I think some of our family members would have rathered that we not see each other before the wedding. Just for curiosity's sake, I did a little bit of research on the tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other before the wedding. Turns out it dates back to the time of arranged marriages, and was set up so that the groom wouldn't see the bride before the wedding, think she was ugly, and back out.
Since we were not worried about that happening, it came down to a decision on logistics. We had precious little time between the end of the wedding ceremony and the start of the reception, and if we wanted to take a decent amount of pictures, we'd have to take some beforehand.
From a more emotional perspective, I'm so glad we had a first look. I'm a pretty high-strung person, and as cheesy as it sounds, Zac is truly my source of calm. Seeing him before the wedding instantly calmed my nerves and helped me to relax, and I'll be forever grateful that I didn't enter that church as a ball of nerves!
It POURED while we were getting ready, so our great plans to take pictures outside was foiled. Luckily, our wonderful photographer had a back-up location, and we headed to the Conservatory in Cincinnati for our pictures.
Walking into the Conservatory. This is one of my very favorite pictures. I was totally unprepared for the way we would attract attention - as we were walking in, all of the people leaving the Conservatory and in the lobby started clapping!
Is this the coolest thing ever? An artist was sketching inside the Conservatory and drew a charcoal drawing of me! She gave it to me to keep - I think we're going to frame it for our living room.
After we took some individual pictures, it was time for our first look. Good thing, because I was going crazy being so close to Zac and not being able to see him! He stood with his back to all of us, and I slowly approached him.
Almost there... and I start to cry! In our video, you can see me look at the photographer and say, "What do I do now?" At that point, Zac turns around and I just look at him and say, "HI!" It's a lot sweeter on the video, I promise!
Feels like we'd been waiting our whole lives for this moment.
We took A LOT of pictures!
This is not my favorite picture, but I realized I hadn't shown you a full-dress shot! My dress was lace, and was so beautiful! There are other pictures that you'll see later that will give you more of the dress.
Up until this point, our day had been a bit crazy and not what we had expected. Starting with the first look, everything just seemed to fall into place, and our perfect wedding day began!