits, pictures, how everybody looked....it was really nice. But strangely it didn't really affect me. After the First Look was over, we went back and side and I sat down with the bridesmaids. They all asked how I felt, and I was like, you know? Oddly enough, I don't feel really different. I said, at this point, it kinds feels like we're all just hanging out in awesome clothes. And honestly, it didn't really hit me until we all lined up to walk down the aisle. It was the most surreal feeling. Seeing all these girls from different parts of my life, all lined up....for me. Just me. They all drove in, flew in, spent money, woke up early, hung out all day in a church classroom....for me. It was completely overwhelming. They all looked at me and waved and smiled before they walked down the aisle...it was really special.
Back to me. I wondered how it would feel walking down the aisle to BC since I had just seen him outside. And y'all I'm here to tell ya: it was COMPLETELY different. Seriously I could NOT hold it together. I walked in and stared straight ahead. I couldn't look at anyone. The first person I saw was my mother, who was blubbering her eyes out and I almost lost it completely. So I stared straight ahead, trying to keep it together as tears were streaming down my face, because I knew somewhere there were cameras clicking like crazy and if I didn't want to look like a complete idiot in all our pictures, I needed to get it together. When I turned the corner (our church has two aisles, not a center one), and saw BC there with everybody around him and the preacher and everything, I started actually crying. It was the most emotional, overwhelming, but the absolute happiest, day of my life. Seeing him in that environment was completely different from seeing him outside. It was almost like outside didn't really exist, except I knew what he would look like.
Now, I talked to BC in depth after this, because I wanted to know if the First Look ruined everything for him. He said that honestly, it didn't. He said it helped him a lot...made him be less stressed to see me ahead of time. And he agreed with me. He said as soon as I turned the corner he almost lost it and fainted. And bless his heart, when I walked to him and my Dad gave me away and we walked up the little steps, he started breathing really heavy and swaying. He seriously did almost pass out. That sobered me up reeeeeal quick.
The best part?? You get to go straight to the reception!!!!! No waiting!! I think we actually surprised people with how quick we got there.
Now, in contrast, at my friend's wedding, BC said he and my Mom waited for at least an hour for us to get to the reception site. And honestly, having been in all those pictures, we really didn't have much time to take any pictures after the ceremony. Everyone was so rushed. At ours, BC and I got TONS of pictures because we took them before and we weren't crunched for time. It was great.
So you see, do a First Look. Its completely worth the time to do it, it helps out a bit with stress, and it DOES NOT AT ALL take away from your special moment at the ceremony. PLUS, it gets you to the reception and lets you eat cake faster. If that's not a good enough reason then you are just a dummy. Cake is awesome.