Surprise Wedding! | Bethany & Max Tie the Knot, July 2016

Max and I met six years ago when we were both art students in college. We hit it off immediately and went on our first date a few months after we started hanging out. I knew pretty much from the start that this was the person I was going to marry. I also knew, after helping with and being in weddings, a traditional ceremony wasn’t our thing. We wanted our family and friends to be there but didn’t want the stress of planning to take away from the fun of getting married. One night after being stuck in the Pinterest rabbit hole, I came across a blog post about a couple who turned their engagement party into a surprise wedding. It was fun and casual, exactly what we wanted. The idea was tucked away and we waited for the right time.

The next summer we became the owners of a slightly run down house that needed a lot of love, which we had! As we signed the papers to our first house we knew we found not only our perfect home, but the perfect location for a housewarming party turned surprise wedding. We set our date, a year almost to the day, and rolled up our sleeves! For the next year we pulled nails, sanded, handed a paint brush to anyone who came through the door, and when things went wrong we watched YouTube videos. Being the artists we are, we added murals and quirky touches to make our home uniquely ours while secretly making things for our equally quirky surprise wedding.

There were a few close calls, whenever an unexpected guest would stop by we would toss wedding décor in a closet or throw a blanket on top of something. Keeping a secret this big was HARD. To make it even harder we decided to keep even our engagement a secret thinking that if anyone became suspicious they would think Max was going to propose at the party. With only a few months to go before the party we decided to let our immediate family in on the plan. They had been helping us with so many projects and were wondering why we were in a rush to finish everything. They were thrilled and so excited to be in on the secret. Tasks were delegated and everything started coming together quickly. As we were putting the final touches on our home we mailed out our invites and counted down the days.

Our party, like all weddings it seems, was here before we knew it and with the records spinning our yard soon filled with unassuming guests. After about an hour into the party Max gathered everyone outside to make the announcement as I slipped upstairs to change into my dress. He thanked everyone for supporting us and said that after dating for six years we were finally ready to get married. Our guests cheered and once the noise died down he added, “We’ve been waiting for the perfect time, and that time is right now.” Which was followed by confused silence, “We are getting married right here, tonight.” Everyone was floored. From upstairs I could hear our home erupt with cheers and excitement. 

The best part about our wedding (besides getting married) was listening to everyone’s reactions. We were worried people would feel left out or hurt but the response Max and I received was so positive. It was overwhelming to see how happy our family and friends were for us. When we bought our house we wanted to fill it with memories. Now when I’m in my art studio I see the place where Max proposed, our bedroom is where my mom and sisters helped me get ready, and when I walk outside I’m reminded of being surrounded by huge smiles, happy tears, and lots of love.