Surprise California wedding: Deena + Michael
This surprise wedding from Megan Welker, just made our week. The idea of surprising your closest friends & family is so fun & heartwarming. After you see the looks on the guest’s faces, you’ll know what we’re talking about. We can only imagine how nervously excited Deena + Michael were. There were definitely some guests that suspected something might be up, especially after getting those gorgeous Sugar Paper letterpress invitations to what everyone thought was an engagement party. When guests arrived a chalkboard read, “Surprise! Welcome to Our Wedding!”. After you hear how Deena was inspired to throw a surprise wedding, you may even consider throwing one too!
Choosing a venue with good food that could have an open bar was high on their list, so they splashed their cash on their venue, Tiato.
Bouquet recipe: The Tillandsia airplant was the focus, surrounded by scabiosa pods, blue thistle, silver brunia, succulents, white mini carnations, accented with dusty miller and tied with off white satin ribbon and twine.
Oh you sneaky two…
Although the whole idea of a surprise wedding was a fun and exciting one, there’s one thing they would have done differently…
In hindsight, there are a few people we would’ve let in our secret in case they could’ve been there. The last thing we ever wanted to do was hurt any feelings and that was hard – having some people find out it was our wedding after the fact.
Money saving tip: Our amazing coordinator/florist, Katie of Kreate Catering had a brilliant idea for table linens – she bought drop cloths from the hardware store! She also loaded up on tons of mason jars and spray painted cheap glass vases for the flowers. I think we also saved by choosing a venue that was already naturally beautiful and didn’t need a ton of décor. The outside patio was already full of succulents, herbs, flowers, etc.
We were inspired by our dear friends, Chelsea and Greg Shukov (Chelsea is the co-owner of Sugar Paper), who had a surprise wedding 10 years ago. I met Chelsea soon after her wedding so while I didn’t attend, when she told me all about it I thought it was just a brilliant and fun way to celebrate. We loved the shock factor of it all… thought what a fun way to do something different and make it memorable. I also loved that it would force me to plan it quickly (because there’s no way we could’ve kept such a secret for more than a couple months!) and make decisions. There are so many options now a days and I tend to be indecisive… this made me made prioritize, not get too caught up in the little things, and focus on what it was all about – Michael and I getting married and sharing it with the people that mean the most to us.
One piece of advice that I’ve been giving my friends for years and yet I forgot on my own day was that the day literally does fly by and you can easily get caught up with nerves and adrenaline. So definitely stop and look around every hour or so and try to take it all in. This is one of the few times you will have so many important people in your life all together at once to celebrate. Also, a coordinator makes a world of difference… even if just a “Day of” coordinator. I don’t know what I would’ve done without ours, Katie Saffert. Oh and use Pinterest! It’s an amazing tool. I pinned a ton of stuff and Katie used that to bring everything together.
Fun, right? Congratulations Deena + Michael! We applaud you on being able to keep such a secret!
Photographer: Megan Welker / Videographer: Toby Lawless and Michael Antonacci / Ceremony & Reception Venue: Tiato / Event Coordination & Florist: Kreate Catering / Paper Goods (favors, programs, invitations): Sugar Paper / Hair & Makeup: TEAM Hair & Makeup / Cake: Susan Scott, Pastry Girl 123 / Catering: Tiato / Ice Cream Cart: Carmela Ice Cream / Chalkboard Art & Hand Lettering: Joyce Chai
Wedding dress designer: Catherine Deane for BHLDN / Wedding shoes: Something Bleu Lambent Knot Heels / Veil: Debra Moreland Seaspray / Earrings: Erickson Beamon for BHLDN, Bracelet by J.Crew / Groom’s Suit: J.Crew / Shoes: Cole Haan