3 First Sight Photos: Guests and Grooms Catch Their First Glimpse of the Bride

Whether staged or spontaneous, these unique first sight photos are equally sweet.

For some, it's the best part of the wedding: the moment the bride first appears. Every guest stands to watch her as she walks down the aisle, admiring her dress, her hair — everything about her. While that moment has become a significant part of the modern wedding ceremony, many couples choose to see each other for the first time before the wedding festivities even begin. Not only is it a great photo opportunity, but it also allows the couple a special moment that's all their own.

But not all first sight photoshoots are done between the couple. Some couples choose to do first-sight photos with other special people in their lives besides their significant other. Whether it’s to capture the moment forever or to ease those pre-wedding jitters, these brides discuss what that moment meant to them.

Photos by Talia Nelson Photography


Bonding Bridesmaids
When it came time to plan her wedding with Brennan Thrower on May 13, Cari knew that she wanted to capture a special moment with the friends that had always been by her side: her bridesmaids.

To avoid seeing the attendants before she was in her dress, two members of Cari's family were the only ones who helped her get ready. “I loved having just my mom and sister-in-law get me into my wedding gown,” she says. “It made that process so special to me.”


After she was ready, it was time for Cari to see her bridesmaids. “We laughed and we cried with so much excitement for the day,” she says.

The bride loved taking these photos as an opportunity to celebrate her relationship with her bridal party. “My bridesmaids mean so much to me so I loved sharing that time with them," Cari says.


Photos by Joey Kennedy Photography


A Fatherly First Look
Bethany Narey and her father have always been very close, so when it came time for her to marry Chase Lampl on June 4, Bethany wanted to make sure her special day also celebrated her relationship with the man who had raised her.

The couple’s photographer, Joey Kennedy, suggested that Bethany and her father have a first look photoshoot. “The first look with my dad was such an overwhelming experience in the most special way,” Bethany says. What started out as a cute photo op ended up being one of her favorite moments from the day.


“There was so much happiness and joy sharing that moment with him and I can say it was the first time that I felt like a bride and a daughter all in the same moment,” she says. “I will cherish his reaction and the way I felt for the rest of my life.”


Photos by Amber Marie Photography


Breaking & Keeping Tradition
The tradition of not seeing the bride before the wedding has become slightly outdated with the popularity of first-sight photos. However, when Rachele Palmieri and Jon Wilen planned their wedding for May 29, they had a first-sight photoshoot in keeping with a different tradition.

Rachele and Jon’s traditional Jewish wedding called for a ceremony called the Ketubah before the actual wedding ceremony. “During the Ketubah ceremony, Jonny and I were joined with our Rabbi, immediate family and our many aunts and uncles for an intimate, traditional service,” says Rachele. “Jonny and I were going to be together, sitting at a table during this service and there isn't a processional prior to this service, so we felt like a first look would give us that moment to stand in awe of each other before the Ketubah ceremony.


“A first look also allowed us to take our bridal party and family pictures before the wedding so that after the ceremony we could join our guests for the cocktail hour and reception without any interruption.”

But besides logistical reasons, Rachele and Jon wanted to document what would become the most meaningful moment of their special day. “There was no greater feeling than being held by my soon-to-be husband after we saw each other on our wedding day,” Rachele says. “It was like all our nerves subsided and it was pure joy and unity from that moment forward.”

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