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!
As 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!
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