Father and daughter first look during her wedding
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Father and daughter first look during her wedding

This moment not only highlights our unique approach to candid wedding photography, but also the excitement of a father and daughter's first look. As wedding photographers, it is our job to capture moments like these for you.

What is a father and daughter’s first look?

A father and daughter’s first look is the first time that the father sees his daughter in her wedding dress during the wedding day. A “first look” in general is a term used to describe the first time a member of the wedding party sees another member of the wedding party. The first look gained popularity in early 2004 according to google trends. There are a variety of first looks that can happen on a wedding day, with the most well know being the bride and groom first look. In past times, the first time that the father would see the bride is when he escorts her down the aisle, or she is coming down the aisle herself. With the father and daughter first look quickly gaining recognition, it now has become a key moment to be photographed during the wedding day.

Why is a father and daughter first look important?

If you are wondering why a father and daughter first look is important, here are several reasons why.


This is a moment that will be full of emotion such as laughter, joy, and maybe even some tears. It truly is something that should happen, but not always planned for. Years from now, when you look back upon your wedding photos, this is one of the many moments that you will cherish.

Once in a lifetime moment

This moment is truly a once in a lifetime moment and as such, carries a high significance. There is also symbolism to the father and daughter’s first look, just as there is when the father hands his daughter off during the wedding ceremony. These are moments that only happen once, after all, how many times does a father see his daughter in a wedding dress?


This important moment is surely to be emotional, and that is why the father and daughter’s first look should be photographed. During the wedding day, there is not a lot of time for the father and daughter to have a sentimental moment together once the day gets going. This is why this time works best for a few meaningful moments and sentimental words exchanged.

How to plan for a father and daughters first look

In order to have a successful father and daughter’s first look, you should certainly plan for it. If a father and daughter’s first look happens unexpectedly, such as him just walking into the brides suite without prior notice, no matter how beautiful the moment, chances are it will be missed on camera and on video. The moments do require just a small bit of planning, and once done, the moments unfold naturally. Here are some ideas for you!

Add it to your wedding timeline

The first step in a successful father and daughter’s first look is adding it to your wedding timeline. By doing this, you are intentionally setting aside time for not only this moment to occur, but to also be photographed.

Choose a good location

The next step is to make sure that you have a good location for this moment to unfold naturally. Here are some important things to keep in mind in order to choose the best location.


Having an adequate amount of space for this moment to unfold should be your first priority. An open area or room works best. This allows for a small bit of privacy for the father and daughter, but also working space for your photographers and videographers.


Although you do need an open space, you always want to make sure that you can prevent early sneak peeks by controlling the visibility. You can do this by turning either father or daughter a specific way, or using a door or wall control visibility. Be careful of doors with windows as they can easily be seen through and also allow for unplanned reflections.


You should aim for a decent amount of privacy for this moment to unfold naturally. A busy hotel lobby, while open, does not allow for privacy as people will be walking through. A patio at your wedding venue may suffice, however.


The last thing to keep in mind is lighting, you are looking for a location that has soft lighting, not the harsh sun. If outdoors during high noon is the only option, position the sun towards the brides back. Your wedding photographer should be able to help you choose the best location for this moment to take place.

Make sure your photographer is in the know

The last thing you want is for this meaningful moment to unfold, but not be photographed or captured on video. This is why it is so important to not only add it to your wedding timeline, but also to let your photographer/videographer know about this moment in advance. Once they know about the father and daughter’s first look, they can help find the best location for it to unfold and position themselves in the best location to document it. For the father and daughter’s first look, we recommend a team of 2 wedding photographers. By having a team of 2 wedding photographers, you have one that can focus on the father's reaction and one that can focus on the bride’s reaction.

Set the stage

It is very important to partially set the stage for this moment. What we mean by this is that both the father and daughter should have directions. One way we like to set the stage for a father and daughter first look, is to have the father face away in a good location and simply let him know to turn in the direction his shoulder is tapped on. We then tell the bride to tap him on that specific should. By doing this we are able to know exactly which way he will be turning and can pre-position ourselves for this moment.

Another example of setting the stage is by using a room that has a door. This example does require some help from the bridal party. Simply have the bride in a room with a closed-door that is non-see-through. Next, instruct the father the back into the room with his eyes closed, taking a set amount of steps, then turning around and opening his eyes. This option can make for great wedding photographs.

If you really want to experience these meaningful moments, but still want to keep the father and daughters first look for during the ceremony, there is still an option. What we would do in this situation is to position our bride in a good location facing one way and ask her to close her eyes. Next, we would have the father of the bride close his eyes, and back towards her until they are close. At this moment, the can share a few words together including words of encouragement. By closing the eyes of both father and daughter, the focus becomes truly on the words spoken, therefore making each word more meaningful, emotional, and impactful.

Choose our studio to document your father and daughters first look!

We would love to be considered and have photographed many father and daughter first looks during our journey as wedding photographers.

Location: 5138 Lyons View Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919.

Knoxville Wedding Photographer & Videographer - 8373 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919 - (865) 234-2580 - info@golightlystudios.com - Privacy Policy - Copyright © Golightly Studios