A surprise wedding ceremony

Lets face it, we all like surprises!  On this particular occasion in April it really didn’t get much better; so we wanted to inspire you with Katie and Mathew’s real wedding.

We were introduced to Katie and Mathew by Nikki at I Do Weddings and together we a mastered a top secret plan to disguise their wedding day as a 30th Birthday party for Matthew.

Neither of them wanted a big formal wedding ceremony just a “real wedding”, one where their three children, Theo, Bobbie and Rebecca, and all the people they loved could enjoy a relaxed, fun, party atmosphere- but with a twist!

Their chosen venue was their own home in Yorkshire and the Papakata transformed their beautiful gardens into the perfect outdoor party space.

They say “home is where the heart is” well, it was certainly true for this lovely couple. For them, having their wedding ceremony at home was integral to becoming a family unit.

Guests arrived on this sunny Saturday in April to what looked like a very special 30th birthday celebration; the drinks were flowing, music playing, 30th ballons floating in the breeze and tables set out for a celebratory meal.

As our “birthday speech’ was about to start their two gorgeous boys arrived with grandad holding scrolls saying “SURPRISE” and “MUMMY AND DADDY ARE GETTING MARRIED”.

It was just soooo sweet!  Everyone reacted firstly with a big “awwwwww” and then a “What???” as the penny dropped!

In came Mathew wearing a matching blue striped jacket to his boys and looking like the cat that had got the cream! There were cheers and laughter for the birthday boy and groom.

Then their daughter Rebecca and grandparents entered followed by Katie, our surprise Bride and her bridesmaid Sarah to a cover of “Diamonds” by Alice Olivia.

 The atmosphere was amazing, full of laughter and surprise, and a few tears!

Katie’s dad then read a lovely poem about “family” touching the hearts of young and old.

The ceremony was unique and totally bespoke, as are all our ceremonies. Not only did our ceremony allow them to have it at home, but it also gave them the freedom to say what they wanted to say and promise to each other and tell their personal story in their own way and style.
Theo and Bobby thought it was great and enjoyed being part of this marriage of a family, not just a couple.

For their daughter Rebecca it was a a special honour to be the ring bearer. The rings were tied with ribbons onto a slice of log.  Katie and Mathew made their promises to each other and exchanged rings. I’m not sure either of them could really believe that they had actually managed to keep everything a secret and were now husband and wife!

The ceremony closed with an great song “Bonfire Heart” by James Blunt , we just love the lyrics especially the chorus- have a listen.

Days like these lead to…
Nights like this lead to
Love like ours.
You light the spark in my bonfire heart.
People like us—we don’t
Need that much, just some-
One that starts,
Starts the spark in our bonfire hearts

Big congratulations to Katie, Mathew, Bobbie , Theo and Rebecca, we loved every minute creating your ceremony.

Then the party started. Good food and music are the perfect combination, especially with singing waiters!!  How happy are they?!!

If you’d like Celebration Ceremonies & Weddings to help you create your kind of wedding ceremony in a special place; at home, a private estate, an off-the beaten track unlicensed venue, alternative wedding venue or outdoor location or need help finding one then do get in touch we’d love to be part of making it unique and personal. ceremonies@janshillito.co.uk

Many thanks to Zoe and Dominic Wright for use of their superb photos, and to Katie and Mathew for allowing us to share their day and inspire other couples to do it their way.

Get in touch

Email ceremonies@janshillito.co.uk, call 07745 385 981 or use the form below. Say hello! and join our line up of awesome couples.

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