top of page
  • Writer's pictureElena Gera

Why do a First Look with your Dad?

Updated: Dec 25, 2023

Many brides choose to have a First Look with their dads instead of the groom, whom they will see later on the aisle. The dad is led into a getting-ready room right after the bride is fully dressed. The dad's eyes are closed, or he stands with his back to the approaching daughter, and then he turns around... and is awestruck! I can bet that, for some fathers, it's the 'aha' moment when they realize their precious baby is now a grown-up woman, and they are about to give her to another man!

I didn’t have my dad around to take me to the aisle. Honestly, I didn’t have him around for much of my life. My parents divorced when I was three, and I hardly remember the man I resemble so much, not only in facial features but also in other not-so-great qualities like the ability to hold my liquor or the inability to control my temper. My dad was not there to help me pack for college, to stand by me in an abusive relationship, and he was not there to celebrate my achievements. Because this is what dads are for. They are such a vital part of a daughter’s life!

Daddy-daughter dance

This is probably why I am so touched when I witness the special bond some of the brides have with their fathers. Witnessing and photographing the moment a father sees his daughter in her wedding gown reminds me why I love my job so much!

I see tears and hugs, and it’s hard to hold tears myself!

Some brides even share complicated hand-shakes they invented when they were little :-)

First Look with Dad is such a joyful moment, and I can’t recommend enough for a bride-to-be to have it in her BIG day plan!

I envy the young women with a strong bond with their dads. Father's love creates a no-nonce, stable, and secure universe for them. These girls become confident and loving women, and I only have a glimpse of their unique world at weddings.

(Samantha's father in the last pic tells her newlywed husband - "You hurt my daughter - I am coming after you! :-) Maybe his toast was about something else. I can't remember now, but this is how I read this picture!)




I am Elena, a documentary-style wedding, engagement, and surprise proposal photographer in East Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina!

My style is relaxed, playful, and evocative. I value connection, joy, authenticity, and true colors.


I help couples who want candid shots and cherish raw emotions!

Please get in touch with me if you have any questions or to check availability. 

bottom of page