The logistics of planning a wedding are ~ to say the least ~ daunting. Who, what, when, where. All the input from loving and well-meaning family and friends. At times, it seems that the best thing to do would be to throw your hands in the air and elope! But this couple, did one better. They turned their engagement party into a surprise wedding. Their talented team of vendors all pitched in and made it into the happiest occasion possible!

Cydney & Matt’s Surprise Wedding

What made us want a surprise wedding?? Well, Matt and I both have huge families. Both of our sets of parents are divorced. His are both remarried and I am very close with my biological father’s side of the family. When we got engaged, (and even before that) there was a lot of input from everyone as to how we should go about things. And we were pretty torn about it. We both love St. Thomas and visit annually so we were hoping to get married there on the beach. But we knew that not everyone in our families would be able to make it. We went back and forth with the idea until it became evident that we were not going to be able to go to St. Thomas for the wedding.

Back in May, my mother had decided that she wanted to throw me and Matt an engagement party and together with my father, we decided on June 27th, 2010. My dad suggested that date because my grandparents were having a garden tour through the Hershey Garden Club that Saturday so everything would be in pristine condition for the engagement party. Not to mention that the following day would be my Grandparents 52nd anniversary. We went ahead with planning for the engagement party.

Memorial Day weekend, Matt and I were at my dad’s house and he asked how wedding plans were going. I shrugged and mentioned how I had heard about this one celebrity doing a surprise wedding and how cool it was but I didn’t think we would be able to pull it off. There were too many logistics to work out. My dad pointed out that all of the people from out of town were already going to be at the engagement party so why don’t we just turn it into a wedding? Everything was already planned… Why not?! So Matt and I left my dad’s house talking about how cool it would be, how it would totally surprise all of our guests and how people would be talking about it forever! So I now had 27 days to turn an engagement party into a wedding!

Within three days, I had made calls to all of the vendors: Diana Buck at Weddings by JDK who was going to help me with the catering, bouquet, cake and of course, the surprise, Dave Williams at CinemaCake to do the videography and Elaine Gates of Elaine Gates Photography to do the wedding photos. At the recommendation of Diana, I made a call to Reverend Sharon Marquart and asked her to officiate. I don’t know if it was the fact that it was a Sunday or if it was destiny but everyone that I called to help with my surprise was available!

The next step was to go to David’s Bridal and try on a few dresses. I had seen my Galina strapless taffeta gown on their website, but had sort of written it off thinking it wouldn’t look very flattering on me. My salesperson put it on me and it was a done deal. I had wanted something short and white and simple and I found in after trying on three dresses. I found the shoes before the dress was even a thought. I had seen them on Zappos.com, and knew they were perfect because they were hot pink (my favorite color). When I clicked on them and saw that they were a brand called “Romantic Soles” and had adorable red hearts on the bottom of the soles I was sold. They could not have been more perfect for me or for our day! I already knew that I wanted the wedding colors to be tiffany blue and hot pink and the shoes fit right in.

Hair and makeup were done by Downstreet Salon of Hershey. Jessica Larsh did my hair and has been a close family friend for years. She did an amazing job and even opened up the salon on a Sunday for me. My makeup was done by Olivia Olsen who is also from Downstreet Salon. She did a great job, my makeup lasted all day!

The cake was from Dingeldin’s in New Cumberland. I left a lot up to Diana at Weddings by JDK on this one. I told her I wanted butter-cream frosting, white cake, and white icing. She suggested the strawberry filling and I’m glad she did because it was amazing! Everyone commented for weeks on how good the cake was.


Photography: Elaine Gates Photography / Cinematography: Dave Williams, CinemaCake / Catering, Floral Design, & Event Planning: Weddings by JDK / Ceremony Location: Family Residence, Harrisburg Pa. / Hair and Makeup: Downstreet Salon of Hershey / Shoes: Romantic Soles / Dress: Galina/David’s Bridal / Cake: Dingeldins of New Cumberland

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