Photo Credit: Radion Photography; @radionphotography
I’ve said this quite a few times before, but my husband and I never did a first look, and it will always be one of my biggest wedding regrets. Your day will be a complete whirlwind, full of excitement, nerves, disbelief, enchantment, all of it, and you’ll barely have a minute to yourself (not a bad thing, because brides always need their besties the morning of their wedding). That’s why a first look is so monumental: to have even just 15 to 30 minutes alone with your guy or girl before everything goes down. 30 minutes to soak in what it still feels like to be engaged, before you’re pronounced partners for life. And sure, it doesn’t have to be an all-out styled situation - it’s just you two, all you need is your love - but we happen to loveeee a well-thought-out first look. So does our fashion and bridal wear mega crush, Maggie Sottero. We traded stories about our favorite first looks IRL, and comprised a must-haves list for what components make it the best moment of the day. Starting with the dress, of course…
A dress he or she has never seen.
Nowadays, old school rules about not letting your bride or groom to-be see you in your dress before the wedding are kind of gone like the wind; however, we still think there’s something super special about keeping your aisle style hush hush until the big day. Whether you’ve gone with a design that your S.O. has always been smitten to see you wear, or whether you’ll be shocking him or her with a silhouette that’s completely unexpected, that shred of surprise is all worth it.
A Maggie Sottero bride will undoubtedly blow her fiancé/fiancée away in her gown - after all, the brand has a multi-generational legacy of passion artistry and innovation in the wedding industry - but she’ll also get to embrace herself as a bride. As many times as she’s tried on her dress, been fitted, etc. when she steps into her dress on her wedding day, it will be the most special and iconic memory. Due, in no small part, to the fresh and couture aesthetic of her ensem and the fact that she’ll probably be highlighting some of (if not all) her best attributes when she assumes the vision of a bride.
We won’t play favorites, because we’re in love with everything from Maggie, but the Mallory Dawn ballgown really just struck us as first look 🔥🔥🔥. The boho lace motifs that adorn the sleeves and the bodice of this princess dress are so delicate and feminine, yet also look so strong and heroic. ((What a way to be on your wedding day, too, a princess who’s also a total bad a**)). The illusion plunging V-neckline is absolutely stunning as it creates perfect cleavage and décolletage, just as the illusion V-back with the scalloped sequin and lace detail feels open, yet fiercely tame and demure. And what can we say about a tulle ballgown skirt, beading at the waist, and covered buttons? They scream bride, they’re inspired by modern romance, big adventures, and happy surprises - pretty much everything that a first look should be.
When you want a first look to turn out something like this, you have to start with a gown that makes you feel invincible, like you’re your own ‘I Do’ idol. You’ll want to be a Maggie Sottero bride - find a store near you!
Perfume and lipstick that transform you into a bride.
And no, of course you don’t need to layer anything else on - you’re a smoke show from the get-go - but there’s something really fun about shopping for your wedding day “pretty.” I remember what I spritzed on the morning of my wedding and what I painted on my lips (I’m telling you, I researched this particular shade of nude ballet for days), and one of my favorite memories from helping my little sister get married last year was picking out her wedding day perfume (Chloe Love Story, it was everything).
The time finally comes for you to see your perfect person for the first time, and beyond falling in love with you for the 7000th time, he or she will kiss your lips and be momentarily covered in your color all while adorably sniffing in your scent. Might not even want to return that tux the next day… if it’s got wifey wafting all over it.
A note to your lover to say all you want to say before the words escape you.
We repeat: love letters will never lose their luster. Never. So, before you reunite with your soon-to-be spouse, make sure you get a card to them that conveys all that you’re feeling today and have felt forever. It doesn’t have to bring the 😭, you have a dress that you don’t want damp and lipstick that shouldn’t run, but that’s not to say that he can’t bawl…. We’re suckers for these printables that you can swap with your soulmate!There’s also nothing wrong with giving your guy or girl some hints about what you’ll be head-to-toe in oh-so-soon. Their imaginations don’t have to run wild for too long!
A setting that makes you feel like the only two people on Earth.
Yep, we mean with candles, flowers, maybe even some phantom music playing in the background (only two people in the world, remember, the music is for ambiance only). The photos that you can get from a set up like this one are out of control awesome. And what’s even more special is staging the first look at the place where - in only just a few hours (perhaps even less) - you’ll actually hold each other’s hands and exchange vows. It kind of christens your ceremony space before all of your guests arrive, before the anxiety starts to creep up, when you can find some comfort in the warm embrace of your forever confidant.
If you and your photographer are game for it, too, you can ask if he or she could snap a few photos of you in your dress that aren’t truly posed and may even err on the sexier side of things. Granted, for myself, I was always hesitant about boudoir photos; I don’t like having my picture taken, period, so you can understand my resistance to feeling vulnerable. My photographer took a few shots, though, of me laying in the layers of tulle of my dress, relaxed, sultry almost, and they are among my favorite photos of the day.
So, when you’re in your dress (especially one like this, which is the epitome of fairy tale sexy), and you feel flawless, don’t be shy about getting some shots that not only make you feel confident and self-assured, but can be shared with your spouse. Who will doubtlessly love and cherish them for years to come.
And what’s a first look without some celebratory sips?
If you can share your #somethingblue together, you’re doing this first look all right 😉.
FOLLOW MAGGIE SOTTERO DESIGNS ON IG TO SEE HOW BRIDES IRL ARE DOING THEIR FIRST LOOKS.
We partnered with Maggie Sottero to give you the lowdown on all the ways you can turn up your first look. As always, thanks for supporting our sponsors!