Have you ever heard of a “Surprise Wedding”? Well, I can tell you that it was one of the most wonderful events and experiences that I have ever been a part of! My gorgeous sister, Julie, and my awesome new brother-in-law, Ali, were married on June 18th, 2017 on a perfect, sunny but not-too-hot-for-summer day at Haue Valley in Pacific, Missouri.
This whole wedding was a different take on, well, everything! You see, Ali planned the wedding…in a matter of six weeks! Yes! The GROOM planned it! Granted, he had a little help from me, Mandy and a handful of others, but his love for my sister meant that he wanted her to be stress-free on her wedding day and the weeks leading up to it.
It all started when Ali proposed to Julie in the beginning of May, 2017. Once Julie shared her wonderful news of becoming engaged to marry Ali, the wheels started turning! All of the sudden, within a couple of days, a wedding was being planned!
You see, Julie has never been one of those gals who have spent their entire life dreaming of her perfect wedding. Jokingly, when she was in her late teens, I recall her saying she wanted a renaissance themed wedding…with women wearing corsets and men having sword fights. In my head, all I could think of is sitting in a Medieval Times arena, having wenches bring me my food while the smell of horses wafted in my direction. Once she met Ali and they became a couple, I am sure she thought about marriage, but never really the wedding.
Once Ali presented Julie with the idea of him planning their wedding, she saw the absolute gift that she was being offered and said she was okay with not having full reign in the planning process. She mentioned the color scheme that she liked, and with that, Ali and his helpers went to town and the Best Day Ever was born!
It helps when you “know” people in the biz. Obviously, with our company being in the wedding DJ and videography business, we had that covered, but we also know many awesome vendors in the field. So many vendors wanted to be part of this “Surprise Wedding” that we had no problem making this day very special.
When I say surprise wedding, the plan was not to wake her up that morning, cart her to the venue, slap a dress on her and shove her down the aisle…I mean all that was planned was to be revealed to Julie that day. Ali told her what day they were to be wed, ordered invitations, and left no stone unturned when planning. Julie picked out her own wedding dress, but other than that, she had no idea what the venue was like, the décor, her bouquet…heck, she had no idea what I was going to wear, and I was her Matron of Honor! Throughout the day, from the time she arrived at Haue Valley, the reveals were scheduled for her…and it was awesome!
s Julie and Ali were preparing for the ceremony in their separate dressing rooms at Haue Valley, some of the fantastic reveals started taking place. First to be revealed was my bridesmaid dress, and the flower girl’s dress. I wore a vintage 50s style lace dress in red, and Emma, Julie’s niece and flower girl, wore a jewel embellished coral dress. She was starting to see how her vibrant color scheme was being incorporated, especially when she was presented with her bridal bouquet. As she opened her eyes after it was handed to her, Julie saw that this gorgeous bouquet was completely made from handcrafted paper flowers! Katherine Elizabeth Events is a paper florist who made every single stem of Julie’s bouquet, my bouquet, corsages and boutonnieres plus all of the flowers for the tables and the flowers that graced the wedding arbor. These look-alikes were exquisite in their peach, coral and red colors and were the ideal unique touch for such an extraordinary and special bride!
Once Julie and Ali had donned their wedding best, they were separately escorted to the entrance of Haue Valley for their First Look. Ali looked sharp in his gray tuxedo, ivory vest, and aqua tie as he stood by the large gate awaiting his Bride. His tuxedo was provided by Savvi Formalwear, as well as his groomsman’s tux. When it was time, Julie walked to Ali and placed her hand on his shoulder as he faced away from her. Upon his turning around, his gaze was on Julie, who was absolutely stunning in her ivory, ball gown style wedding dress she bought online from Dresslily.com. Her dress had a “vintage” appeal, with its three-quarter length sleeves and chapel length train, along with lace appliques and well placed buttons in the front and the back of this beauty. Of course, I was privy to the dress before she bought it and one look at the pictures of it online and I knew it was the dress for Julie! In lieu of a veil, Julie chose to adorn her up-do with pretty floral barrettes.
VSM Event Creations took great care with the final touches to ensure all was perfect in the venue and at the ceremony site, which made the day more enjoyable and stress free for family and friends who would usually be in charge of these things.
