Google+ Southern Traditions: A "First Look" with Dad - Southern Weddings

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When I got married (a little over three years ago), most people weren’t even considering doing a “first look.” My how things change so quickly! While I am a fan of the stunning, emotional images that a first look can help achieve, I am an old soul, and pretty traditional when it comes to weddings. Unsurprisingly, BDK and I opted not to see each other before our ceremony. For us, this was definitely the right decision.

As y’all may know, most Southerners are “Daddy’s girls,” so this sweet tradition that we’ve been seeing is a perfect solution! Want those emotional “first look” photos without actually seeing your beau before the wedding day? Let your daddy step in!

Jason Mize, next two Ray Anthony, Dixie Pixel, Julie A. Whitlock

Y’all, these images could bring a tear to the driest eye!

Emily and I are both huge fans of this sweet twist! The moment when a father first sees his daughter in her wedding gown can be a very emotional and memorable moment. Especially when, as in the photo by Dixie Pixel above, his daughter chooses to wear his wife’s wedding gown! Though a wedding day is focused on the bride and groom, we love when a bride takes a few minutes to spend with just her father.

Special thanks to Moment Junkie, where we found several of these images! Check out their blog for many more moving wedding photographs.

Will you be having a “first look” or did you do a “first look” with your groom — or your Dad? What do you think of this new twist on the tradition?

Dixie Pixel is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Megan reply

    I am definitely planning on doing a first look with my Daddy before the ceremony..with lots of tissues in hand! Just looking at those pictures above made me grab for a kleenex!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Megan! I’m so glad to hear that! I am sure the photos will be amazing, but most important it will be an incredibly special moment for you two! xx, MAK

  2. avatar NatalieG reply

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea!!! I had not heard of doing this….I am so excited to surprise my Daddy!!! <3

  3. avatar Erin reply

    AAAAAANd I started crying just LOOKING at these pictures! You guys!!!!

  4. avatar Lisa reply

    Oh my goodness, this is the sweetest thing!! These pictures are so beautiful!

  5. avatar Annie reply

    Oh my lord, this is the sweetest thing ever! When my husband and I were planning the wedding, my dad couldn’t even talk about the father-daughter dance song (“My Girl” by the Temptations) without having to excuse himself because he was so emotional. On the actual day he got teary several times but held it together well, too.

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Aw! That is so sweet, Annie! It’s such a proud, and emotional moment for fathers! I’m sure yours was so happy!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Annie, this is so going to be my Dad. I’m a little nervous just thinking about it!!

  6. avatar Latrice reply

    this is so precious & I think more brides will definitely do this!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

  7. avatar Madelynne Miller reply

    OMYGOSH. Heart just melted. My dad looks at me that way every time I model my gown for him :)

  8. avatar Michelle reply

    My first look with my dad was one of my favorite memories of my wedding day.

    When I walked down the staircase he started to lose it! Fearing I would lose it too, I started singing his favorite song, 2011- The USC Gamecocks fight song (yes, I sang it). Being that he is a former football coach, I told him it was “game time” for both of us and we were getting ready for a big win :)

    He smiled, laughed, and cried all at the same time. It was perfect.


    PS: We got married on the day of the Carolina vs. Clemson game – so there were two big wins that day!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      What a great memory, Michelle! As a big football fan myself, I bet this was awesome! And, wow def a big football day to get married! xx, MAK

  9. avatar Lindsay{LCVintage} reply

    Aww, I love those! I did a first look with my Dad and it was so cute.

  10. avatar Katie reply

    My eyes are brimming with tears! I sure hope nobody comes into my office to ask me anything. My fiance and I are totally against doing a first look ourselves–call me old fashioned but that’s how I’ve felt since I was about five years old. I definitely plan on doing a first look with my dad. Considering that he seemed more excited than I was to show off my engagement ring the following morning at church (and trust me, that had to be A LOT of excitement), his emotions on the actual Big Day will probably be out of control, so I know it will be incredibly special and memorable.

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Katie! I agree, I was a very traditional bride, but this is such a sweet solution. And I bet your dad will be so happy you are taking the time to spend with him during such a special day! xx, MAK

  11. avatar Nancy Ray reply

    Oh my word, I’m tearing up over here! That last one is just precious!
    I have a Daddy First Look photo from my wedding day and it’s one of my favorites. Such sweetness!

  12. avatar Emily reply

    My mom says dad can’t even talk to her about my wedding without getting choked up, so I know he’ll make this a great photo. No matter how old I get he’ll still be my Daddy!

    A comprimise on the first look with the groom though is the photos I’ve seen of the bride and groom each on a side of a solid door holding hands and not looking at each other. I love them.

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  15. avatar joy reply

    Love the twist on this. I would also like to mention that it’s not only southern girls that are “Daddys’ Girls.” =) The photos are precious……………great way to capture those special, emotional, happy moments.

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Joy! Of course! I’m not technically a Southern girl myself, but I do love my Dad :)

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  20. avatar Amanda reply

    These pictures are beautiful and really capture the emotions! We haven’t decided if we are doing a first look with my fiancé. I wish I could get these pictures. My dad passed 10 years ago and this aspect is the hardest part. Thank you for sharing the pictures! Beautiful!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Amanda! I’m sorry to hear about your dad – I know that must be very difficult for you. I’m sure he would be so proud to know you now, and I’m sure he will be looking down on you smiling on your wedding day. xx

  21. avatar Ayako reply

    Amazing pictures! Brought tears into my eyes. I so wish I had picture like that with my dad. My photographer was no show on my wedding. What a memory right? ;..(

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  32. avatar Erica reply

    I LOVE all of these pictures!! I have started taking pictures and my first wedding shoot is next weekend. The Bride-to-be wants a lot of pictures of her and her daddy. This Is a great idea of taking a picture of the first time the dad sees his dauhter, My daddy passed away seven months ago and I know just how special my picturesof me and my daddy are and will always be from my wedding.

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