Good Morning and Happy Friday. For today's [FRAME], we're talking about first meets. Specifically, one of my favorite first meet stories that is sweet and laced with lots of emotion. This first meet happened during Nick and Stephanie's Wedding in downtown Des Moines at the uniquely industrial Teachout Building. Lets dive in. First meets are one of my favorite moments during a wedding day hands down. Often times, they are beautiful moments of elation as a couple sees each other for the first time on their wedding day. Large smiles and hugs are the norm when it comes to these things, but sometimes a first meet will go down the path of the unexpected and yield something much more special...such is the case with Nick and Stephanie.
The morning was moving along beautifully and we had just gotten Stephanie into her dress. We all stood back to admire the beautiful bride that stood before us. She then turned to take a look at herself in the mirror and began to fall to pieces.
"Does this look good? What's this odd crease here? Does it look like I have a pudgy stomach? You think Nick will like this?" she asked.
The questions were coming out rapid fire and both the bridesmaids and I were doing our best to reassure her that despite her obvious concerns, she did look amazing. Finally, Stephanie turned and said, "I'm just really nervous and want this part to be over. I just hope I can go through with it, I think I'm freaking out."
"What will help you feel better?" I asked.
"Some music perhaps," she said, "maybe some Sky Full of Stars."
So, I took out my phone and started streaming the song for her with the help of the hotel ice bucket to amplify the sound. The room soon filled with melodic tones and the visual change in her temperament was immediate. She began to relax and breathe again — it seems like the anxiety was passing over her. We all took a big sigh of relief as we had gotten over what seemed like a large hurdle. However, time was running short now. The sudden anxiety attack had set us back a little so I reminded her that we needed to keep moving forward if the rest of the day was going to flow smoothly. "Ok," she said, "lets do it." Stephanie then did one last face check in the mirror and headed out the door to do the first meet and see her groom.
The first meet was in a pre-determined location at the Des Moines Teachout Building. We had chosen a little office tucked in the back of the reception space because of it's uniquely distressed wall and large window that flooded light into the room. I walked in and Nick was already waiting for me.
"Hey, how are we doing?" he asked. I responded, "Great, just had a little last minute anxiety, but we're doing good now. Stephanie's ready to see you."
So, I positioned Nick and walked through how the first meets usually work. I informed him that Stephanie would walk up behind him, touch him on the shoulder, and then he could turn around to have whatever reactions came naturally. I then left the room to find Stephanie and told her the same. The stage was set and everything was about to get underway.
Stephanie moved to where Nick was standing and took a brief pause before slowly approaching him — her hands clenched as the nerves once again took hold. She reached out and tapped Nick on the shoulder, but as soon as her fingertips made contact, she said, "Nope! No, no, no!" then turned and took off as fast as her wedding day heels would carry her. Nick stood, stunned, and quickly shot me a glance as if to say, what's going on?
"Hang on a minute man. She's nervous. I got this," I said as I took off after Stephanie.
I caught her in the hallway — where she stood hyperventilating and on the verge of tears. She said, "I'm so nervous! I hope he likes me and my dress! I just don't think I can do this."
"Stephanie," I said, "you look absolutely stunning. There's no way he's not going to like it. Besides, it's the person inside the dress that counts. You can do this. The first meets are just like a rollercoaster — right now you are climbing that big hill and you're almost at the top. As soon as you see him, you're going over that hill and you will feel so much better...trust me. Treat this whole thing like pulling off a bandaid, you just gotta do it."
Stephanie swallowed her fear and moved back into the room with Nick. "Ok, for real this time," I said. Stephanie moved in once again and tapped Nick on the shoulder, but her reaction was the same as the time before. She panicked and began to back away, but this time Nick was ready. He quickly turned to see his bride and ran right in for a hug. He began to whisper into her ear and while I'm not sure what he said, but it must've done the trick because in an instant, Stephanie relaxed and the two just stood their holding each other as if time itself was standing still.
After the long hug was over and the tears had been wiped away, I asked Stephanie how she felt. "So much better," she said. "I'm sorry I'm a nervous wreck, but thank you." "Anytime," I said with a smile. We then carried on with the wedding day and, in all honesty, it was one of the most amazingly emotional and epic weddings that I've ever been a part of. I owe it all to these two great people.
Thank you for reading and Happy Friday. Cheers!