An engagement party that turns out to be a surprise wedding? Sign me up. Partially through the planning process, Elizabeth and David switched gears and focused on planning a killer party with a surprise ceremony in the middle. The Nichols were there to capture all the beautiful details:
From the bride, Elizabeth: When David and I first thought about what our wedding would be like, we both agreed that something “laid-back” was what we wanted. The reality of planning a wedding, though, is a far cry from easy-going. There’s so much to think about, to schedule, to coordinate. Then there’s the anticipation and the build up. Even the calmest of my friends, in preparation for their own nuptials, have ended up on the brink. We almost thought we might just elope, but somehow that wasn’t what we wanted either. It was important to us that we stand with nearest and dearest and declare our commitment to one another. That was what we wanted. Just minus the pomp, circumstance and hysteria that usually accompanies typical weddings. So, we started thinking, how do we make a day that really is about that fun, easy quality that the best kind of parties have? Could a wedding ever be like that?
I can’t remember which one of us said it first, but both of us lit up when we came to the idea of a surprise wedding. Throw a great party, just put a moment in the middle for the kind of simple ceremony we knew we wanted, then continue with said great party. It was perfect. Fun. Unconventional. Light-hearted. But still with the parts of a wedding that were meaningful for us. What could be better?!
Our favorite moment was probably when we announced to the crowd (most of whom had no idea it was going to be a wedding) that we were going to get married that night. The air was electric, and the cheer was raucous. The Nichols captured it perfectly in their photos. The ceremony itself was also pretty special for both of us. My brother officiated, and customized everything for David and I. He also included David’s sons, Joshua and Ephraim, into the ceremony, which was so special and important to us. All in all, we can both honestly say that we had a total blast at our wedding! We laughed, and danced and enjoyed the company of our friends and family.
Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Bear in mind, I am far, far from your typical bride. Non-traditional is kind of my (and my husband’s) thing. A surprise wedding isn’t for everyone, for certain, but the point of our doing it was to stay true to ourselves and the kind of event with which we wanted to make our union official. If I had any advice to give someone in the process of envisioning a wedding. It would be 1) don’t do it alone. Pick a team, a planner and recruit good friends and family you can lean on through the process. 2) Remember, brides, that it’s about BOTH of you. Listen to your partner. He might have some very wise things to say. 3) Deep breaths! Listen to people’s opinions (and random advice from a bride on a blog) with respect, but take everything with grains of salt. Your wedding is your own. It doesn’t have to be, look, or feel any way except for the way you would like it to feel. Make the day yours! Be creative! Get crafty! It really can all be a ton of fun. Even in the pouring rain.
Wedding Location: Austin, TX / Photographer: The Nichols / Wedding Venue: Private Residence / Coordination and Event Design: Bird Dog Wedding / Floral Design: Posey Floral and Event Design / Wedding Caterer: Pink Avocado Catering / Cake Ball Pops: Sweet Pop Shop / Rentals: Marquee and Loot Vintage Rentals / Lighting: Filo Designs