Sydney First Look In Detail – Naulu Q & A


Q and A with Joanne and Bill on their First Look Experience.

SHE SAID

Had you ever heard of a first look prior to Samantha Ohlsen suggesting it?
No

Why did you choose to do a first look? 
I was really against the idea at first but as I thought about it more it actually made a lot of sense in our situation. Having so many close family members who have passed away I was worried about how emotional the day would be. I thought it would be good to get some of that emotion out of the way while with just Bill and me there. We chose the cemetery because I really wanted to visit my family graves the day of the wedding. It turned out to be a perfect location – private, secluded and quiet.

Did you have any reservations prior in doing a first look compared to the traditional groom sees bride first at the alter?
Once I had decided we wanted to do this I was more worried what other people would think. I actually didn’t tell anyone until the week of the wedding. My mum was ok with it after I explained why we were doing a First Look. She also thought it was lovely that we were going to visit the graves at the same time.

What was it like as you arrived and you could see the back of Bill but not his face?
I was surprised about how nervous I was. It is a bit of a surreal moment. You know what you are there for but it’s hard to know how to feel at the same time.

What was it like as you walked towards him?
It felt like a very long walk (although Sam says I walked very fast!).

What was it like when you finally saw him for the first time?
I had never seen a look like that on Bill’s face before. It seemed to be a mix of shock and excitement and joy. It was nice to see that close up and experience an emotion I had never experienced from Bill. He is quite a shy person and I don’t think I would have got such raw emotion if he was in front of a crowd.

What was it like immediately afterwards?
It was quite a sweet moment. Quiet. We didn’t really know what to do at first but it wasn’t long before I was trying to fix his tie and suit. We’re not the most romantic pair!

What was it like to visit the graves of your brother, father, and step father after the first look?
I’m glad we did that. The florist found out about the plan beforehand and had made a bouquet for the grave to match my wedding flowers. That was a nice surprise. It was emotional of course but it gave me a chance to experience all that sad feelings about my family who wouldn’t be there at the wedding, especially my brother, so the rest of the day we could talk about it without getting too overwhelmed.

Naulu Mosman Wedding

An emotional moment for the bride as she visits her brother and father’s grave before the wedding ceremony.

Was the First Look a special moment in your wedding day?
Definitely. Everyone tells you the day will go fast and it did. Bill and I didn’t really get any time alone during the rest of the day so this was a really special moment for us and one of the best memories I have of the day.

What was your favourite part?
Just being alone together and being able to stop for a minute. It was the only time on the day where I was able to be truly present and just enjoy the moment without worrying about what was going on around me.

Did it make the moment you saw each other at the wedding aisle any less special due to doing a first look?
Maybe. It’s hard to say. Things were so rushed once we got to the church, there were so many distractions that I don’t know that I would have remembered to focus and enjoy that moment and without the First Look I would have been disappointed about that.

Were there any practical benefits to having a First Look?
We got the chance to take alot of photos. As we had a set timeframe in mind for the post ceremony photos this allowed us the opportunity to get additional shots that we otherwise would not have got.

Did Samantha do or say anything at or leading up to the First Look make it more special?
On the whole you gave us enough information so everything ran smoothly, you had all the logistics worked out so we only really had to turn up and get started!

Did my (or my team’s) presence at the first look detract from the overall experience?
I didn’t really notice you there. You were far enough away that it didn’t intrude on the moment. We did have a couple of on-lookers who had been walking their dog through the cemetery. I didn’t mind that either though.

Would you recommend it to other friends?
Yes definitely.

Do you have an overall testimonial quote that I could use summarising your first look experience?
I considered myself a bit of a traditionalist so at first it was hard to get my head around the idea of a First Look. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that in our situation there were a lot of practical reasons why it made sense.  Wedding planning also seems to turn into a bit of a panel discussion and this was the one decision Bill and I made which was ours alone. I’m really happy we did a First Look. It was such a beautiful moment and gave us some time out to just enjoy each other in what was otherwise a whirlwind day. I can’t imagine anyone would regret doing a First Look, I can imagine people regretting not doing one though so to anyone considering this, I’d say go for it!

Any final comments?
A great experience.

HE SAID

Had you ever heard of a first look prior to Samantha Ohlsen suggesting it?
Nope.

Did you have any reservations prior in doing a first look compared to the traditional groom sees bride first at the alter?
 Not really. Seeing the bride for the first time at the altar is an Australian tradition, I’m Fijian, so it’s not part of our tradition. I was open to it once Jo decided she’d like it.

What was it like as you waited with your back turned for Joanne to arrive?
It was scary and exciting at the same time.

What was it like when you heard her approaching?
I was nervous. My heart was pounding a million miles an hour.

What was it like when she finally you tapped you on the shoulder and you turned around?
It was exciting and was really emotional. I was taken aback by the emotion of it. It was unexpected.

What was it like immediately afterwards?
With no one around you can just relax and enjoy the moment. If it was at church it would have been different. I wouldn’t have been able to show the same emotion in front of my friends.

Was the First Look a special moment in your wedding day?
It was nice to have the time by ourselves and be able to take time out with each other and relax. The rest of the day you are worrying about everyone else.

What was your favourite part?
My favorite part was turning around and seeing Jo in her dress. She looked beautiful. Breathtaking and we had that moment to ourselves.

Did it make the moment you saw each other at the wedding aisle any less special due to doing a first look?
Not at all. No it was still a special moment because that time it was with everyone, all our family and friends. It was less scary because we had had the First Look.

Were there any practical benefits to having a First Look
Yes, it helped get some of the nerves out of the way.

Did anything Samantha do or say; at, or leading up to the First Look make it more special or make it worse?
She said to just to relax and enjoy the moment. Don’t over think stuff. That was really helpful.

Did Samantha’s presence at the first look detract from the overall experience?
No, it made me more comfortable. If Samantha hadn’t been there I wouldn’t have known what to do. Having someone to talk to before Jo arrived helped me to relax and I was grateful for that.

Would you recommend it to other friends?
Yes, just because it takes the edge off the day.

Do you have an overall testimonial quote that I could use summarising your first look experience?
Doing a “First Look” was such a special moment.

Any other info that you think should be passed onto other brides or grooms considering a first look?
Don’t overthink it. Just do it. You’ll enjoy it.

Any final comments?
Make sure you take a handkerchief with you for you and your bride, it’s emotional!!

Naulu Mosman Wedding

A special First Look for this shy groom. It was amazing to see his expression when he saw his bride for the first time.