Planned from London via email, none of the 5 guests had a clue they were going to be at a wedding today. Dad cried, and Mum had to sit down as she momentarily lost the ability to walk. The two BFF’s squealed and there were hugs all round. Truly intimate, fun and fabulous. To quote the guests “Best wedding I’ve ever been to! We thought we were going jet-skiing!”
Here’s how Z & J pulled off the most awesome surprise elopement ever…
The bride flew in to her hometown of Umina from London three days before the wedding. We had been emailing for months and I knew that only the Groom and Z’s brother were in on the plans. I met 3 days before the wedding with Z to finalise the details and check we were all on the same page about their expectations. Z was staying at her Mum’s house and was so good at keeping secrets she kept a straight face when she had her Mum help to alter what was to be her fabulous up-cycled vintage orange wedding dress. Mum even helped make a halo of flowers and still had no idea.
The handsome Groom arrived from London the day before the wedding. His family in the UK knew he was marrying, but were excited to hear how the surprise was taken. They sound like pretty cool in-laws to have.
At 10am I met with Z & J and we casually strolled down (and up) the 700 metre walk to the lookout at Mount Ettalong, overlooking Pearl Beach NSW. We chatted while we waited for the Pro Photographer who had also been booked online via London. The SMS came from the bride’s brother to say they were on their way. He told the family they were going out, but decided to stop at the lookout first…. We still had no photographer! He had gone to a different lookout at Kincumber!! Luckily Z & J had their camera and when the guests came walking down the path to discover us standing ready for a wedding, I managed to capture the surprise for them.
Dad cried, then the bride cried, then Mum lost the use of her legs momentarily. None of them had a clue that the Groom was even in Australia, let alone standing there ready to marry their daughter. It was truly the best surprise I’ve had the honour of witnessing. Fortunately the photographer arrived in time to capture the ceremony. Even more fortunate was that the bride and groom consciously decided not to let that small hiccup ruin their excitement.
We held a brief ceremony and then cracked open the champagne. More photos, more champagne followed before the Bride and Groom attached engraved padlocks to the fence and threw away the key. The mother of the bride was still surprised after the ceremony.
The genuine emotion and delight from all present at the wedding was contagious. Maybe you’d like to surprise your family with a wedding?
And for those of you who haven’t seen enough… There’s even more photos below.
All photos were taken with my camera by the brother of the bride or myself.