"You don't have to feel like you have to react in any certain way," I told Kyle, the groom who was about to see his bride, "This is your wedding, your bride, so just do whatever feels right for you." Days before their wedding, Ali and Kyle, flew to Atlanta, GA to be sealed in the Atlanta LDS temple. Now they were standing in a green field neighboring the cute church down the street from where Ali grew up, ready for their First Look.
Kyle was nervous. He'd loved Ali for years and now wanted to give her the reaction she'd been hoping for. He didn't need to be worried. The moment he turned around and saw Ali in her lace, long-sleeved, gown, his eyes softened and you could see him melt. This was the woman of his dreams. This was his bride! They hugged, laughed, danced, and made crazy faces at each other (typical of these two) and proceeded to take some of the most stunning pictures.
To top it off, these two got to take photos in Ali's grandpa's 1961 Corvette. Prior to Ali's grandpa's passing, her dad fixed up the old sports car and made it better than it'd ever been so they could take one last ride as father and son. The car is beautiful, but more beautiful is the memory it helps carry of a man who lived his life in the most generous, kind, and heroic way possible. He'd been the officiator at all his grandkids wedding, except Ali. But his spirit was strongly felt when we brought around that car. We knew this is what he would've wanted and that he'd be there witnessing the whole thing.
Ali and Kyle are great examples of how you can still have the most important people and parts of your wedding even if it doesn't look exactly the way you'd pictured it.