Nuptial Nest Lesson 10 – Secure the Location
Welcome to the Nuptial Nest, aka my blog. I’ve decided to go through all the weddings I’ve ever worked and discuss a lesson I’ve learned from each of those weddings – be it a life lesson, a lesson about how to be a better wedding planner, or a lesson to future clients. No topic is off limits – let’s get into the dirty details of weddings! *no brides were harmed in the creation of this blog*
Quite often, couples (and the photographer) love to do something called the “first look.” This is when, before the ceremony and all the fanfare, the couple getting married reveal themselves to each other for the first time that day in a very romantic way. Well, they’re also surrounded by the photographer(s), videographer(s), planner(s), and sometimes some relatives/bridal party members hoping to catch a glimpse of the reveal.
Although it’s not the traditional “don’t see the bride before she walks down the aisle” moment, it makes a ton of sense when trying to schedule many, many photos in a short period of time between the ceremony and the reception. Couples will also choose to do this if they wish to join their guests during cocktail hour, instead of being sequestered elsewhere taking their photos.
I personally love a first look, and I love when I don’t have to be there so the couple can have their beautiful moment together, away from prying eyes. However, sometimes that’s not a reality. In my second year of running weddings, I had grown accustomed to photographers and their assistants taking care of the first look logistics, while I sub in as “support staff” to hold bouquets, veils, and lip gloss as needed.
On one occasion, we were prepping to do the first look when, AHH, officials from the location accosted the photographer and bride and told us we weren’t allowed to take photos there! Mayday, Mayday! Groom is on the way! Cue a SPRINTING Ani, lip gloss and bouquet in hand, to stop the groom before his eyes fell on his bride. We had to very quickly come up with a new location, get separate transportation for the bride and groom (thank Goodness for Uber), and make sure that everyone was calm and not stressed out.
We managed to gather the bride off to the side of the venue which was across town, hide her from the groom, and then have the groom arrive in a separate Uber to tap his bride on the shoulder.
Lesson Learned: Always make sure to triple check the first look location, ensuring that you’re able to take photos in the area! Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for unnecessary stress before the ceremony even begins. In the event that locations do need to change, remain calm (at least… make sure your face and voice are calm on the outside, even if you’re scrambling on the inside), call some Ubers, enlist some bridal party members to hide the bride, and all will turn out for the best. It always does.