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        If you go back enough to the stories section of this site, you’ll see Eric and Jessica’s Engagement Session in Satwiwa National Park. Here we are now, on the other side of that time reflecting back on their Thousand Oaks Backyard WEDDING DAY!! It’s pretty freaking awesome to be able to travel back, and forward in time to an entire year of someone’s story. I love it.

        Thousand Oaks Backyard Wedding

        When I was first told that they’re doing a backyard wedding, I got butterflies in my stomach. I love backyards, I love the closeness of it all, and the memories it brings back to someone. It was a small wedding of their closest friends and family. The backyard has a view of Satwiwa National Park! That’s where the arch faced and it was beautiful, elegant, and simple. My favorite combo of everything.

        Jessica designed and created the invitation suits, it was so dang pretty. Eric wrote his vows on a book and then remembered all the words as he recited them to Jessica without needing to read off anything!

        Front Yard First Look Sweetness

        What’s a first look? It’s when you and your soon-to-be husband see each other BEFORE walking down the aisle. When your photographer sets your husband in a way facing the opposite direction you’re going to come from. And set you up so when you tap his shoulder, or count to three, or etc. he turns around and sees you, and you see him, for the first time on your wedding day. And then, after this, is when you walk down the aisle.

        Should I do a first look? This is 100% up to you. Do a first look if you want to do it. There’s no need to add stress in thinking about it. If you want to see your husband for the first time on your wedding day without 40+ eyes looking at you, DO IT. If you want to do it with everyone around because it’s tradition and everyone says that’s what you’re supposed to do, but you’re on the edge. THEN DO A FIRST LOOK instead, don’t listen to everyone else. AND, if you’re reading this and seething and thinking, I want to do the tradition because I want to and love that, THEN DO THAT! That’s okay, that’s beautiful, that’s you.

        Benefits of a first look?

        • You get extra bridal portraits time before ceremony
        • Can knock-out bridal party and family photos BEFORE the ceremony
        • Gives you more bridal portraits for after the ceremony (because this time is not being used for bridal party & family photos)
        • Gives you some intimate time with your husband/wife before the ceremony

        Eric and Jessica’s first look was filled with tears. It was so emotional and beautiful. I’m all for intimate first-looks because it takes the stress away from seeing each other for the first time in front of way too many people. I love intimacy, and this is just my take on it and what I have noticed with my couples who do it. But look (no pun-intended):

        I’m not arguing. I’m agreeing with you. The thing is, YOU ARE RIGHT. Whichever way you decide to go. You are right.

        Jessica and Eric did a first look, and they loved it. They were right in doing it because that’s what works for them. There’s no wrong way to go about doing your wedding day.

        That’s my two cents! Scroll down to see their beautiful wedding day, and their first look unfold.

        Thousand Oaks Backyard Wedding Ceremony and Reception set-up, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Wedding dress photo in Thousand Oaks Wedding, image by Fatima Elreda Photo wedding Invitation Suite and written vows, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride Jewelry, wedding rings and mother's earrings for wedding, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bouquet and vows with wedding ring, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Groom beige tux and darker gray vest, image by Fatima Elreda Photo First look in front yard of home during, image by Fatima Elreda Photo First look emotional feels during wedding day, image by Fatima Elreda Photo First look bride and groom hug, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Why do a first look during wedding day, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom hugging and crying during first look, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Thousand Oaks Backyard Wedding, image by Fatima Elreda Photo First look during Thousand Oaks Backyard Wedding, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Thousand Oaks Backyard Wedding First Look, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom at their backyard wedding in Thousand Oaks, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Front yard photo of bride and groom walking, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Backyard Wedding Ceremony Set Up, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride crying during vows, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Groom crying during his vows, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom laughing while groom places ring onto the bride's finger during ceremony, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom first kiss at Thousand Oaks backyard wedding, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Recessional of bride and groom during their Thousand Oaks backyard wedding, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bridesmaids and groomsmen photo, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bridesmaids and groomsmen photo prompt, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bridesmaids black and white photo with bride, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride portrait in Satwiwa National Park, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Groomsmen and Groomspeople photo at Satwiwa National Park, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom with a horse at Satwiwa National Park, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom portrait in Satwiwa National Park, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom laughing and smiling at each other, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Groom kissing bride's forehead during wedding day, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Groom carrying bride and kissing her, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Groom carrying bride and kissing her after wedding ceremony, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Groom kissing bride's neck during wedding day, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom walking in Satwiwa National Park, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Mother in law and grandma in law helping bride bustle the dress, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Wedding Cocktail Hour, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom kissing in front of their food truck (The Lime Truck) on their wedding day, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom in front of the Lime Truck on their wedding day, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom with their The Lime Truck food, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom portraits with their dog on their wedding day, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom dress and tuxedo details, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Tuxedo groom details, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom portrait with window pane shadows, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom portrait in their home with window pane shadows casting on their faces, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Wedding Ceremony Arch and reception during backyard wedding at sunset, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and her puppy at night during reception, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom first dance black and white, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom during their first dance black and white photo, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom dancing with their friends and family, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom cutting cake, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom dancing during their reception, image by Fatima Elreda Photo People dancing during wedding reception, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Groomslady dancing during wedding reception, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bridesmaids dancing during wedding reception, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Bride and groom dancing during wedding reception, image by Fatima Elreda Photo Small Wedding Cake with two deer, image by Fatima Elreda Photo