The First Look: Am I allowed to run?

It makes my heart race to think about our first look. It was one of the biggest rushes of pure and unadulterated joy I’ve ever experienced. The intensity, the nervousness, the excitement of seeing each other for the first time as bride and groom, the love– it was overwhelming.

We chose the art museum where I had practically lived for the past two years as our location for the first look. The building was just a wonderful backdrop, lots of wooded area, and good shade for what was surely to be a very hot day.

We arrived in separate cars– JP out front, I was out back with my father and Laura.

Matt Odom played go-between to make sure when both parties were ready, running back and forth with his rig and crane contraption.

I was a little slower than we had anticipated, as the lovely veil that the mothers so carefully steamed would not stay on my head.

Got it on, but it kept falling off, all the while poor JP was out front wondering if he had a bride with cold feet.

With the veil sliding off my head, Laura and I made the executive decision just to take the dang thing off. I was no less a bride without a veil. Odom double-checked to make sure that everybody was set and ready, Matt Miller and Amber were camped out front with JP. It was time. Reagan and Odom quietly crept around the corner with me as not to disturb the waiting JP. Standing there, hiding behind some trees, staring at JP, I had no idea what to do. I looked at Reagan. “Now what?”

“Do whatever you want!”

A surge of energy and adrenaline pumped through my veins. “Am I allowed to run?”

“Sure, I mean–”

I didn’t hear the rest of her sentence. I bolted, running full-force towards the man I loved.

And he caught me. I have this thing where I run and jump on him when I’m excited. He said he heard the scurrying of everyone as well as the whoosh of dress and knew what was coming. That JP. Let’s check out the bridal bolt from a different angle.

I was on cloud nine.

A kiss and a hug for my groom, the first of many face-grabs to come that day.

Then it hit him. “You’re my bride! Let me look at you!”

“You look beautiful.” I, of course, giggled.

I asked him if he approved of my dress and what he thought, to which he replied, “You look like the girl I’m supposed to marry. It’s perfect.”

We talked for a few minutes and probably sounded like two little kids, but we were high on the moment. Spastic and bubbly and in love.

Then of course, he wanted to see where I’d put the mouse. I yanked up my skirt, as I did several times that day, and showed off the mouse. He was a big fan.

With my skirt already halfway up, we took some required shoe shots.

I have a shoe thing, I admit it.

After that, we all went inside and toweled off, because it was hot as all get-out. Into the air-conditioned gallery we went for portrait time!

For those questioning a first look, I say do it. I would do it one thousand times over. The rush was incredible, the moments were priceless, and it didn’t take away from the power of the ceremony either, I promise. We had an absolute blast during our entire first look. We allotted enough time so that we could have a few grand adventures, spend some time together, and just play. If you aren’t superstitious, do it, do it, do it. You won’t regret it.

*All photographs from Matt Miller of Our Labor of Love.

Need to do some catching up in the recap department?

show hide 11 comments

KimberleyOctober 7, 2010 - 1:51 pm

Can I just say that I think it is so awesome how this whole thing went down? When I saw your video I totally thought that you had choreographed the whole running thing, but it’s so great to see how it was just part of the whole moment!

Very cute recap. It totally solidified my desire to do a first look. I was a little skeptical, but I have heard from multiple people that it is really a neat thing to do…

stephanieOctober 7, 2010 - 1:52 pm

i love side view of the jump! i am going to show this to everyone of my brides…to encourage the first look. this was beautiful!


Colleen COctober 7, 2010 - 2:03 pm

I love it. I love first looks. They make me happy. Ours was the best! Makes me smile every time I see the photos. I love that you just up and ran. I decided to take it in and walk slowly — halfway to him he started to turn around and I was like “no! not yet!” you can see us then burst into laughter and he turned around anyway. Best. moment.

You look beautiful & happy!

BeckyBOctober 7, 2010 - 2:33 pm

You look so cute scurrying across to tackle him! I envy your first look…I wanted to do one to calm my nerves but the mister is so superstitious he refused to. He actually wouldn’t look near my direction the entire night before when it hit midnight and we were still up in the house getting things ready. ;)

AngieOctober 7, 2010 - 2:59 pm

very cute.

you have a shoe thing and i have a thing for your shoes. love those.

StephanieOctober 7, 2010 - 3:10 pm

Your unadulterated enthusiasm for your first look (rather than a timid tap-tap on the shoulder) makes my day. If I end up doing a first look this is exactly how I picture it happening.

FARoutOctober 7, 2010 - 4:18 pm

I love this quote:
“A surge of energy and adrenaline pumped through my veins. ‘Am I allowed to run?’

‘Sure, I mean–’

I didn’t hear the rest of her sentence. I bolted, running full-force towards the man I loved.”

I also love this quote:
“I asked him if he approved of my dress and what he thought, to which he replied, ‘You look like the girl I’m supposed to marry. It’s perfect.’ ”

Just beautiful. Love just ooozes from this post.

Bowie BrideOctober 7, 2010 - 7:04 pm

GAAH!! you can feeeeel the movement in these shots. They are incredible! And your retelling of the moment made my heart flutter. Best first look ever. Seriously.

MeaganLikesItOctober 7, 2010 - 10:05 pm

Oh I love this! I am crying!!

EmilyBOctober 10, 2010 - 3:36 pm

Love love love!!! Our first look was similar to yours in that I was a nervous mess. The emotions were so intense. Gah I can’t even write about it w/o tearing up. I can tell your first look was so *you* and ours was so *us*. I grabbed his ass…it was perfect :)

AnniOctober 11, 2010 - 2:36 pm

I adore how in love you two look! I think first looks are ridiculously romantic. It’s one of the things I’m most looking forward to on our wedding day.

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