Wedding Planning Tips

June 16, 2019

The Father/Daughter First Look Wedding Tradition

Father Daughter First Look Expained

The Father/Daughter First Look on Your Wedding Day

You may have already read how doing a first look with your fiancé is a beautiful way to enjoy your day. But have you heard about doing a father/daughter first look? I’ve been seeing more and more couples include this in their day, and it’s always the sweetest.


What is it?

A father/daughter first look typically happens right after you finish getting ready. It’s the first time he sees you all dressed up, and it can be a really sweet, emotional moment. 

Bonus tip: this doesn’t have to only be between a father/daughter! You can do a first look with anyone in your family or life who holds special meaning to you. Sometimes it will be with both parents, a sibling or your whole immediate family. Setting aside a few minutes with those special people in your life can be so beautiful, and I’m always happy to add it into the timeline!

father daughter first look tidewater inn wedding photo

Where does it happen?

This depends a little on your venue. In general, I try to keep this first look relatively close to your getting ready location, or as soon as we arrive at the venue if photos are starting there. That way it’s a seamless, organic moment that doesn’t take much staging. 



What can I expect?

There are usually two ways this is set-up, depending on your venue and timeline. 

  1. You wait in a room or specific spot, and your dad/special person walks in when we tell them to. I give you two a minute to soak it all in!
  2. Your dad/special person is in a specific spot, and you walk into the room or walk up to them. Similar to a regular first look, you can either tell him/her to turn around, or you can walk up and tap him/her on the shoulder.


Both ways are so sweet, and usually the only reason I pick one over the other is due to logistics at that specific venue. And as I mentioned before, I love keeping this moment as natural as possible. The only staging I do is putting you in pretty light and making sure he/she doesn’t accidentally turn around and see you before I’m ready (and the videographer if you have one!)

father daughter first look Alexandria va wedding photo

How do I build this into the timeline?

Let your photographer and planner know you’re going to add a first look with someone special so they can add it to the timeline. Usually it only takes 5-10 minutes, but it’s nice to have a line on the timeline so we can make sure everyone is ready for it.


Any other tips?

I recommend letting your special person know where to be at what time. Emphasize that he/she should be fully ready at this time, since there will be photos! It can also be helpful to have a family ready to go get him if he or she is in a different room.

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