Trend We Love: First Look with Dad

From the walk down the aisle to the father-daughter dance, the wedding day is filled with special moments with dad. And now, more and more brides are opting for another special moment: a first look with dad!

We've always loved those photos where you can see Dad's misty-eyed first glance at his little girl all grown up in a wedding gown, so it makes sense for brides (and their photographers) to take it a step further and arrange a special first look with dad. Check out these two sweet shoots!

A Happy Family Reunion

While planning the wedding, Rhianna's family was hit with a huge blow. Her dad, who has been in the Army for 26 years, planned to retire. However, his retirement papers were rejected and, instead, he was deployed to Iraq.

"Once we realized he was not going to be in the country for our original wedding date, the prospect of planning a wedding kind of became pointless to me," said Rhianna. Rather than pulling together a wedding before the deployment or waiting another two years for his return, Rhianna and her husband, Patrick, went to a Justice of the Peace in November 2009. His parents acted as witnesses while hers listened over the phone. "It seemed like the perfect answer," said Rhianna. "However, I didn't realize how wrong it was going to feel. I cried through our vows, but not out of happiness. I cried because my family was missing. To make matters worse, my mom told me much later that my dad became teary-eyed and had to leave the room on the other end of the phone." 

Rhianna and Patrick had always planned to have a ceremony and reception when her dad returned, but once it hit her how much the ceremony would mean to her father, she became even more serious about planning it. She also planned a special first look to share with Dad. "I needed to have that moment with just the two of us so that he'd know how important he is to me," said Rhianna. "I needed him to know that his influence, guidance, and complete love for me is what allowed me to arrive at this perfect day. I would have given up on planning a wedding if it wasn't for my dad. I'm so thankful for that, because I would have missed out on a day I didn't even realize I needed so much—that my whole family needed so much," said Rhianna. "In the pictures of our first look, I think that's written over both of our faces."

"A relationship between a father and a daughter is so incredibly special, and to set up a moment where you can capture it clearly on film is absolutely priceless."

first look with dadfirst look with dadfirst look with dadfirst look with dadfirst look with dadfirst look with dadfirst look with dadfirst look with dad


Photo Credit: Cory Ryan Photography

A Special Moment With Dad

While Amanda and her husband Steven were adamant about not seeing each other before the ceremony ("In fact, the first words we spoke to each other on our wedding day were our vows!" Amanda said), she's always loved the sentiment of the first look. She decided to share that moment with the other most important man in her life, her dad. As an only child, Amanda has always been extremely close with her parents. "I knew my mother and I would spend the morning together getting dressed, and that would be 'our' time together." said Amanda. "Doing the first look with my dad just seemed like the perfect opportunity to spend some time with him before the ceremony."

The concept was new to Amanda's dad, who married her mom in the '70s. But once Amanda explained it, he was on board. "My dad is the best. He just wanted to know where to stand and what to do," said Amanda. His biggest concern? "It was very windy that day—I knew my dad would be worried about how his hair looked in the pictures!"

At the first look, Amanda was surprised by how emotional her dad became. "We have a very loving but jovial relationship, always laughing a joking. The last thing I expected him to do was cry, which caught me off guard and made the waterworks start up for me, too," said Amanda. "I guess it's always the most unexpected things that cause the most genuine feelings!"

first look with dadfirst look with dadfirst look with dadfirst look with dadfirst look with dad
Photo Credit: Bend the Light Photography

Tell us: Would you have a first look with dad?

—Kristen O'Gorman Klein