Surprise California wedding: Deena + Michael

Categories   Real Weddings

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

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!

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

Priceless!

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

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.

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

Succulent bridal bouquet | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

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.

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

Oh you sneaky two…

Succulent boutonnière | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

Succulent bridal bouquet | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

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.

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

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.

Surprise california wedding | photo by Megan Welker | 100 Layer Cake

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

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Social Love

Elaine Kendall on Nov 27, 2013

The looks on the faces for the surprise wedding are just priceless!

Krisitna Juarbe {Thirty Three and a Third} on Nov 27, 2013

This is just too cool!! And the styling is gorgeous! Love all the details and amazing pictures!!

this is lemonade on Nov 27, 2013

Oh WOW! What a fun idea! And what a beautiful wedding (love the dress too!) The colours are just delightfully subtle and elegant. Aaah, love this whole concept :)

The Clubhouse at Patriot Hills Event and Wedding Venue on Nov 27, 2013

LOVE the surprise element - and the chalkboards!

Lyloo & Maloe on Nov 27, 2013

How not to be in love with this wedding ? The concept is great, and the location is jus WOW !!!!

Nicole Underwood on Nov 27, 2013

oh man....amazing!!!!!!!!!

Mindy Dalzell on Nov 27, 2013

hands down favourite wedding of the year. tooooo sweet and so lovely.

Dave Barry on Nov 27, 2013

Absolutely beautiful. Such a clever idea to have succulents as the flower arrangements. Very stylish!!

Functionbands melbourne on Nov 30, 2013

Beautiful shoot!

Pete Marien on Dec 26, 2013

The parents must have been blown away!

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