Next to be revealed was the venue. Julie was led into the reception area and saw the most beautiful wedding reception décor she has ever seen! The tears flowed as she was introduced to all of the intricate details that Ali planned for her from the Monogram and Uplighting that Applause Weddings provided, the movie themed seating charts and the popcorn cart provided by BAM Party Rentals, our family’s wedding pictures on the huge wooden mantle, the striking glassware and paper flower décor on the tables, and so much more! As Ali took her from detail to detail, she commented on how beautiful the venue was and even remarked, “It’s ME!”
Next to be revealed was the wedding ceremony area, which produced more tears for Julie. This venue is stunning on its own and with the décor that was used and in the colors that were chosen, the place was breathtaking. I told her after she saw how beautiful everything was, “This is the wedding you never knew you wanted!”
Applause Weddings provided ceremony music, videography and DJ services for this special day, of course!
Officiant Reverend Doug Robison performed the wedding, which included a Handfasting Ceremony. Julie and Ali recited vows, exchanged rings and were pronounced Husband and Wife! The Bride was kissed and the celebration began!
Photography was by Chameleon Imagery and Be Lovely Photography, and with a beautiful couple and the pretty scenery that surrounds Haue Valley, Julie and Ali’s wedding photos turned out spectacular!
A delicious meal was provided by Graze, toasts to our Newlyweds were made and everyone danced in merriment until this glorious day had to come to an end, but not before Julie sang “Faithfully” to Ali in her remarkable voice.
I must say, this day will forever be one of my absolute favorites and it could not have been pulled off without all of the wonderful vendors who participated. Hats off to you all…you helped make “The Wedding Julie Didn’t Know She Wanted” the most beautiful, stress free, incredibly special day for two very important people in my life!
Trey and Amber were married in a quaint country backyard ceremony with a touch of rustic style on June 10th, 2017 in Okawville, Illinois. They picked a beautiful sunny day for an outdoor wedding!
Amber chose a beautiful crystal embellished headband to wear in lieu of a bridal veil and a Maggie Sorento wedding dress that she bought from Bridal Manor in Waterloo, Illinois. Her sleeveless ivory wedding gown was embellished with tiers of crystals which beautifully draped around her neck. The month of June in the Midwest tends to be warm. Amber kept this in consideration when choosing this glamorous wedding dress for her and her groom's outdoor wedding. This smart girl wanted to be comfortable and cool!
Trey wore a sharp suit from Macy's in gray with a crisp white shirt and a cobalt blue tie.
A First Look was planned, but this time, instead of being with the Bride and Groom, Amber chose to have her father see her first in her gorgeous wedding garb. We love when our couples have a different take on what seems to be on trend at the moment! Not only does it make for a great photo op and great footage for their wedding video, but a great moment in time is captured and can be remembered forever!
Speaking of wedding videos…all wedding videographers are not created equally! Applause Weddings offers a top notch combination of our professional staff who will gather video with high tech equipment of your special day… from start to finish. We then put our heart into editing the special moments of a very important day so they can be enjoyed for generations to come!
Since this was an outdoor wedding venue, there were no doors for our Bride to make a grand entrance to walk down the aisle. Instead, Amber made an entrance like no other through doors that were hung on a rustic frame and was positioned on the lawn. What a clever idea! Another great idea were the Wedding Programs that were made as fans for keeping wedding guest cool and comfortable!
Amber’s and Trey’s bridal party stood on each side of the pretty arbor that Trey built for the ceremony. Pretty ladies in cobalt blue dresses and handsome gentlemen wearing gray trousers, white shirts and cobalt blue ties surrounded Our To-Be-Weds while Officiant Jeff Schwab performed the wedding ceremony. Instead of the tradition of lighting a Unity Candle, our Bride and Groom chose a touching Love Lock Ceremony.
Once vows were recited to each other and Amber and Trey were pronounced as Newlyweds, everyone headed over to the St. Libory American Legion hall to celebrate. The hall was beautifully decorated in white and cobalt, and Amber's mom made the lovely flower arrangements for the tables.
Cheesecake! Yes, cheesecake (strawberry, to be exact) was chosen in lieu of a traditional wedding cake and was provided by Eats and Treats in Okawville, Illinois.
