It all starts with a look; the first time you met each other, the first time you fall in love, the time you said “Yes!” and the only time you say “I do”. As your wedding march resounds stately throughout, your heart races with anticipation and when your eyes meet for the first time—she in her glorious white and he is in serious black—it is a feeling that cannot be described; it is “I’m marrying the love of my life” and “this is it, this is the person I want to be with”.
In a traditional sense, the first look normally happens during the registration of marriage ceremony when the bride walks down the aisle for the first time. But, many Malaysian couples are choosing to do a modern kind of first look where it is just the bride and the groom, with no pressure to look perfect in front of friends and family. It is also a chance for the bride and the groom to savour and share a small moment of love and privacy before they are surrounded with felicitations from their friends and family.
Take Joelle and Jeremiah, for example. Moments before Joelle was to meet her groom for the first time since she had put on her white gown and before they spoke their vows in front of their loved ones, friends and family were already coming up to her to offer their congratulations as she got ready. Her father was as nervous yet excited as any father could be, rushing up the stairs to tell her that “Jerry was already ready and waiting, don’t keep him standing there!”. But nothing could affect Joelle as she waited for our cue to meet her groom; she practically glowed with excitement.
And as Joelle tapped Jeremiah on the shoulder so he could turn around, we knew it was the perfect choice. For a couple so relaxed and in-tuned with each other, sharing that intimate moment with no one else around—except for the photographer and us, wedding planners—meant that they could spend that twenty minutes being their goofy selves, to express their nervousness, joy and excitement at being almost husband and wife.
As for the rest of the day, Joelle and Jeremiah were surrounded by people who were so excited that they were finally tying the knot! Intimate dinners such as this one meant constantly being enveloped in hugs and well-wishes and a “happening” dance floor that lasted through the night under the warm glow of a few hundred lightbulbs but Joelle and Jeremiah already had a moment to themselves.
Whether your eyes meet across the hall through veil or tears or in a quiet space full of intimacy, and all your worries, concerns and stress fade to nothing because you’re marrying the love of your life, that first look is a moment you will remember as you grow old together, through the sweet and the sour, the ups and the downs, the firsts, lasts and forevers.