In this image we were able to capture the precise instant the groom was first able to see his bride as she walked into their wedding ceremony at Aloha Camp in Fairlee, VT.
We have found that while the girls are always excited to see the guys, watching a groom first see his bride on their wedding day elicits an amazing response full of emotion, wonder, and excitement. This is an important instant only a few people other than the bride get to see. Since we function as a two person team and both of us act as primary photographers, we are able to simultaneous document moments like this from two different angles while focused on two different subjects. Occasionally in the background of a ceremony photo we see one or two people, often grinning grandmothers, choosing to watch the groom rather than turn their attention to grand entrance of the bride. Outside of those very few examples, the only people taking in the groom’s expression are his bride, whoever is walking her down the aisle, and one of us. This was one of those rare times where the space was open enough that we were both able to position ourselves in places to capture the bride and the groom.
In a creative twist, this moment marked the first time he saw her but not the first time she saw him. The majority of our clients decide to do a first look, which is where they see one another before the ceremony. This couple almost had a first look, as the groom was guided over to the bride’s getting ready cabin earlier in the day, keeping his eyes tightly shut the entire way. This not only allowed them to talk to each other in person, but let her help him tie his bowtie and let us take some amazing photos. We loved this idea as it provided a sweet shared moment and a sort of “happy medium” between a first look and an aisle reveal. We have seen other couples use similar ideas, such as holding hands around a corner or having a conversation just inches apart, only separated by an open door. Whether it be a first look or some variance that allows couples to be somewhat together before the ceremony, we have found it calms the nerves immensely and gives them a private part of the wedding day that is all their own.
You may notice that one of the groomsmen over the groom’s shoulder is in fact a groomswoman. We love mixed gendered wedding parties because they fall directly in line with how we view weddings in general. Any time a couple is struggling with a decision that may be out of line with accepted norms from fifty years ago, we express our view that a wedding day belongs to the couple and no one else. A marriage is between two people, and the wedding doesn’t have to cater to anyone outside of those two. This applies to elopements, weddingmoons, and parties with 742 attendees. First off, you have to decide if you want or need anyone to stand up for you at all. For destination weddings or ones that would cause potential members of the wedding party to travel a great distance at a significant expense, couples can opt to not have them stand with them as a courtesy to those specific friends and family members. On the other hand, the couple might want everyone present to be on an equal level and not have anyone stand up there with them. There are no set rules; you can do whatever you want to do. If couples do want certain people to be recognized specifically as bridesmaids or groomsmen, couples can easily have each person stand behind whoever they feel more associated with regardless of gender. The freedoms don’t stop there, as couples can have an unbalanced number of people stand with them. Pairings such as five one one side and four on the other are common, but why not seventeen on one side and two on the other? We have never subscribed to the idea that they sides have to be balanced, gender specific, or even dressed in a matching manner.
Location: Aloha Camp, 2039 Lake Morey Rd, Fairlee, VT 05045.1/800; f/4.0; ISO 400; 200.0 mm.