Most newlyweds will tell you that the process of planning their wedding is the MOST STRESSFUL thing they have ever done. I'm not going to lie it is stressful, but it doesn't need to be. The main goal of any wedding is to get married to the one you love regardless of the lead up to the day or the colour of the napkins.
My now husband and I got engaged at the end of August 2016 and after a brief engagement were married on the 19th of March 2017, it was the best day of our lives to date!
It also came with one teeny secret.
The majority of our guests didn't know we were getting married.
YES, we did it!
We had a SURPRISE WEDDING!
As soon as any mention of surprise wedding leaves my lips in conversation, a myriad of questions follow;
- Why did you want it to be a surprise?
- Who knew about it?
- Did it take long to plan?
- How did you plan it?
- How did it work?
So lets start from the beginning.
Nick proposed whilst we were away camping for his birthday, as we were surrounded by our closest friends. It was the Saturday night; sitting around the campfire in the evening, when he got down on one knee and asked if I would be his wife, I was caught completely off guard and it was the perfect moment.
Having a surprise wedding never really crossed our minds - AT ALL!
It wasn't until late November rolled around and I was knee deep in wedding planning mode when that all important family meeting had to happen - you know the one, where everyone gets together to put their two cents in (literally in some cases).
We were being asked: what we wanted, where we wanted our wedding to be and how long our engagement would be. With all these questions it dawned on me, I have seen a huge amount of weddings either as a guest, part of the bridal party or a vendor. Seeing a huge range of what was out there got me thinking,
I wanted it done my way.
I didn't want to conform to having to pick from a certain number of centrepieces and coloured table cloths, I wanted to be able to style it myself and have everything that we both wanted - quirks included. Nick and I aren't super traditional and we both wanted a relaxed day that was us, inside and out, but most importantly we wanted a day that was FUN!
My mum was actually the first to suggest a surprise wedding and I brushed her off saying that it wasn't for us. The more I thought about it the better the idea seemed as there were a lot of things that were just not feasible for us at the time. Having a long engagement was not going to suit us either, as there were plenty of factors that we just weren't certain about.
So mid December it was decided - it was on - Three months to plan and execute - mid wedding season and Christmas shut downs.
We had a blanket rule that anyone travelling from interstate or overseas needed to know the reason that they were travelling BUT they had to keep it secret - lucky for us majority of our bridal party (4 out of 6) fitted this rule and only my parents knew otherwise.
We invited 120 guests under the facade that they would attending our engagement party and to not be late as we had some awesome food to serve and if they were late, they would miss out.
How did the surprise work?
This is probably the question we get asked the most - how did the surprise part work?
Nick and I were extremely lucky that our venue had two sections to it, partitioned by doors. We decorated one side with an arbour and pew style seating and the other half was decorated with lounge room style set ups, so people could have that relaxed homely feel without the pressure of having assigned seating.
We then closed the doors that seperated the two halves of the venue.
Everyone started to arrive and Nick greeted them and got chatting, everyone kept asking - where is Jaime. Now luckily for me my job is fantastic - but also means I am nearly always late to social functions, this worked in our favour as most people assumed I was still getting ready. About 20 mins after we determined that most guests were there Nick made his excuses to go check that the food was on time.
This is where our wonderful MC (and Nick's cousin) stepped in to announce that food would be a little bit late - but he had another piece of news that would keep everyone entertained in the mean time. He then announced that they were not there for our engagement party, but were actually at our wedding! As he said this the doors opened to reveal the arbour and pews.
Everyone was so shocked and happy. They took their seats ready for us to begin our ceremony and as they say, the rest was history! We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening dancing, eating and enjoying the most wonderful day surrounded by the friends and family that we love the most.
Styling : Fox and Hound Events
Celebrant: Martin Long
Venue: Galston Community Centre
Make Up: Chelsea Povey Makeup
Hair : Hair by Emma Younis
All images used with consent. Please do not copy or share the images without express written consent from the original author or Fox and Hound Events. All content is protected by copyright.