Nfld. & Labrador

He thought he was seeing his bride in her dress for the first time. He wasn't

Mark Kenny fell victim to a hilarious prank, courtesy of his wife-to-be and best man. (He took it well.)

When Mark Kenny turned around, his wife-to-be was nowhere to be seen — and someone else was in a dress

Mark Kenny got married on Saturday, but it didn't go exactly the way he expected it to. (Aamie Gillam Photography)

For months, Bridgette Abbott coaxed and cajoled her fiancé.

The Musgrave Harbour woman was set on a "first look" photo shoot — a wedding trend that captures the tender moment when one partner sees the other for the first time on their big day.

Little did the groom-to-be know, it was all an elaborate prank.

"The photographer brings him to a nice little photo area, puts the bride behind — she might tap him on the shoulder or say his name and wait for him to turn around," Kenny said, explaining the fad.

At least, that's how it's supposed to work.

Abbott's now-husband, Mark Kenny, wanted a traditional glimpse at his bride as she walked down the aisle. But he eventually agreed to the photo shoot, setting in motion an emotional moment — except unbeknownst to him, it would be between him and his best man, Mitchell Applin.

Applin "is a constant friend for the both of us," said Abbott, now Bridgette Kenny, explaining he was game for surprising Mark.

Actually finding a dress for Applin's six-foot-six frame was another story — the dress shop had only one he could squeeze into. "It didn't fit perfect, obviously," Applin said with a laugh.

The moment

After weeks of scheming, which required getting family on board and even printing a fake wedding schedule, Applin described feeling apprehensive as he crept behind Mark just before Saturday's ceremony, waiting for the photographer's cue.

"There was a little bit of nervousness in me," he said. "I was like, 'This is going to break his heart when he turns around and sees that it's me.'"

Bridgette harboured the same concerns.

"[Mark] was telling everyone, 'Me and Bridgette are going to have a first look, and I think it's going to be really important and special to us,'" she said.

"And in the back of my mind I knew it wasn't really going to happen. So I was really nervous on the day of."

Scroll through the moment below, captured by photographers Aamie Gillam and Jim Spurrell:

The Kelligrews couple, who Kenny says adore travel and flouting the status quo, head to Zambia next month to teach on their honeymoon, bouyed by their perfect day — one they're happy to share with strangers.

"It just means everyone's having a good belly laugh, having a good joke out of it," she said.

In the end, Mark got his original wish, Kenny added: seeing her for the first time as she walked toward the altar.

He also had a cheeky comeback at the ready.

"We got to the front and we did our vows … and he whispered to me, 'Our first look was perfect.'"

The real bride and groom say the day couldn't have been better. (Aamie Gillam Photography)

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