Grooms Reveal What They Were Thinking When They Saw Their Spouses-To-Be

The men describe what was going through their heads during this emotional wedding moment.

One the most anticipated moments of the wedding day is when the couple sees each other all dressed up for the first time. In their reactions, you can see all of the love, joy, gratitude and pent-up excitement.

Some couples opt for a first look, others get ready together and others wait until the ceremony for the big reveal. Regardless of what direction the couple goes, you can count on this moment to be a beautiful one.

We asked 22 grooms to share what was going through their mind when they saw their spouse-to-be for the first time on the big day. Here’s what they told us.

"I played a lot of sports growing up and was big into visualizing how a game would unfold. From the moment we chose our wedding venue, I started visualizing what that walk down the aisle would be like. Every time I imagined it, I felt the power and emotion of the moment, but nothing could prepare me for the real thing. When I saw my bride appear at the top of the staircase that led down to the aisle, I was overcome with emotion. She was absolutely stunning in her white dress radiating against all the greenery of the venue. I thought about everything we had been through over the years and how it all led to this moment. The wedding was real. Our love was real. I was going to marry the love of my life and nothing could ever feel so right." — David G.
"My best friend, my love, my everything. She looks absolutely perfect! I can't believe that she chose ME. I must be the luckiest man alive." — Xavier
"We were a bit untraditional on our wedding day, as we decided to get ready and spend the entire day together. This photo is the first time my now-husband saw me fully dressed in my suit prior to the ceremony. He is always quite concerned when any tie is a bit out of line so it made me smile when he told me I looked 'great,' gave me a quick kiss and immediately reached out to make sure that my tie was suitable." — Tim Eaker
"The moment that my wife Kayla started walking down the stairs, all the emotions started flowing. I don’t even think it was because of how beautiful she looked, because she looks beautiful every day. At that moment, all of the memories of us together started rushing through my head. I couldn’t help but think of how far we had come, all of the obstacles we had to battle and how much I absolutely loved her. On top of all of that, the song we had playing was a very special song composed by her late uncle, and hearing those notes just opened the flood gates." — David Lee
"I had an image of what I thought she might look like, standing there in her wedding dress, but seeing her smiling in front of me in this moment blew all of my expectations out of the water. All of the waiting and planning and desire to begin my life with her became real in front of me in the form of this stunning woman I get to call my bride. I was beyond elated at her beauty and I was humbled that this incredible woman chose me to spend her life with.” — Daniel W.
"To be honest, when I was first standing there looking out over the field with my back turned, a lot of things were going through my head. Is it going to rain on the ceremony? Will we have enough food? I'm pretty hungry. As I heard her get close, I started wondering what does her dress look like? What should I say? But as soon as I turned and saw her, my mind went blank. All I could think was: 'Wow.'" — Nathan
"Putting into words what I was thinking when I first saw Arielle walking down the aisle is challenging because I experienced so many different emotions. At first, I felt pure bliss – here was my future walking toward me, so bright and beautiful. I’ve never felt a high like that before. This outstanding woman was about to be my wife. As I realized my fortune as she approached me, my emotions exploded, and as some of our friends described it, I 'bawled like a baby.' When she was finally in my arms, I felt peace, I felt like I was at home, she was mine and I was hers." — Patton Adderley
"I was adamant about having zero idea of how she would look before our big day. I waited for Courtney in the courtyard of the hotel for 10 minutes or so, but it felt like forever because we had a November wedding and I was shivering. The door to the courtyard opened, and as soon as I heard her heals on the brick path, I started to tear up. She tapped me on the shoulder, and I turned, and I burst into tears for what would be one of many times that day. I remember looking at her and realizing that my life was going to be forever better because of her, and our day would be everything we wanted it to be, and it was. It was a perfect start to a perfect wedding." — Wayne Memmott
"I had been so busy and nervous up till the day of the wedding, making sure every detail was perfect for our guests. But at that very moment, I walked out (a little nervous) but ready. Dressed to the nines, head to toe, in every little detail I secretly planned to surprise my husband-to-be. The nerves stopped dead in their tracks when our eyes met. What I saw, upon my first look at Casey, wasn't what he was wearing. I found myself staring into the baby blues of the guy I fell in love with so deeply that I had to set a date to marry him! Then my mind went straight to our first date. I was sitting similarly nervous at the bar of Sant Ambroeus, a restaurant in SoHo, waiting for him to arrive. He walked in the door of that restaurant a stranger and we walked out together as a couple. I can't say it was love at first sight but I can say I still get just as excited when I'm about to meet him anywhere as I was the day I walked out to marry him." — Gino Gianneschi
