I love a good surprise. I’m awful at pulling them off! But I sure do like them. So when I read that this sweet couple surprised their entire guest list with a wedding that no one knew was happening? I was bursting with excitement and quite honestly, impressed beyond words. Of course, Lovestru.ck Weddings + Events was there to help pull off every pretty detail, while The Mullers snapped up every jaw-dropping moment. Join in all the fun right here in the gallery and don’t miss the look on the guests faces in the film by Creative Films!
From Lovestru.ck… I have known Jocelyn since the first day she opened her bridal salon in Omaha. Since then, we’ve shared in helping multiple brides get married in the Midwest. I knew Jocelyn had been dating her boyfriend, Paul, for nearly fourteen years, so I wasn’t surprised when she asked me this past summer to help plan her wedding. But Jocelyn did have a trick up her sleeve. No one knew Paul and Jocelyn were actually engaged. She wanted her nuptials to be a complete surprise for her guests.
Jocelyn set a date for three months after our initial planning meeting, so we quickly got to work. The bride-to-be wanted her wedding to feel timeless, but we knew we had to come up with fresh and innovative design concepts for Jocelyn who is constantly surrounded by wedding details in her line of work. We drew inspiration from notable dress designers and threw in some highly-personal details along with a few whimsical touches. The french blue and opal color palette was inspired by two Amsale bridesmaid dresses carried in Jocelyn’s store. We even ordered extra Amsale fabric to make a custom linen for the cake table.
One of the hardest decisions for Jocelyn to make was her gown selection. After brainstorming many options, she choose a gorgeous gown from Kelly Faetanini, a newly acquired line at her store. The fit-to-flare gown had a sweetheart neckline and was covered in a stunning gilded guipure lace. We soon realized we had to be very strategic about how we planned the couple’s wedding. The goal was to gather guests at a cocktail lounge under the pretense that Paul was going to surprise Jocelyn and propose to her in front of all of their family and friends. Once guests arrived at the cocktail hour, they would learn that the couple was actually getting married that night and be shuttled to the church and back to a reception at an art gallery across the street from the cocktail lounge.
Inclosed Studio created invitations for the cocktail hour/surprise engagement. Jocelyn loves stationery, so she wanted the invitation to be a work of art, but they had to be designed with more masculine touches as the invitation had to look like it was coming from Paul. In order to give Jocelyn the invitation suite she’s always dreamed of, we decided to use stationery to reveal the evening’s true intentions. Inclosed created a gorgeous invitation along with an paper accordion that was filled with the evening’s timeline, the ceremony program, and each guest’s escort card. We attached the envelope bundles to a floating wall, and prompted guests to grab their marked envelope as they entered the cocktail hour. I was so glad Creative Films was able to capture many of the guests’ astonished reactions.
After guests picked their jaws up off the floor, they grabbed a drink at the bar as they waited for the shuttles to the ceremony. We bundled chicken salad sandwiches on mini croissants and sweet potato chips in boxes for guests to eat on the bus ride and to tide them over during the couple’s catholic ceremony. The element of surprise created a palpable energy in the church, as just over one hundred guests witnessed Jocelyn and Paul’s nuptials. After the ceremony, the newlyweds exited the church through a tunnel of sparklers and rode to their reception in a 51 Chevy Convertible.
Guests were once again surprised as they entered the reception. Blooms and Bouquets transformed the art gallery with gorgeous chiffon draping and clusters of chandeliers. Guests were offered a Wedding Cake Cocktail made of vanilla vodka, ginger ale, and fresh raspberry as they found their seats. The table numbers were marked by different years the couple had dated as well as a fun memory from each year. Attitude on Food served a delicious family-style meal to all of the guests. The couple chose to serve their wedding cake a la mode in honor of their late fathers who often shared their love of ice cream with their children after dinner. The bride and groom both love donuts, so we created a wall of donuts for guests to enjoy throughout the evening. We gladly turned a blind eye as the groom’s nephews decided to have pre-dinner donut.
Usually we deem a wedding successful based on the guest experience and the flow of the evening, but we felt extremely proud to help Jocelyn and Paul achieve their top secret mission of throwing a surprise wedding without a hitch!
Photography: The Mullers | Videography: Creative Films | Cake: David Updike for Happy Hallow Country Club | Stationery: Inclosed | Church: Our Lady of Lourdes | Reception: Anderson O'Brien Fine Art | Jewelry: Mark Edward | Catering: Attitude on Food | Makeup: Blush Makeup Artistry | Hair: Kontempo | Bridal Gown: Ready or Knot Wedding Chic | Cocktail Hour: J's on Jackson | Event Design + Planning: Lovestru.ck Weddings + Events | Personal Flowers: Hy-Vee | Reception Florist/Draping: Blooms and Bouquets | Rentals: AAA Rents | Sparklers: Aerial FX