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FAQ: Why do a First Look?

One of my favorite moments during a wedding day, is the First Look... no question about it. A First Look is when a bride and groom see one another before the wedding ceremony in a very special and moment. No words can describe the tender emotions and reactions of that instant when the couple sees each other for the first time on the most important day in their love story... 
People always ask if Chris and I did a First Look, and I regrettably have to answer no. It wasn't because I didn't want to but simply didn't know what it was and that it was an option! I so WISH we had done a First Look and if we could do it all again, we definitely would without a doubt. When I walked down the over 90 foot aisle of the church we were married in (yes, it was a suuuper long aisle and I almost needed to take a break half way through... just kidding!) I couldn't really see Chris' reaction and when I got to the end of the aisle to him he just whispered to me and the ceremony began. In that moment what I really wanted to do was hug him, tell him how much I loved him... I wanted to hear how excited he was and how the morning was with the guys. I wanted to know if he liked my dress and I wanted to tell him how handsome he looked and wipe the tears from our eyes in a private moment. But all eyes were on us as the ceremony began, and we didn't have a chance to until after the ceremony... Because I so wish we had known what a First Look was and all the benefits, I make it a point to discuss with my couple's a First Look if they have not thought about it. Now it's just as important to note that a First Look is not for everyone, but this way each couple can decide for themselves! 
There are a few benefits of doing a First Look and I wanted to break down some of the big ones... Soooo, without further ado: 
Enjoying that special moment. Being able to enjoy and savor that first moment of seeing one another on your wedding day... Without all your guests watching. Being able to hug/kiss/cry/laugh/smile and not feel like you have to hold back. Having that instant reaction and tender moment documented. 
Timing. Doing a First Look provides much more time for photos without being rushed. Immediately after the First Look, I typically photograph the bride and groom together for a little while. Then I photograph the bridal party (the bridal party can meet the bride and groom at First Look location or wait in transportation until First Look and bride/groom photos are complete.) Family photos can even be done before the ceremony as well. Then after the ceremony, I usually do family photos if they have not been done already and additional photos of the bride/groom and sometimes more of the bridal party if time allows it. 
Attending Cocktail Hour. This ties into timing, but when we do the majority of photos before the cocktail hour, couples can attend some if not all of their cocktail hour. Doing a First Look and photos before the ceremony often allows for much flexibility and options with the wedding day timeline and photo opportunities. 
Daylight. Depending on what time of year a wedding is or how late the ceremony starts, a First Look enables the couple to have beautiful natural light photos while it is still light outside. If a couple is getting married in November on the east coast with an evening ceremony at 7:00pm, it will obviously be pitch dark outside when the ceremony is done. Doing a First Look, bride/groom photos, bridal party photos, and even family photos prior to the ceremony and sunset would allow for photos outside in the beautiful light... 
Calming those nerves. My brides are definitely less nervous for the ceremony and the rest of the wedding day when they do a First Look. They are just as excited and anxious, as are the grooms, but less nervous since they have already had time with their soul mate before the ceremony. One of my brides described it best when she told me that the First Look and walking down the aisle were two completely different experiences, but just as emotional and exciting. Walking down the aisle was something she had always dreamed about and the First Look was something she had been looking forward to in the year leading up to the wedding when they decided to do a First Look. And I will tell you that their First Look and walk down the aisle were so incredibly beautiful and emotional in their own way. 
Here are some of our couples' amazing First Look photos... :)

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2015 Editor's Choice Award

Chris and I are so blessed to have the most incredible wedding couples year after year. Their love stories are inspiring and their weddings are the most beautiful and memorable celebrations one could ever witness. They are one-of-a-kind once-in-a-lifetime kind of celebrations brought to life by incredible teams of vendors! 
So we always have such a great excitement and appreciation when their stories and weddings are featured in various publications and shared with the world!  
We are so honored to receive the 2015 Editors Choice Award for Two Bright Lights again this year! A huge thank you to all of the publications that have featured our work and our couples!

