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  • Writer's pictureJaclyn Kushner Photography

Exploring Alternatives to a First Look

Valley Forge National Historical Park - love letter - first look

In the world of weddings, traditions have evolved over time, and the "First Look" is one of the modern additions. However, I understand that that a first look might not align with everyone's vision, and some still cherish the idea of the first look being that moment walking down the aisle. All while exploring alternatives to a "First Look" for something that is as equally special to replace it.

The first look is, after all, a precious time to connect with your partner before the ceremony—open your hearts to each other, to calm your nerves, and ignite excitement in each other. So, let's embark on a journey to explore alternative options that align perfectly with your desires.

Love Letters Exchange

Exchanging letters is a small ceremony-within-the-ceremony, just like candle-lighting, hand-fasting, sand-pouring, and so on. This is an opportunity to express yourself, and to put your deepest hopes, dreams, wishes, and desires into words.

As you sit down to compose these love letters, let your thoughts flow freely. Share your hopes for a future filled with joy and adventure, your dreams of building a life together, your wishes for each other's happiness, and your desires to be each other's rock and refuge.

The anticipation of reading these letters before the ceremony builds excitement and connection without the need to see each other. These love letters are far more than mere words on paper; they metamorphose into tangible, romantic keepsakes from your wedding day. They become precious artifacts, each carrying a fragment of your love story. You can revisit them time and time again, tracing the journey of your love, and reliving the emotions that flowed from pen to paper. Moreover, these letters offer a practical advantage—they allow you to release those last-minute emotions without the fear of smudging makeup or mascara. They are your heartfelt and timeless gift to each other, a testament to the love that binds you, and a cherished reminder of the beautiful commitment you've made to one another.

love letter - Valley Forge National Historical Park


Love Letter Hints and Tips

  1. Share Your Dreams: Express your dreams for the future, both long-term and short-term. Talk about your aspirations regarding your home, family, pets, and travel experiences.

  2. Express Your Love: Tell your partner why you love them. Share the qualities, quirks, and moments that make them so special to you.

  3. Show Gratitude: Express your appreciation for their support and love. Let them know how they've enriched your life.

  4. Embrace Imperfections: Don’t worry about crossing outs and little mistakes – a hand written letter from the heart outdoes anything typed and spell-checked.

  5. From the Heart: Let your heart be your guide as you write. Be sincere and authentic in your expressions of love, avoiding the pressure to mimic romantic novels. Your love letter should reflect your genuine feelings and the special bond you share.

  6. Personal Anecdotes: Include personal stories or anecdotes that illustrate why your partner is so special to you.


Side by Side / Back to Back

This intimate experience grants you the precious opportunity to be physically present with your partner in a truly unique way. Whether you choose to back to back or stand side by side with a pillar or door in between you two as a divider, the essence of this encounter lies in the profound togetherness it fosters. When you are in this moment, there's a tangible connection that goes beyond the physical divide. Your closeness is palpable, and you can feel the reassuring presence of your partner's hand in yours. It's a moment where loving words carry profound meaning, and where hand squeezes are like a secret language of love, known only to the two of you.

So, embrace your unique love story and the moments that define it. Celebrate your dreams and aspirations for the future. Express your love, gratitude, and appreciation for one another. And above all, create a day that reflects the love that binds you, a day that will be cherished in your hearts and through the lens of your photographer.

No matter the path you choose, know that I am here to capture every heartfelt moment, ensuring that your memories are preserved for a lifetime. Your wedding day is a story waiting to be told, and I'm deeply honored to be the one entrusted to tell it through the lens of my camera.

Check out What's the Allure of a First Look? And find out what perks there are to having a First Look.

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