A “first look” is a term in the wedding industry where a few hours before the ceremony a bride and groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day. It is usually pre-arranged with their wedding photographer in a private place away from family and friends to capture that perfect moment just for them. Some couples do it to shake some nerves, spend more time with their bride or groom, or even an opportunity to maximize photo time. 

Many brides today are doing a “first look” with their father, and let me just say how much I love this idea. It is so important to take time and appreciate all that a father has done for his little girl. Through all the stress of wedding planning, and the nerves on your wedding day it’s so easy for time to escape from you. You forget to take in moments that would mean the world to you. Especially, perfect picture opportunities that you will treasure in your heart forever. For you and also your family.

When a child is born, so is a father. They raise you; they protect you; they teach you; they are your hero. A little girl will always hold a special place in a daddy’s heart. The day his little girl gets married is a day your father will be in tears. Not just because how beautiful you look all dolled up, or how stunning you look in a wedding gown, but because he is handing over his not so little girl to the man of her dreams. All the years a father raises his daughter and protects her it’s now a time he lets someone else take over that job. He was her hero, chauffeur, financial supporter, listener, life mentor, guardian, the “fixer-upper,” best friend, and simply when they needed a hug. A love lasts forever and so do memories.

A father teaches his daughter many lessons about what it means to truly love and experience this life. Daughters learn to love the way they were loved by their fathers. They had high hopes because fathers teach their daughters that love from another should be respectful, honest and encouraging. As a father, they teach so much more than a daughter could ever articulate. One day your father will walk his little girl down that aisle to another man, chosen in the image of how their father taught them to be loved. When they let go of their daughters' arm, they hope you know that their heart is molded in the shape of the love you showed them. 

 That is why it’s a great idea to take that memorable “first look.” You can even do it with your mom, both parents, a friend or family member, or whoever else means the world to you! From my own personal experience, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. On my wedding day, when my father and I did our “first look,” emotions piled over us. We laughed, cried, smiled, hugged, kissed, and cherished that moment just the two of us and of course the photographers, the videographers, my mom, and pretty much the whole bridal party! So much love surrounded us, and we enjoyed every second. But as a bride take those couple minutes and thank your special person for everything they have ever done for you. Let them take that moment to turn around all teary-eyed when they see you, and make sure to take in the biggest hug. Your father, or whoever that special person might be will forever be grateful for that moment, and you will forever treasure those pictures even in your older years.