I have heard of surprise weddings in the past, but hadn’t thought about the benefits of planning a surprise wedding. Then I met photographer Cassie Angeline and read about her Surprise Wedding. After reading Cassie and Jordan’s story and their desire for a really simple and intimate wedding where the focus would be on the couple and their marriage, I realized that planning a surprise wedding can be a perfect idea for some couples.
For all weddings, but especially in this scenario, I think the number one thing is for the couple to be on the same page with their marriage and to both want to plan a surprise wedding. There are a number of benefits such as keeping the wedding as small or as big as you’d like; only you will know about the plans and will be responsible for getting your guests to the wedding. Another benefit is that there are no outside influences you’d have to consider when planning the day, so you can really make it what you want it to be. Finally, I think this is a great way to control costs. A surprise wedding is naturally going to be different than the standard wedding, you can more easily pick and choose what you want to spend money on, based on what is important for your special day.
Why and How Cassie and Jordan planned their Surprise Wedding:
Cassie and Jordan, who work together as professional photographers, wanted their wedding to be very intimate and wanted the focus to be on their marriage. They realized that no matter what they wanted, their families would have wanted to do more, and they really did not want the spotlight of a big wedding.
The one person who knew about the plan for this Surprise Wedding was Cassie’s youth pastor who agreed to counsel them and officiate their wedding. His main requirement was that while the wedding was going to be a surprise, the marriage would in fact be welcomed by their families. This was not a concern since Jordan had already asked for Cassie’s hand in marriage and the two were engaged to be married.
They decided in January to plan their surprise wedding for May 19th, during Cassie’s family vacation in Oak Island, North Carolina, 20 miles from where Jordan family lives. They planned to meet at a park in Southport on their first day of vacation for “family portraits” and “an early dinner”. Both of these details were true, but there was also the wedding. For the “portraits” they asked families to dress in pink and blue – their wedding colors. Jordan wore a baby blue gingham shirt, a tan pants and vest suit, and a pink tie. Cassie wore a lace ivory wedding dress with a champagne silk bow, champagne polo boots and had a baby’s breath halo and pink and blue hydrangea bouquet.
Cassie met the families in the park (not yet in her wedding dress), while Jordan and the Pastor waited at a bed and breakfast a few blocks away. Cassie told everyone that Jordan was setting up for the portraits and that there was no parking where they were going. Cassie led the family up Lord Street to The Robert Ruark Inn, there were white chairs and huge balloons set-up for the wedding. Jordan and Paster stood underneath a beautiful magnolia tree. A video camera was set-up and caught the stunned and emotional responses from family members as they arrived and realized what was taking place. Their wedding then took place with the 9 adults and 3 kids in attendance.
After the ceremony, they took portraits. Then had a simple but delicious barbecue dinner on the bed and breakfasts’ patio and a two layer raspberry filled wedding cake for dessert.
Everything was perfect and the two families hit it off, laughing and chatting about the behind the scenes drama to planning the day, like when Cassie and Jordan almost ran into her parents when picking up their BBQ order in Oak Island.
The best part of the day was seeing the surprise unfold and the touching reactions; families were tearful and happy to be a part of this special wedding. The hardest part for her and Jordan leading up to the day was not keeping the surprise. It was finding a great photographer, since they are professional photographers this was the one important planning element they really wanted to get right!
Her tips for other couples thinking about a surprise wedding, is to go for it! As long as everyone is for the marriage, it is so worth it to plan a surprise wedding.
See Cassie’s full story here for more pictures and a wedding video.