These are real photos of grooms seeing their brides for the first time on their wedding day:
I officiated my brother Jeremy’s wedding to his darling Danielle earlier this year, and I got choked up standing there as I watched him get choked up taking in the beatific vision of his bride appearing at the end of the aisle, her father at her side, about to take the steps to give her away. It immediately took me back to that June day sixteen years ago when I saw Becky appear in her bridal gown. Seeing her again in that moment was seeing her for the first time.
You can’t recapture that moment, of course, but you can. The dad’s advice to his son in Proverbs 5:18-19 seems to assume so. Sometimes I look at my wife all these years later — quite often, actually, and I promise I’m not trying to brag, because it honestly says more about her than about me — and think “Good Lord, how did this beautiful person get made? And how did she wind up in the closest proximity to me possible?” Right before I got married, as I talked to my own dad about marriage, I made a joke, saying, “Well, what if I fall out of love?” And my dad quipped right back, “Then you fall right back in.” Falling out of love with my wife has not been easy, by God’s grace and her loveliness, and being intoxicated with her love has. But it was still good advice.
And there is an echo here and also a foretaste. I see these photos, think of my wedding day, the wedding days of others, the desire and imperative to be intoxicated for all time (for better or worse, in richness and in poorness, in sickness and in health, til death do us part) and I see an echo of Adam laying eyes on Eve for the first time:
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
The first song ever sung (by man, anyway) is a love song. Smitten by the vision of his bride for the first time, music erupts from his mouth. And there is the foretaste in this moment and every groom spotting his bride in her virginal white, as the bridal march whips up, all the stops out, of Christ the Bridegroom presenting we his Bride to himself at the end of days. Dazzling in the reflection of his own glory, cloaked in the virgin white of his own righteousness given freely to us, the culmination of the lavishing of the riches of his own grace draws near. At last. And forever. For Christ and his Bride will have this moment of rapturous wedding joy for all eternity. The Lamb will receive the reward of his suffering, and of his love — the infinite worshipful devotion of his spotless bride.
[A]s the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.
— Isaiah 62:5b
Sources for photos, in order: andrialindquistblog.com, sabado.pt, featherandstone.com.au, denisebovee.net, blog.thebecker.com, jpweddingphoto.com, greenweddingshoes.com, msbridalguru.com, michellenewellphotography.com, stylemepretty.com, greenweddingshoes.com, joielala.com