I get this question all of the time from both brides and grooms: Where should we have our first look? Are any spots better than others at the mansion?
The truth of the matter is that there’s no wrong answer. The mansion and its grounds are gorgeous all year round. However, I do think it’s important that our couples take a moment to decide what location on the grounds or inside the mansion that they love the most. Do they want to take advantage of the elegant stairway inside, or take to the outdoors where they can find blooming flowers? With that in mind, I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures of our couples during their first looks. Hopefully, this will help inspire some of our future couples and help them decide where they want to share some of their very special moments together!
The Carriage Drive
I absolutely love the old carriage drive, which was the original path up to the mansion. These days, it’s lined with gorgeous trees and framed by a mossy, stone wall. During the autumn, this area is awash in fall foliage. During spring and summer, it’s abundantly green. It’s the perfect place for any couple that wants to feature nature as part of their first look. Here, Stephanie and Jimmy share a moment together right after their first look during their June wedding.
The Front of the Mansion
What better way to celebrate a mansion wedding than to have it as the backdrop for your first look? The front of the mansion is timeless, and can make for truly elegant pictures. Our couples love doing “the dip” shot in front, and I love how many of our couples use our cedars and drive to help frame the perfect picture. Here, Kendall and James share a kiss immediately after their first look in front of the mansion. The moment was truly magical.
The Cedar Trees
An elegant line of cedar trees can be found adjacent to our sweeping vista, providing shade and natural beauty for our couples. These trees are green all year round, which makes them perfect for a first look during the winter or early spring for couples. They help frame couples during their first look, and the trees can give couples a sense of seclusion and intimacy. Here, Cassandra is just moments away from surprising her husband-to-be, Joseph, during their May wedding.
Where do I even start with the Vista? There are so many amazing places here! In the summer, the hydrangeas make for a gorgeous backdrop for any photos. The sweeping lawn itself is also an
amazing space for photos, whether couples decide to use the back of the mansion as their backdrop or the opposite end of the vista. Rennie and Jonathan decided to use the back of their mansion as their backdrop for their first look this past June.
The Tennis Pavilion
My favorite season for the tennis pavilion is during late June and through the summer, since that’s when the roses are in bloom. These winding vines, filled with color, are perfect for couples who are looking for a floral backdrop during their first look.
Within the mansion is a royal blue carpeted stairway that leads upward toward the bridal suite. Since it turns slightly, this stairway can create some
absolutely gorgeous shots for your first look. It’s the perfect spot if you’re worried about rain, or want to take advantage of having the mansion for the day! Here, Emily stands at the top of the stairs as Jesse waits below. I absolutely loved working with this couple, and everyone pulled together to help make their special day happen!
No matter where you decide to have your first look, it’s sure to be spectacular. This is a moment for you and your future spouse to take a moment together and see one another before your ceremony without the rest of your guests. I hope this helps our future couples decide where they would like their first look to be, and which location best fits their personalities!