I knew I wanted to do a first look ever since I first heard about it. Because of everything that happened in October/November, my hormones were still a little crazy and I was worried about how I would react (I was running a gamut of emotions leading up to the wedding day that I could barely conceal). I definitely didn't want to see Bear for the first time with a bunch of people looking and freak out or burst into tears or something. As it was, I was still teary... more so than I thought I would be... but the first look definitely helped alleviate some of the pressure.
Auntie Lynn set it all up. We girls were to go down the elevator to the ground floor where they guys would be waiting by the Christmas tree. Pretty simple and straightforward EXCEPT there were several Christmas trees and our poor videographers and probably some other people were stationed at the wrong one. Oops. My mom and our wedding planner Heather and some other ladies were on the first elevator down. The bridesmaids were next. Every time the elevator reached ground level I could hear Bear laugh and exclaim "YOU aren't Mary..." I briefly entertained the idea of waiting for the elevator, pressing the button, and running out again so when the doors opened it would be empty. Then I was afraid of my dress getting caught and ripping off me... the elevator revealing a rumpled dress... and I would be caught naked on the third floor running around in a panic. I scraped that idea and tried to hide myself, poofy dress and all, in a concealed corner of the elevator (if there could be such a thing). When the doors opened I was giddy with the excitement of seeing Bear's face... I hoped he would look happy or even astonished (because I never wear dresses or makeup, and definitely not the style of either I was sporting that day!). I had a minor panic attack that it was maybe a dream and I would emerge from the elevator naked anyway, but thankfully that didn't happen.
Family and the bridal party were all gathered nearby to see the spectacle that was us. I thought it would be awkward, but I didn't really notice anyone at first. Just Bear and this silly kind of look he had at seeing me. Of course, then I realized just how many people could fit in a tiny hallway and, as I usually do, grew embarrassed. I really have issues with people looking at me, even if I know and love them all... I get flustered.
We all trooped to the cars; dad drove all us girls in the minivan to the venue. Trial number one: fitting that dress in a car and seat belt without damaging it. Success! When we arrived, I immediately realized it was time to face challenge number two: peeing in a massive dress. More success! So far, so good. It was time for formal portraits. I know they are necessary, but I never was a big fan, so that was another thing we wanted out of the way. Plus our ceremony was at 5pm in January, and daylight only holds out so long. For the most part, it was a painless process that was even fun!
And Patchie took the camera so Auntie Lynn could get in a few photos with us, too!
Next installment: the ceremony!
* All photos c/o Lynn Norgren Photography!