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Exclusive: Christmas-Loving Bride Dresses Up as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for Her First Look

Esther Lee
the knot

A Christmas-theme wedding wouldn’t be complete without an appearance from Santa or Rudolph. For Liz Adams, who recently married Pat Irick in an Indiana wedding, the opportunity for a festive twist on the first look session involved dressing up like the beloved reindeer character to surprise her husband.

Rachel Whitehurst, the couple’s wedding photographer and a longtime friend of the pair, documented the bride’s idea to emerge from her venue, the Winona Heritage Room, wearing a stuffed Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer head.

“Liz works with high school students and has a knack for making people laugh,” Whitehurst tells The Knot. “She also loves Christmas.”

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first look. (Credit: Rachel Whitehurst / Adventure Photo Stories)

The couple leaned into their Christmas theme on their wedding day, which Whitehurst describes as an “ode to their love of the holidays.” Decor included thousands of LED lights, multiple Christmas trees and, even, the inclusion of Christmas songs to the couple’s ceremony.

“They aren’t overly serious people,” muses the photographer. “They love to laugh and this first look was so them.”

Images show the bride walking out in her sleeved lace gown dressed with a reindeer head up top. The groom’s reaction was all laughter. “Pat had a suspicion that she would do something like this,” adds Whitehurst. “And honestly, it wouldn’t have been a Liz wedding without it.”

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first look. (Credit: Rachel Whitehurst / Adventure Photo Stories)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first look. (Credit: Rachel Whitehurst / Adventure Photo Stories)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first look. (Credit: Rachel Whitehurst / Adventure Photo Stories)

According to the photographer, the pair had an audience. “After, I looked up and realized that the wedding party had crowded every window in the building to watch,” concludes Whitehurst. “And… they were cheering.”

Alternative first looks have been especially popular within the past year with one bride showing up in a pair of cat pajamas and another sending out her brother to surprise the best man instead.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first look. (Credit: Rachel Whitehurst / Adventure Photo Stories)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first look. (Credit: Rachel Whitehurst / Adventure Photo Stories)

Secure your ideal wedding vision by starting with The Knot’s Style Quiz, here.

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