Joe and I got engaged in April 2019 and were set to get married July 2020 and then COVID hit. After many back and forths, we made the decision to still get married in July 2020 even though we postponed our reception to July 2021.
With everything rapidly changing for our 2020 day, from the dress I was going to wear to the flowers I was going to hold, I knew I wanted to keep one thing consistent with how it was supposed to be, to first see Joe when I walked down the aisle, without a first look. We only had our close family present due to the pandemic but it didn’t make a difference, I was beyond nervous prior to the ceremony. I just wanted to talk to Joe, to see if he was nervous too, to calm my nerves and tell me everything was going to be okay and I wasn’t able to have that. I began to walk down the aisle with my dad and I can’t even remember what happened, I blacked out. Joe was too far away for me to see his reaction and by the time I got up there, the ceremony was starting and we couldn’t take a second to say hello or tell each other how amazing we looked. I never thought I would be one to have a first look, I wanted to do everything ‘traditionally’ but at that moment, I was wishing we had one.
For our 2021 day, we got ready separately but were doing a first look prior to the ceremony. I didn’t think I would be as nervous as last year since we were already married but I still was! This year, I was more nervous about being the center of attention in front of 200+ people! All morning I was pacing, just wanting to start the day and start the activities. When we got to Monmouth University (where we had our first look) I was so excited, so excited to see Joe and show him my dress that I had been hiding for two years! All the nerves left me. When we finally got the chance to have our first look, it was just us and the photographers, no one else. It made it so much more special. Being able to see Joe and see his reaction and hug and kiss him right away was what I needed last year. The rest of the night we stayed by each other’s side beside the entrance to the ceremony, but this time, I wasn’t as nervous, even with all those people, I knew I was just walking up to my best friend.
This is hard coming from me, being so ‘traditional’ but I 1,000% recommend doing a first look. Last year it wasn’t until we walked back up the aisle together that we could take a second to say hello and really take it all in! That was bizarre to me, we are married and I am just saying hello now! You are going into a marriage together, you are each other’s rocks to get you through the nerves and excitement. The first time you see each other on the biggest day of your life, shouldn’t be at the altar in front of all your family and friends, it should be done privately, together! You’ll enjoy every ounce of the day that much more.
Photo: Pivko Photography
Hair Artistry: Lindsey Holup, Hair by LAH
Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bride’s Accessories: Bridal Suite Boutique
Groom’s Suit & Tux: SuitSupply