Christine and Tyler's day at Dover Hall in Goochland, Virginia was elegant and relaxed by day and a party by night. Their day truly felt like a big celebration with their closest friends and family. It was a first for us seeing the bride and groom crowd surf at the reception and the photos from it are so ebullient and joy-filled. The sweetest part of the day came when the couple had their first look.
First looks are a little controversial and infinitely adaptable. We've had emotional first looks between fathers and their daughters, nervous and excited first touches between brides and grooms, and of course the classic first look between the bridal couple where one turns around and both gaze at the other for a brief stolen moment before going down the aisle and the rest of the day speeds by. Emotions run the gamut during first looks and while some think the surprise is spoiled, there's nothing wrong with taking a few private moments to just be with each other. The true excitement comes once the wedding march starts playing and vows are imminent.
From the time Tyler first turned around it was obvious that the world had fallen away and it was just the two of them in that room. A smile spread across his face and the entire room lit up. After the initial embrace, Christine took a step back so he could get the full impact of her look. Note the sightline in the images to follow. They say everything. The eye contact speaks to how they feel about one another and how they feel about getting married and embarking on the rest of their lives together. It is the shared looks that make these images so special. Eye contact is one of the most important elements to any photo. It is this element that gives photos much of their emotion and it's often what underlines all subtext. Think about that next time you take a photo or you have your photo taken.
Christine and Tyler's day was sharp with energy and excitement. The party raged on and it wasn't just a group of their friends, but there was a large family presence as well. Its heartwarming to see families enmesh wholeheartedly and celebrate. Taking a few moments for just the two of themselves for their first look was a great way for the two of them to connect before the craziness of the day took off. They'll have these photos to cherish and mark those first few quiet moments together on their wedding day.