Confession: I am crazy about first looks!
My first “first look” was with my sweet Nanny. There is always a back story with the Nanny stories! Everyone who knows me even a little knows my Nanny is MY GIRL. We are not even blood related, but she kept me as a baby and I’m pretty certain from the moment she first held me in her arms I was 100000% in love with her. 8 months before our wedding, Nanny was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer at 87 years old. Nanny was scared to make any major commitments with the wedding, because the future was so so uncertain. I was absolutely heart broken and so scared I might lose my Nanny before the wedding, but could not bear the thought. So many tears were cried and prayers were prayed. Ya’ll my Nanny made it to the wedding looking more gorgeous than ever and 20 months after her diagnosis, with no treatment, she is alive today and I treasure each and every moment with her. Our first look will forever be imprinted on my heart. The way she loves me is so undeserved and I think we all need someone on earth who loves us as though we are perfect to them, because they see past every flaw. That’s my Nanny, ya’ll. She makes me feel the most beautiful and loved just by being her. And I love her more than words can say.
Second, my Daddy came in and the tears really started flowing.We just looked at each other and our emotions spoke it all. He just said “oh, honey” and we just took it all in.
After him, Clay came in – and this is when my mama lost it. Waterworks everywhere. The four of us were there together in that moment, filled with the very best kind of emotion and love and my Daddy lead us in a prayer and I will never ever forget that moment – heaven came down and the Lord quieted my heart with his presence and I felt an indescribable peace.
After our prayer, I had my first look with my bridesmaids and it was SO FUN and SO SWEET. The Lord has been so good to me to give me the most beautiful, loving, and crazy fun friends who have taught me so so much over the years and loved me so well in all of my years of dating Luke and preparing for marriage.None of them had seen my dress since its major alterations, except Lindsey, so it was so great seeing the look on all of their beautiful faces!
Then, it was finally time for my first look with Lukie! But before we met up, we opened our gifts. I gave Luke a card and also some journal entries from the year we met. The first was from the week after I went on the mission trip where we met. I had written in there that Luke was such a special friend and that I admired him. I also included another journal entry from a few months later where I said, “Jesus, I really think I’m going to marry Luke Hamilton.” I was barely 16 and had never had a boyfriend, but maybe in my heart of hearts, I just knew! His present was a monogrammed pair of gold cufflinks and a new watch!
Luke gave me a beautiful birthday card and a separate drawing of two rings with our monogram. For years, Luke has sketched out pictures for me to commemorate certain events, like anniversaries, our engagement, etc. He also does one every Christmas! This drawing was the most special to date, he is so cute and talented! Also, included in the card, were notes that detailed his thoughts on particular days over the last two months before the wedding…sweetness! He also gave me a brown leather fossil watch with our wedding date engraved on the back side.
Kathryn was with me while I was opening my gift and I remember her talking on the walkie to her husband, Devin (our other photographer – they are the cutest married photog team out there!) and they were discussing when Luke would be ready for the first look, because it was time. Devin told Kathryn that all the guys were praying over Luke, so we would have to wait a bit. So of course, we patiently waited and finally it was time!