Applause Weddings (of course!) provided videography and DJ services for this event and had the joint jumpin' and the dance floor packed with family and friends all honoring the newlyweds and their new lives together!
A word of advice from Amber: "No one knows what went wrong your wedding day but you, so don't stress!" That is sound advice, although it looked like the perfect day with the perfect couple to us!
The variety of services that we offer is designed to keep the stress level down leading up to and on your special day. We want you to enjoy your day and be at ease! You will find that working with us is a breeze as we help you plan the perfect wedding and reception. So heed Amber’s advice and don’t stress!
Congrats and happiness to you, Trey and Amber! Thank you for letting us be part of your beautiful wedding!
On May 20th, 2017, while surrounded by Spanish Mission architecture, Darrell and Julie were wed at Barnett on Washington. The venue is beautifully appointed with archways, ornate columns and marble, which made a lovely place for our couple to exchange vows.
Julie surprised Darrell by holding a large bouquet of pearl, blush and yellow balloons that concealed her during “First Look”. The pearl colored balloons had cute little pink hearts inside of them. Once she released the helium filled bouquet and it floated to the ceiling, Darrell laid eyes on his gorgeous princess Bride. Julie was decked out in a sparkly tiara and dazzling champagne Cosmobella ball gown that she purchased from Demetrios Bridal. Of course, the balloon release revealed the Groom to his Bride, as well! Darrell looked dapper in his black tuxedo from Men’s Wearhouse and chose a black vest and bowtie to complete the ensemble. What a clever idea for a “First Look” reveal!
Julie graced the red carpeted, curved staircase as she walked down them; her cathedral length train and veil cascading behind her. She carried a bouquet of baby’s breath, which was remarkably elegant in its simplicity. She wore her Aunt’s pearl bracelet as the traditional “something old” item, the garter she wore was “something blue” and her soon-to-be-husband gave her a beautiful Tiffany pearl necklace as a gift, covering the “something new” category. Her bridesmaids looked glamorous in their blush-colored dresses from The Ultimate Bride. They carried bouquets of baby’s breath, as well.
Darrell’s Groomsmen sported black tuxedos from Men’s Wearhouse.
Steven Delaney performed a beautiful ceremony, joining Julie and Darrell in marriage.
Our Bride and Groom exchanged wedding vows, followed by a ceremony of a Wedding Ring Exchange. Darrell placed a sparkling diamond wedding band adorned with five round cut diamonds on Julie’s hand, and Julie placed a stainless steel ring with black ion plating onto her Groom’s hand. The rings were purchased at Kay’s Jewelers. Darrell kissed his bride and then it was time to celebrate the union of this wonderful couple with family and friends!
The reception followed the wedding at Barnett on Washington. Newlyweds Darrell and Julie danced their way into the reception hall to 24K Magic by Bruno Mars. The round tables had Eiffel Tower vases adorned with baby’s breath atop them, which made a pretty centerpiece to the table set with gold charger plates and blush colored napkins. Julie made the bouquets and the centerpieces and said that she advises couples to try to make centerpieces or flower bouquets themselves, stating that it saved money and she enjoyed making them. She said, “It was more sentimental to me and I even made the flower girl basket. It felt right making them because I made them with love”.
The three tiered wedding cake was beautiful! The cake, made by Sarah’s Cake Shop, was a vanilla bean cake with white chocolate buttercream filling and vanilla buttercream icing. The letter “R” topped the ivory, gold and blush tiers which were embellished with flecks of gold leaf.
After the Newlyweds were toasted by family and friends, a delicious meal was provided by Callier’s Catering. After the traditional cake cutting and the bouquet and garter toss, it was time to have a ball! Our company, Applause Weddings, provided videography services to memorialize this special day, along with providing DJ services for the reception. Julie and Darrell danced their first dance as husband and wife to the song “I Get To Love You” by Ruelle. The dance floor was opened for all to enjoy and our DJ kept the dance floor full as family and friends surrounded Julie and Darrell in celebration of their new lives as husband and wife.
Best wishes to Julie and Darrell as they begin their lives together and thank you for allowing us to be a part of your special day!
Join us as we Blog our way through St. Louis Weddings!