Today’s wedding blog is all about our first look and wedding portraits! If you haven’t seen the last few posts, be sure to check those out here. And be sure to sign up for my email list down below, because next week I’ll be sharing our wedding ceremony – you don’t want to miss it!

For some, a first look is now a more “normal” part of a wedding day, but for others, it is a bit controversial. It is definitely not the more traditional way of the bride and groom seeing one another for the first time on their wedding day. And while we did respect some traditional elements of an American wedding on our day, overall our relationship has been anything but traditional so we did scrap a lot of typical wedding traditions.

Honestly, when we were initially planning I didn’t have any sort of opinion about doing a first look. I was okay if we did, and I was okay if we didn’t. But after a brief discussion, we opted to do the first look for a few reasons – and I am so glad we did!

One major reason we initially considered a first look is because Grant is very emotional, which is one of the reasons why I love him lol. I, on the other hand, am not so emotional. But we figured it might be a good idea to get the first look out of the way before the ceremony so there could be as few tears as possible. While Grant did still end up tearing up during the first look and the ceremony, I think it got a lot of the jitters out.

But there were so many other pros that came out of doing a first look, many that we had never considered before – but now these reasons are making me an advocate for the first look. Doing a first look allowed us to get essentially all of our portraits out of the way before the ceremony. This meant a fresher hair/makeup look before we got all sweaty in the Florida heat, more time to do photos in general (rather than having the cocktail hour and having guests waiting on us), and we got to actually enjoy our cocktail hour. Attending our cocktail hour meant that we could chat with our guests and thank them for coming (and not having to take time out of the reception to do so), plus we got to enjoy drinks and appetizers with our friends and family. We even decided to do photos with each family attending during the cocktail hour, which I think many people appreciated.

I almost forgot: we also were able to do a walk-through together of both the ceremony and reception locations thanks to doing a first look! There was only one mistake made in our ceremony location, but I am glad we saw it before it was too late. It was fixed instantly, thanks to The Colony’s amazing team!

Overall, I think the first look allowed our day to go smoothly and it helped us make the most of our time with our photographers and guests. I really can’t recommend it enough! The only photos we did after the ceremony were family photos and the photos with guests, which I mentioned before. But if you are okay with not attending your cocktail hour, this could allow time for even more pictures of you with your new spouse and/or your bridal party!

In this post, I also wanted to share some of my favorite portraits of us and our bridal party. After our first look, our bridesmaids and groomsmen came out to the East Garden (where our photos were taken) so we could get some group shots. The garden was such a great backdrop without being overwhelming, plus it was extremely private.

Our ring bearer – our nephew Percy – was definitely not on his best behavior lol. But what can you do about a three-year-old who missed nap time and has been on vacation for over a week? At the very least we got a few good shots of him, even though his “bink giraffe” was present haha.

After some group shots, Grant and I went off on our own with our photographers to do some pictures in the newly renovated living room (lobby) at The Colony. It is absolutely gorgeous and totally our aesthetic, and it made for some amazing pictures with the hand-painted wallpaper.

The Colony was kind enough to give us our own chauffeur on the beach buggy to take us to some different locations near the water and on Worth Avenue. Our driver was so great, as is all of The Colony’s staff, and even took us to a great location we didn’t know existed with a fun blue door.

One of my favorite portraits is this one at the Worth Avenue Clock Tower. I’m not ashamed to say I literally had to yell at people to get this shot (this was my one bridezilla moment of the past year and a half lol). Our photographer kindly asked people to move for a moment so we could snap a picture, and after a snarky response from a few and even more people trying to cut in front of us to get a picture, I snapped lol. That being said, if you encounter a couple getting married and they want a picture – please move! How would you feel if it was your wedding day and people were nasty to you? It literally took us 30 seconds to get the shot we wanted.

On a lighter note, our photographer Shea and her assistant did such a fabulous job and they were so easy to work with! But I will say, after the wedding, I realized there were some shots in certain locations I wish we would have gotten, but I genuinely didn’t think of it until after. I’d recommend for engaged couples to intentionally think and write a list of locations you want photographs of at your venue. While I did think of some beforehand, I think I could have spent more time thinking about it. We had time for more portraits; I was just underprepared and thinking about other things! But overall, I am in love with the photos!


That’s all for today! I hope y’all enjoyed this insight into our first look and wedding portraits. As always, I’d love to hear any questions or comments you may have, so leave them below or connect with me via email or Instagram. Tune in next week for more wedding content!

Also, be sure to subscribe to my email list down below to be notified of my next post! I appreciate the support!

P.S. All photos are by the fabulous Shea Christine – she did such an amazing job and was such a pleasure to work with