Our Favorite First Look Moments of 2019 | Galena IL Wedding Photographer

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If you’ve been around us long enough, you know how much we LOVE first looks! Like, not just like-LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!! They are our most favorite part of any wedding day and we are so lucky that over 90% of our UnPosed Couples choose to do a first look.

We know this is one of those things that it seems everyone has an opinion about. So why do we love first looks so much? Yes it’s awesome to get a majority of your photos completed before the ceremony because that means there doesn’t need to be hours between the end of your ceremony and the start of your cocktail hour. But what we love most is that first looks are always more emotional than when our couples see each other at the aisle for the first time. AND we love that the nervous feelings go away during the first look, which usually makes for an even more emotional moment when you see each other at the ceremony. The nerves have melted away, you’ve gotten to see each other and enjoy each other’s company, and by the time you two are at the ceremony you can truly relax in the joy of the moment and let those feelings of love for each other pour out. We always tell couples, if you cry at your first look you’ll cry at your ceremony too. And if you don’t cry at your first look, it’s still very likely you’ll cry at the ceremony.

A lot of people ask us why we set up our first looks the way we do. Typically, we do them the same way each time. The reason for this is that we want the first time you see each other walking toward each other to be at the ceremony. It makes that walk down the aisle much more impactful! So we always have one of you turned with your back toward the direction your partner will be walking from. Then your partner walks up from behind you and taps you on the shoulder. They turn, and you get several moments to just laugh, smile, shed some tears, and talk to each other. Unlike at the ceremony, you get time to tell each other how great you look! You get time to tell each other you love each other. You get quiet moments to just be yourselves and those moments are so special.

These are just a few of our favorite first look moments from 2019. I can’t wait to tell you why I love these!

For Carissa and Todd, I adored the shocked look on Todd’s face when he turned around! He was so taken by how amazing Carissa looked and couldn’t stop looking at her and smiling.

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For Christy and Steven we loved how HUGE their smiles were when they got to see each other! There were glints of tears in Steven’s eyes and I loved how silly they were together. These two are incredibly fun and their first look was completely them.

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Emily and Ethan’s first look was so cute! First of all, Ethan was freezing!!! Then, when he turned around Emily was so emotional she started crying, then immediately started laughing at herself for crying which of course made Ethan laugh! It was seriously the funniest and sweetest range of emotions they had and we loved it!

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Hannah and Jason’s first look was so sweet. Hannah couldn’t help but cry and I loved that Jason’s first reaction was to hug her tight and let the tears fall. He also kept telling her over and over how beautiful she looked.

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Look at that huge grin on Alex’s face when he saw Heather! Isn’t that so cute?!?! And he for real whistled at her which was so funny!

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For us, huge smiles are just as sweet as tears at a first look and Jessie and Kris had the hugest smiles ever! Jessie was nervous right before she saw Kris and I loved that the second he turned and smiled at her you could see all her nerves melt away. Plus, he had a few tears to wipe away which was icing on an already adorable cake 😉

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Jill found this amazing spot for a first look because of one of her friends who lived in the building. It was so fun to have this whole space to ourselves to give her and Jon time to enjoy hanging out together. I loved that when Jon turned he gave the sweetest little giggle of happiness and just said “Wow!” over and over.

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For Joe and Keegan, both of them were pretty quiet in the moments leading up to their first look. They had spent the morning together cooking brunch for their wedding party, then split up to get ready. Once I had Joe in place for the first look I could tell his nerves were setting in. The second he turned and saw Keegan he broke into a huge smile and pulled Keegan in for a kiss. They also exchanged gifts at their first look which caused each other to cry. This whole first look and time of photos with them before the ceremony was filled with sweet moments that we loved.

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To understand this one, you have to understand Kaitlin and Tim. These two do NOT take themselves seriously at all. And, they both LOVE horror movies. When Kaitlin told me she had this mask and prop for her first look it made complete sense and the laugh it gave Tim when he turned around was priceless!!!!

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For Katie and Vadim, their first look was supposed to take place in her parent’s backyard, but that morning it rained like crazy so going outside couldn’t happen. Instead, we did it in her parent’s home making this even more meaningful. Plus, the smile on Vadim’s face made it clear he thought Katie looked gorgeous!

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I loved this first look with Maggie and Andrew because Maggie was so crazy giddy to see Andrew. She was so anxious to see him, hug him, and see how good he would look in his suit. Their smiles say it all with this one!

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Oh gosh the story of this one cracks me up! Steve was very emotional the second he turned around and saw Micki. Micki told me up front that she’s just not an emotional person and didn’t know how she’d react. When Steve started crying she said to me “Oh I should make it look like I was crying too” which cracked us all up, but then as she stood there looking at Steve her eyes welled up a little making this honestly one of the cutest first looks ever.

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And last, but certainly not least, Steph and Ken. I don’t know what it is about the way Ken looked at Steph when he turned around but that pure joy radiating from his eyes and smile just makes me melt. As we were talking up to the path where Steph would meet Ken, she was so calm and sure about married him. Their true smiles and happiness was so obvious and it melted my heart.

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Seriously, give me all the first looks!!!!! I just love them so much!!!!

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