I can only hope I am invited to a surprise wedding at one point in my life, because I just loooove them. I would probably squeal to high heavens, and I can only imagine how the guests of this darling surprise felt. Because what they thought was an engagement party turned out to be a beautiful and intimate wedding, and you can see the entire day unfold thanks to Savvy Images right here.
From the Bride…Cully and I knew we wanted a unique & intimate wedding but we did not know where to start. Luckily, a few months into our engagement, my mom gave us the idea to have a surprise wedding. We loved the idea of surprising our favorite people & knew having it at our engagement party gave us a great time line (8 month engagement, 4 months to plan) to keep it from getting stressful or too hard to keep a secret. We agreed to only tell our parents, siblings, our friend that was going to marry us, and our photographer so they could support us in the planning & help us trick people along the way. Since we are both originally from Texas & Austin is one of our favorite cities, finding a great new-to-us venue was fun!
Planning this from Seattle was surprisingly easy because everyone we worked with was immediate in their communication, we knew what we wanted and had two weekends in April to work with for our date, so the planning took off. I found Chappell Lodge online the week I was heading down to Austin to be a bridesmaid in a best friend’s wedding. Skipping an optional bridesmaid pedicure, I took my sister to the venue & we both loved it! I texted pictures to Cully & we both agreed to pay the deposit right then! Date, venue were set and for the next 48 hours, I was a part of a wonderful wedding, with great friends I love to share things with but the secret keeping for our surprise wedding had begun. We knew we wanted a delicious brunch reception, bright beautiful flowers & natural tones for table cloths. Kristy, at Chappel Lodge, had a list of vendors she recommended & I picked who to call first based on the uniqueness in their name. So happy I did because they were great! I already knew Becky was going to do my hair & have Savvy Images as our photographer, so things were moving along!
The look. Three weeks later, I was home for Christmas break & planned a dress shopping day with my two sisters and best friend in San Antonio. We made our appointments (a must) & got lucky at Mayfair bridal! The secret keeping continued here because the ladies there knew my date, but my best friend had no idea, so we all got to be super excited I found the dress, was buying the one off the shelf with no wait time and she missed all those sneaky conversations! For the bridal party, my sister said it would be neat if they all wore nude-coral dressed as the ‘Engagement Party Hostesses’. A few got suspicious with this, luckily I had a quick response for every question & digging I sensed over the planning period. Cully told his guys he was wearing a suit & they could wear anything they wanted. The mismatched look we got was too perfect to be planned.
The feel. I loved the setting & the look my mom helped put together. We went with a more casual, rustic & natural feel, so my mom decorated the tables with blue mason jar vases as flower arrangements that complimented the wedding party flowers. She also had wonderful lace & crocheted table decorations from her & my grandmothers that she put under the vases. It was perfect! For our music, we used an awesome app called Myweddingdj. Found this on Pinterest & we loved it! We created playlists for the pre ceremony, processional, recessional & the brunch with our favorite songs. My brother in law cued the start & end of each playlist & the app did a great job of fading in and out so it sounded great!
We told the wedding party to arrive 1.5 hours earlier than the guests to decorate & hang out. As they did, my sisters casually pointed them to where I was & they saw me getting my hair done and my wedding dress. It was so fun! There were lots of happy tears & reviewing of all the misleading I had done. The guys arrived to find Cully and instead of tears, there were beers. Another layer to the wedding surprise was that one of our funniest friends, Mark, was going to marry us. The guys got a huge kick out of that after spending 3 days laughing with & at him at the bachelor party.The wedding party all met with our parents an hour before the wedding & did a quick run through to get everyone in the wedding mode. It was great for calming our nerves too. As the guests started arriving, they got the program that clued them in on the surprise. The ceremony was joyful, sincere, written by us & executed by our good friend Mark perfectly.
Food! I just have to say Pink Avocado was amazing! They planned the menu off of our breakfast favorites: grits, breakfast tacos & pancakes. Still wanting to be unique & stray from the typical, we wanted something different for dessert & they were on board. They did awesome on our donut hole tower/cake! Yes, it was ridiculously good.
Having a surprise wedding was ideal for us! I think having less people in the loop kept nerves & stress down for all involved. We loved getting to add more happiness & surprise the people that we enjoy so much. Thank goodness we have the wonderful pictures, our vows & all the music to enjoy over & over to relive this amazing day!
Floral Design: Verbena Floral Design | Wedding Gown: Mayfair Bridal (Demitrios--designer) | Stationery: BlackStone Studio | Bride's Shoes: Lucchese Boots | Catering: Pink Avocado | Hair: Pink Slipper Hair | Wedding: Vineyard At Chappel Lodge