"Before the big day, I had heard about my wife’s long search for the right wedding dress, but I really had no idea what she would look like. When the photographer told me to turn around for the first look, I was stunned by how absolutely gorgeous she looked, and overwhelmed by how lucky I was to marry such an amazing and beautiful woman." — Josh S.
"When Brittany was coming down the aisle, I was thinking man, 'That's my wife! That's a GOOD thing!' It hit me like a ton of bricks all at once. I had already been emotional all day, but when I saw her walking down the aisle — DAMN!" — Jaalil
"Naturally, I felt both nervous and excited leading up to our big day. Running through my mind were thoughts about whether everything would go as planned and if everyone was going to make the trip to see us on our special day. But when my soon-to-be wife tapped me on the shoulder and I turned around to see her for the first time on our wedding day, all the nerves that had gathered dissipated. She was beautiful and I thought to myself, 'Here is my best friend and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. She looks happy to be marrying me. How could I be so lucky?'” — Greg
"At the moment this photo was taken I realized that my wife loved me enough to marry me and accept me for exactly who I am. With each step she took toward me down the aisle, it felt as if she was stepping deeper and deeper into me. I felt bashful and beloved and vulnerable and grateful, and I could feel the presence of God." — Jeronimo Enrico Henry
"Weddings are beautiful events, but wedding planning can be stressful, expensive and sometimes a never-ending juggling act. It's magical how that all melted away when I got to finally see Kaylan that day. I remember standing there, back to back before we turned around and almost bursting with anticipation. Then it was time. I turned around and there he was. Seeing him at that moment was calming, reassuring and the perfect confirmation that I had found my person. The person I'd have fun with for the rest of my life." — Kyle M.
"It was such a wonderful day and seeing her in the dress was just amazing. She looked so incredibly beautiful and was smiling and our dogs were there and it couldn't have been a more perfect moment. I'm so lucky to be married to her." — Jathan Laverty
"I was obviously thinking how graceful, beautiful and ecstatic I was to see the love of my life, Sam, in between the redwood trees in Boulder Creek, California! It was the start of building a life with my true partner. We had spent so much effort meticulously planning an event together where people could feel as if they were coming over for a backyard dinner at our home, and there were many stresses that day. So to be honest, I was borderline losing it. When I saw Sam, and how we just came together in that moment, I felt an enormous weight lift. We have built a strong partnership of taking care of one another in stressful situations, and the compassion shared in that moment was no different. We both knew we had each other's back, and were able to move forward together freely to the start of our lives as one." — Joseph K.
"I spent the last 3+ years seeing my future wife in every possible way: dressed for the gym or a night out, comfy couch clothes or boss lady business attire. I’ve seen her laugh and cry. I’ve admired her competitive side, organizational side, comforting side, nurturing side. I’ve seen her at her most vulnerable and at her strongest. I thought I knew everything there was to know, so the first look, the wedding? Easy! Right? Listen, I’m a dude from a tough part of town, I’m not afraid of nor shocked by anything. Up to that point I hadn't shed a tear since my father died 18 years ago. However, the moment I saw my future wife during that first look, it was like I was seeing her for the very first time. I was overcome by the emotions and the love I feel for Kelly. And I bawled like a baby." — Khaliyl Corbett
"I remember looking over at him and seeing that glow, like a bulb lighting up from within. That's when I knew why getting married mattered. This was the light that was going to fuel and nurture us through our lives." — Josef Lukan
"Honestly, the moment I saw her, I was overwhelmed with how beautiful she was. Not just in her looks, but in the fact that she's going to be my best friend, the best mom and adventure partner for the rest of my life. That makes her infinitely beautiful." — Taylor S.
"I remember paying attention to the close detail and complimenting her on everything I noticed from her eyes down to her shoes with all the sparkling jewelry. I know Jamila spent a lot of time and effort getting ready and I wanted to be the one who could tell her how beautiful she looked and how lucky I am to be spending the rest of my life with her. It’s an irreplaceable moment." — Jibran
"I couldn't believe how beautiful she was and how lucky I must be to be marrying my best friend." — Matt
"I was overwhelmed with excitement during this private moment in one of our favorite places in Saratoga, New York. Then I turned around and saw how beautiful and happy Kate was during our first look as bride and groom. I also thought, 'Wow, she is so stunning. We are going to have a lot of fun living happily ever after!'" — Greg Vallecorsa

Some responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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