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Featured: Style Me Pretty CT

My bride Kaitlyn's reaction to having her wedding featured on Style Me Pretty yesterday was priceless! 
"MARK & I ARE ON STYLE ME PRETTY WEDDING BLOG!!!! As I was couponing Mark shouted from the other room... "Hey honey we were featured in some kind of blog post from David." I put down my scissors (which was a very smart idea as you will see) and proceeded to go to the post. I then screamed at the top of my lungs (sorry neighbors and men outside shoveling) because that "post" was only on Style Me Pretty which is my favorite wedding blog of all time. I am still skipping, crying, and smiling as I write this post. I think I am shaking too but I cant really tell because I am too busy being happy and excited about this right now. Little girls dream about marrying their prince one day and women dream about have their wedding featured on this blog. I have had both happen and am sincerely the luckiest girl in the world. 
A million thank you's and love again to my amazing wedding vendors (you are all featured on here too!) Especially David Ruzicka, Ashley Therese Poisella, and Christopher Poisella who gave me the second biggest surprise of my life. (The first being when Mark got down on his knee.) I am beyond words happy right now!!!"
I share in their excitement and are thrilled to have their Gwyn Careg Inn wedding featured on Style Me Pretty Connecticut! To read the full feature and watch their wedding video click here and to see the blog post I wrote on their wedding and more photos, feel free to click here!

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New Haven Lawn Club Wedding | Rachel & Harry

If you ask them, they were two lost souls looking for their mate. If you ask anyone who knows them, fate just hadn't crossed these soulmates paths yet. And little did either one of them know when they signed up for the dating website OKCupid everything would change and they would be that much closer to meeting their other half. They had no idea that their initial conversations filled with jokes and laughter would eventually lead to their amazing wedding day.  
Rachel and Harry couldn't be more perfect for one another. They are two of the funniest, care-free and loving people you will ever meet. Being around them reminds you of some of the things that are really important in a relationship: love, laughter, and enjoying the little things. And wouldn't you know their New Haven Lawn Club wedding was also filled with all of these things. Their black tie affair was quite the celebration! Outside the blustery wind was blowing and the raindrops could be heard tapping on the window panes. But with the soft candlelight filling the spaces, the fireplaces roaring, and the crystals twinkling in the light, the rain only added to the romantic, warm, and beautiful setting inside. And right then and there with all their loved ones gathered, Rachel and Harry tied the knot and somewhere cupid patted himself on the back for a job well done! 
Rachel & Harry - It's couples like you that make us fall even more in love with what we do. Really and truly. Thank you for always making us laugh and for reminding those around you of what's really important. We can't begin to tell you how grateful we are to have been part of your big day! Congrats again you two!

Something about this I just totally love...!

THIS girl. Rachel, you are SO incredibly beautiful!

Loved the look on Rachel's dad face when he saw her for the first time all dolled up in her wedding dress!

And what a sweet First Look... One of my favorite things to photograph!


Oh how we just adore these two! With their constant smiles and up for anything attitudes you would never have know it was a freezing 30 degrees outside while we were taking photos!

Such sweet bridesmaids! Had so much fun with this ladies!

I believe Harry told his guys to strike a pose for the next One Direction album cover... LOL

Their letterpress invitations from Twin Ravens Press were AH-mazing!

With their immediate family and friends gathered close, they signed the ketubah. There were tears, smiles, prayers, and hand squeezes. It was a indescribably beautiful moment... a breathtaking one all those present will never forget.

We always love working with the uber talented Fleurescent and photographing her beautiful floral creations!

Venue: New Haven Lawn Club 
Gown: Custom by Exclusive Bridal Shoppe, Greenwich CT 
Shoes: Betsey Johnson 
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff 
Earrings: BHLDN 
Beauty: Dana Bartone & Co 
Groom's Tux: J. Crew 
Band: Bud Maltin Metropolitan Music 
Florist: Fleurescent 
Cake: Erica O'Brien Bakery 
Lighting: Shindig Lighting 
Chuppah: Chuppah Studio 
Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Michele 
Invitations: Twin Ravens Press 
Transportation: Black Swan 
Photography: Ashley Therese Photography
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SNEAK PEEK: New Haven Lawn Club Wedding

I seriously can't wait to share Rachel & Harry's GORGEOUS New Haven Lawn Club wedding on the blog at the beginning of next week! 
There was candlelight, sparkle, and an indescribable love... Trust me when I say you don't want to miss this one!

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