I remember back when I was single and would go wedding dress shopping with my girlfriends. I never understood why it was so hard for them to make a wedding dress purchase without their soon to be husband knowing anything about it or why it was so hard to keep the dress from him either. I mean like it’s supposed to be a surprise for him that on wedding day during the big aisle walk. I had always been independent and shopped for the things that I wanted rather than having to include a man on making a decision or being allowed to spend a certain amount of money. But then came my very own wedding dress shopping experience…
Now Grant is the kind of guy who likes to tell me his input about the things I wear whenever I ask. I tell him all the time that I like his feedback. He would say “But you know more about fashion than me” and I would rebuttal that if I would be going somewhere with him, I would prefer to choose an outfit that he really liked on me. I would say there are plenty options I can wear, but I will always choose the outfit that he likes best on me. So that’s kind of our thing. If he’s coming with me to an event, he will give me options and let me make my decision and vice versa. So whenever we were engaged, Grant would literally tag me in instagram pictures of these 6 foot tall models wearing super open and low back long sleeve dresses that were fitted all the way to the floor. I couldn’t tell him that since I’m only 5’3″ those super fitted dresses just don’t work for me, because it would give it away that I wasn’t choosing his pick haha. Now I obviously would make my own decision on my wedding dress, plus it’s not like I could have shown him for approval anyway, but I will say I began to understand why some of my friends included their soon to be husband’s on their wedding dress decision. Plus, purchasing a wedding dress normally comes with a big price tag and besides my own personal business decisions, by the time Grant and I were engaged I just didn’t make big financial decisions without including him or his thoughts and opinions on the matter.
So leading up to our big day, I was going to stick to being traditional and walking down the aisle without seeing each other before. My photographers and planners had encouraged a first look, and then my friend Emily who had recently gotten married encouraged it as well. And I really really wanted Grant to like my wedding dress. And I chose something very different than what he would have picked out for me. I didn’t want my first words when I got down the aisle to be “Do you like my dress?”, but Grant liking my wedding dress was a VERY big deal to me. So I went for the first look. That walk leading up to Grant during our first look was equally as sweet and meaningful to me as the walk down the aisle was – it felt like the world existed of only him and I at that moment in time. All my emotions took over and it felt like all of my previous heart break, growing pains or times of feeling lonely and wondering where my soul mate was had all led me to this moment in time. Everything was worth it because I would get to marry the most incredible man I could have ever imagined! It was a walk where life felt surreal and I was just walking so slow and thanking God for giving me the most amazing gift that I could have ever received – my Husband!!!
I am SO VERY GRATEFUL I chose to have a first look with Grant. He loved my dress! He said it was like a “medium poof”, because we had talked about how he thought the super big poof dresses would hide my figure I had worked so hard for. He also acted shocked that I chose a blush pink dress, but then he agreed it made perfect sense. I loved having the few peaceful moments with Grant before the wedding. Besides the dress approval (which again was a REALLY big deal to me), we got to read each other’s love notes in front of each other, we got to kiss a few times and even walk to see our ceremony site from a distance and get to see our programs together before we separated again. I thought that maybe I would get all of my crying out of the way during first look, but I actually still cried more walking down the aisle. The music, seeing all of our loved ones, getting to ride up on a unicorn horse and carriage and making the best walk of my life with my dad just all took over me and I couldn’t help but feel and be emotional and cry. I looked directly at Grant once I could see him and I never took my eyes off of him. He did the same back to me. And we both cried as I walked to him. And not one thought of my dress was anywhere in my head. Everything was focused on Grant and the fact that our wedding ceremony was actually happening after we had planned for 14 months. I stayed so focused on Grant that actually when we were pronounced husband and wife, I went strolling on with him and actually left my bouquet in my MOH’s hands. I realized about half way down the aisle and had to go back to get my bouquet!!! But anyways, I wanted to share this with you before I share our first look photos because knowing the story behind how important it was for Grant to like my dress makes these photos even more precious to look at. His face!!!!!!
And then on the Sunday after we were married I got to show Grant all of the “runner up” dress pics in my phone and he agreed that I chose the best one!!! That was so much fun to share with him!
Thank you to Joan Pillow Bridal Salon in Houston for the best bridal dress purchasing experience of my Princess Fairytale Monique Lhuillier Wedding Gown! Beautiful photos that I will forever cherish by our super talented wedding photographers – Luke and Cat!