State Room Boston Wedding :: Old South Church :: Jessica + Mark (Part I)

OK lovely blog readers, settle in as this is going to be rather epic wedding post. Perhaps you've travelled from afar. Welcome:

And maybe you're thinking "But whose wedding is this?" and "How did they meet?" Well, you can see the Boston engagement pictures **here** and here's a clue:

Beeeee-uuuuuu- ti-ful wedding stationery:

Hello shoes:

Family heirlooms and wedding jewelry:

I'm such a meanie, just a leeeeeetle glimpse of Jessica's wedding dress:

Over in the guy's room Mark's awesome mom Kay dropped off sandwiches and had Mark remind her which way to spin during their dance:

Groomsmen Andy & Alex had gone on a hunt for some pre-wedding supplies and found the 7-11 to have a somewhat limited yet surprisingly tropical offering. Over in the girls' room they were toasting with more civilized mimosas courtesy of Jessica's thoughtful brother Jonathan:

Jessica and the girls and moms had their make up done by the fabulous Janice Coakley of Bobbi Brown, Neiman Marcus, Copley Place (Janice also did make up at ** this ** amazing wedding and she's awesome!) :

Mark suited up and ready to head out:

Jessica's mom Louise helped her into her dress and then everyone got involved with bustling - it takes a village:

As luck would have it I have a great set of parents that I love very much, but if I didn't I might ask Louise and Dan to adopt me because they seem like amazing parents :)

When I arrived the girls were still at the hair salon and after photographing the invitations I was a little stuck for something to do. Ayca told me that Jessica's dress was in her parent's room so thanks to some detective work and helpful Marriott front desk people I invited myself over. Jessica's father Dan wanted to know how he could best hold Jessica's dress. I can't tell you how easy my job becomes when I get to work with lovely families!

I name this picture "Jessica in Contemplation/Anticipation"

We now get to the FIRST LOOK part of the blog post. Around this time of year I have all sorts of new wedding couples figuring out their plans for next year. Depending on their timelines/schedules/sunset sometimes I'll recommend a first look.

Inevitably I hear the "Oh, we're very traditional, we don't want to see each other before the ceremony." I work with each couple to respect their traditions but here's the thing - the whole "can't see each other before the wedding" comes from the days of arranged marriages. The groom wasn't allowed to see the bride in case he reneged on the deal ;) which isn't really the case these days.

And if we're talking about wedding traditions:
  • A bride should wear pearls on her wedding day to have a happy tear-free marriage.
  • It's good luck to drop the wedding rings during the ceremony to shake all of the evil spirits out
  • Vows should be exchanged when the clock’s minute hand is moving upward to symbolize a blessing as the minute hand ascends to heaven
  • Throwing rice on the couple will bestow them with fertility and many children.
  • A bride must be carried over the threshold of the couple’s new home, a new home possesses many evil spirits and the groom protects the bride by carrying her.
  • Bad spirits also lurk in the aisle hence flowers must cover the aisle to prevent feet from touching the floor.
  • The groom stands on the right of the aisle to give him good access to his sword to attack interlopers who try to steal the bride away
I'm assuming you're reading this and shaking your head. Nonsense! Um hum. Yet somehow the whole "can't see each other" is the one that stands....

The other argument against seeing each other before the ceremony is that "it takes away from the moment." and to that point I wonder if "the moment" is likely to be more intimate and special when it's just the two of you, no onlookers, no pressure, no time limits?

I didn't see my husband before our wedding ceremony and I can honestly say that my walk down the aisle was a complete blur. I look like a deer in headlights in our wedding video. I was trying to figure out how to hold my dad's arm, how not to trip, when to start walking. I reached the altar, we looked at each other, Paul said "you look nice" and the ceremony started....a somewhat anticlimatic moment ;)

Other advantages to a first look:
  • Hair and make up is fresh and flawless for pictures (definitely something to consider if it might be a hot day, outdoor (sunny/hot/windy) ceremony
  • You get to spend more time together with your significant other and friends/family. You're spending SO much time and effort and money on this one day, why limit your time together to 5-10pm
  • Cocktail hour!!! Champagne! Delicious food! Mingling with friends and family! Why would you want to spend one of the best hours of your wedding taking pictures?
A first look actually means for a significantly longer work day for me (handy for you as I don't charge hourly!) but I love that my couples get more time together (more time = more pictures) so unless you have a big gap of time between your ceremony and reception I'm a big advocate of the first look.

Lecture over. Let's see the evidence. Sometimes couples aren't sure how a first look actually happens. Here's Mark waiting in Christopher Columbus park:

And here's Jessica approaching. I usually suggest skipping the flowers as this is a really nice relaxed time for the two of you and it's hard to hold hands/hug/kiss if you're worried about a big bouquet of flowers!

I had Mark close his eyes so he didn't accidentally see Jessica. I told Jessica she should let Mark know she's there however she felt comfortable - talking, taking hold of his hands, kissing him.

Why Jessica! I do believe you're checking out your almost-husband!

Somewhat magically, as Jessica started walking towards Mark the most beautiful guitar music started up. We were in the middle of the busy Boston Christopher Columbus park but with the music and the privacy of the pillars it felt very intimate:

You can't really have this kind of reaction/exchange at the beginning of your ceremony (plus having hundreds of people looking at you can be a little intimidating!)

This image officially kills me. As I downloaded the files I saw this one and it literally took my breath away:

Back to the Marriott Longwharf to collect the wedding party and parents and hop on over to the Boston Public Gardens for family formals! First look benefit #674 - more time to hold hands with your significant other...

We arrived at the Boston Public Gardens - such a perfect location for Boston wedding photographs (remember your **permit** !) - and everyone looked fabulous (imagine doing these pictures if you've waited until after the ceremony and it was super hot or windy....)

Couples who choose to do a first look end up with three blog posts instead of two as I literally can't fit in all of the extra pictures...! Like this one which might just be my new favorite wedding picture:

So hop on over to my official Leah Haydock Photography facebook page and hit LIKE to get the alert when part II is posted next week...the wedding party! pictures in the courtyard of the Boston public library! the ceremony in Old South Church! the wedding reception at Longwood Events Boston State Room!

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