First Look?

First Look?


Will you have a “First Look”?  New in the world of weddings – (or is it old, but new again?) – is the scheduling of a photo session of the bride and groom BEFORE the wedding ceremony.  In this scenario, tradition, superstition and caution are thrown to the wind in a trade off for efficiency.  The choice is made to get all their pictures out of the way pre-ceremony, so the couple can move right into the party  and join cocktail hour with their guests.


Some couples take it a step further and are opting to create “staged” photo ops of the bride and groom’s “first vision” of each other.  I think they’re romantic and beautiful.  Would I encourage my own daughters to do this?  No.  But then that’s just my personal preference.  Remember, when it comes to your wedding, there is no right or wrong.  It is what you and your groom desire.


Still not convinced?  Many brides say they’re are trying to avoid FOMO, (feeling of missing out), by taking photos pre-ceremony.   I remember waiting for a good hour outside at each of my daughters’ weddings to take photos.  Even I had FOMO! 🙂  I wanted to see my guests, to bask in their compliments and good wishes.  Others say they don’t want to be rushed post ceremony with the pesky pictures. But there’s something so very very special about the “real” moment when a groom sees his bride for the first time in all her glory.


Below is the photo my son-in-law’s aunt, the lovely Patty Cloherty, captured when Robert saw Maggie walk down the isle.  You just can’t manufacture that smile…

Or this…below…when my husband handed our daughter off to her groom. Robert’s smile is so sweet.  No actor is that good…This photo is a treasure.

Summer Bride


Guess what Ladies… If you’re getting married in the next couple of months – you will be one of the lucky ones… a summer bride!

While each season has it’s benefits, such as a beautiful winter wedding dress – click on the link winter wedding to see some beautiful options, or a variety of flowers for a spring affair, (click on spring wedding to read my post about some festive ideas for flowers, cocktails and more!), a summer wedding also has some pitfalls.  But if you’re prepared, you don’t need to worry.

I was reading an article on “She Finds” the other day, and it had some topics to address for summer weddings.  Half I’d thought of, or planned for my own daughters’ weddings, and the other half, which I’ll address in a future posts, I had not.

  1. Remember to have a can or two each of bug spray and sunscreen for guests.  Chances are you’ll spend at least some time outside, so take care of your guests. You can provide these items in either baskets in your outside venue or in the ladies room/gentlemans’ rooms.   Click on Ladies Room Baskets  or Men’s Room Baskets for more details.
  2. Consider ‘Fruit Centerpieces’ instead of flowers.  No wilting here!  Click on Fruit the New Garnish for more details.


3.  Consider personal fans for your guests, and better yet…make a wedding program into a fan.  I did this for my “Summer Wedding Daughter”  Click on, Program Fans for more details.


Mary P Karnes photos

4.  If you live in Southern California, you probably won’t have to worry about this next one… but if you like in the South, Midwest, or New England, take it to heart.  PREPARE FOR RAIN.  As you get within 10-14 days of your wedding, check the forecast, constantly.  If it looks like it could POSSIBLY rain, get a rain tent on hold.  Many companies have a “rain provision”.  This can include anything from making a deposit, and if it rains, the tent is yours for the remainder of the rental fee… but if you don’t use it, you are out your deposit — to renting a tent and making a gamble – i.e. you’re out the whole price of the tent.  If it looks like rain two days before, buy a couple of cute umbrellas for you and the groom.  Depending on your venue’s physical arrangement, you may want to purchase a few more for your guests.  It rained on daughter #2’s day… it happens…


Next time…a few more items I didn’t think of, but “” did, and advantages of summer and fall weddings…

photo #1 Hannah Colt Photos

Seven Ways to Surprise Your Groom

Seven Ways to Surprise Your Groom …  Remember, it’s not just about you, this is your groom’s wedding too!

How about gifting your groom with a “Groom’s Cake”?



What is a “Groom’s Cake”? You may ask.  Well, if you’d like to read more about it, click on the link “Groom’s Cake” and you will be directed to an earlier blog post that will inform you!  🙂  Just a little bit of a teaser…it’s usually a novelty cake that has special significance to the groom.


Feeling particularly romantic?  Write a special note to your groom that he can open right before the wedding ceremony.  But be sure to entrust it to someone reliable — maybe a female member of the wedding party or a relative.  Sometimes the groomsmen are not to be fully trusted…

And if you’re not feeling creative, there is always  The photo above if from an store- front.  I have long been a supporter of for economical, creative products.


If you’re a VERY indulgent bride, you may want to schedule a cigar station, some even sport a cigar roller.  While considered by some in the wedding world to be passe, it is still done.  A word of caution, however, this CAN break up the party, separating the men from the rest of the wedding guests.  Always a bit of a kill-joy.


How about splurging for an exotic car for your “Get Away”?  While pricey, it’s sure to be a hit with your groom if he likes cars, and what man doesn’t ?


Mary P Karnes photos

A sentimental touch would be to have a hanky made for your husband to be out of your wedding dress. Easy to acquire the material, if you’re having any hemming done to your dress.  The above photo is a hanky made from my daughter’s dress.  She gifted her father and grandmother these special mementos.  Thinking back, I think her husband would have liked one also…


Don’t forget to schedule a few “alone” moments with your new husband to relish this monumental occasion.  You’ll be glad you did.


And finally, number seven on the “Surprise” list… yes you’ll have decided the song you’ll dance to as your first as man and wife.  But how about a fun, unexpected song from your courting days?  Sure to earn a smile from your groom!

Men’s Powder Room Wedding Basket

I have posted a blog about “Powder Room Baskets” for the ladies – but never the men!  If  you’d like to read my post about the ladies’ baskets, click on the link: Powder Room Baskets  The gentlemen deserve “Men’s Poser Room Wedding Baskets” in their restroom as well as the ladies!


flickr photo sharing

Whatever you choose to place IN your powder room baskets, I highly suggest you buy single dose packets in bulk.  They can be purchased relatively inexpensively at locations such as Costco, Sam’s Club, or BJ’s Wholesale Stores.

Providing such amenities for  your guests gives a nice, gracious touch to your wedding.  Items you may want to include are:

  • Advil/pain reliever
  • individually wrapped mints
  • floss
  • tums
  • spray on deodorant
  • sanitizing gel
  • kleenex
  • bug spray (I recommend having several containers of this around your venue if you’re venturing outside)
  • bandaids
  • lint roller
  • “tide to go” stain remover
  • eye drops
  • room deodorizer
  • packaged combs
  • wisps
  • cough drops
  • men’s after shave??
  • static guard


DIY Crafts Ideas Magazine

How might you announce your generous bounty?  The sign below is quite cute.  It would work well in both men’s and ladies powder  rooms.



Wedding Party

Looking for a cute way to display your “Baskets”?  Well, your convenience items don’t have to be in baskets at all!  I love these baseball inspired containers.  I’m sure they’d be fairly simple to make, or you could order them on-line at  Be careful of putting too much on your plate.  While DIY projects are fun and creative – you just may not have enough hours in the day to make them.


You can always purchase some adorable glass jars such as the ones below to house your complimentary items.  The glass gives guests easy viewing.  Powder Room baskets are one item for your wedding that is a no-brianer.  The cost is low, but the enjoyment of your guests, high.