The "First Look" Moment They Always Wanted...10 Years Later
October 18, 2016
California
Summer Weddings
Brian and Alanna have a love story for the books. These high-school sweethearts wed the summer after graduation but dreamed of an anniversary that involved one key moment missing from their wedding day...a first look. “All I want for our ten-year anniversary is for Brian to see me in a wedding dress for the first time," Alanna said. Jenna Joseph, Miguel GarciaMegan Dileen, and Kacee Geoffroy made their dreams come true and Brian's reaction to his bride in the perfect white ballgown? Priceless.
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From Jenna Joseph Photography“All I want for our ten-year anniversary is for Brian to see me in a wedding dress for the first time.” These are the words a dear friend and fellow photographer spoke to me when she approached me nearly a year before her ten year anniversary arrived.

Brian and Alanna were high school sweethearts. In fact, they fell in love at the very high school I attended. We were never close friends during that time in our lives, but with a student body of roughly 150 from freshman to senior year, you can bet we all knew everyone’s faces and names who walked through those halls. We all knew each other’s surface-level stories, and the one thing everyone remembered about Alanna and Brian was that they were inseparable through the years. It was no surprise to our classmates when they posted on social media (likely MySpace at the time) that they had an intimate wedding the summer immediately following their graduation. We all adored them, so much so that they were not only nominated as Homecoming King and Queen, but again at prom as Prince and Princess. We applauded from afar their decision to wed, despite our young age.

Years passed, but social media kept Alanna and I connected. She started to become a huge proponent to my growing photography business. She was constantly referring some of my favorite wedding clients to me and eventually joined my team as an intern. Alanna now runs a successful business of her own as a birth photographer, so you can bet that her newfound love for photography and growth as an artist has led her to desire those beautiful images of her own wedding. She and Brian were fresh out of high school when they first said “I do,” so they planned it quickly and focused more on their future together than all of the small details. This time around, she wanted to celebrate and incorporate a few of the things she didn’t get the opportunity to initially. That is what led Alanna to ask me to photograph her anniversary session, and I was honored.

Her initial idea was simply to wear wedding attire and go to a beautiful place for photographs. Then I thought to myself, “This could be so much more.” I envisioned an entire styled wedding just like what we wedding creatives usually do to update our portfolios or seek out PR through collaboration and published work. “Why can’t we simply put together a unique styled shoot specific to Alanna and Brian and simply drop them in as the bride and groom models to bless them?” Rather than sending over a booking proposal, I decided to make this a gift to her and so did 13 additional talented vendors. I was blown away at the response we received when seeking out a team with our planner and stylist Megan Dileen Events, who pulled together the details flawlessly in a way that truly represented Brian and Alanna.

It was an incredible experience to be a part of something bigger than just art. We got to make a dream come true that was ten years in the making, and seeing Brian turn and look into his bride’s eyes for the first time in a designer wedding dress was the best moment of it all.

From Megan Dileen EventsAs soon as Jenna shared Alanna and Brian’s story, I knew I wanted to be a part of their anniversary shoot! As a wedding planner, I’ve seen many beautiful first looks, but nothing prepared me for the moment Brian turned to see his wife of 10 years standing in a breathtaking Hayley Paige wedding dress. Needless to say, there was not a dry eye present!

Inspired by Alanna’s wish for romantic photos in the forest, I wanted to feel as though we were catching a glimpse of an intimate dinner in the woods with a picnic at sunset. The beautiful woods at Pine Rose set the scene for a whimsical table of beaded organza, lush florals and elegant silver rimmed glassware. Antique bistro chairs and blush dupioni napkins tied with velvet ribbon completed the look. We couldn’t resist popping a bottle of bubbly before heading up the hill to the most picturesque lookout where the couple was greeted with a picnic basket designed by Gaspara Flora.

Modern Bouquet adorned the ceremony gazebo with loose, organic floral arrangements to highlight the natural beauty of the pine boughs. Standing under the arbor in her gown of flowing tulle and delicate lace, Alanna was a vision straight of a fairytale! A sweet ending to the day was Laura Marie Cake’s dreamy anniversary cake marbled in shades of blush and rose gold perched atop luxe rose velvet.