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  • Writer's pictureMiss Lyss

Engagement Party Turned Surprise Wedding - Part 2 of 2

Like any good story, if you didn't read Part 1, I suggest you go back and read that before moving on to Part 2. You can find that post here.

5. Make it happen

The day comes and it is beautiful! No chance of showers - which would have ruined everyone in white - and it's a perfect August day in Pennsylvania. Because of the surprising nature of the wedding, we had no wedding party to accompany us in the morning. Instead, Matt and I got to take our time, have breakfast, get to the venue, practice our dance, spend some quiet time together, and exchange gifts before each of us got dressed.

I would highly recommend this to everyone! Looking back on our wedding day, we were able to spend so much time together and soak up snuggles, laughs, and relaxation before getting married. There was so much peace and quiet to be had, not a million questions or stressors, it was beautiful.


Pro Tip: Light your favorite candle in your getting-ready space and be sure to pack a charged Bluetooth speaker, prepped with your favorite Spotify playlist. All of these little things will help you stay calm, grounded, and relaxed on the morning of your wedding. Even pick songs from concerts you've gone to together to spark some nostalgia.


Though we had told our parents our plan in June, there was one person we were able to keep the surprise from - my brother. I knew his reaction would be priceless and would be the exact thing I was hoping to elicit from our guests as well.

Since we weren't having a formal ceremony with guest seating and processional, it was important to me to have my parents walk me to our first look together. Even if it was a tad silly, I wanted them the opportunity to feel included and not feel like they were missing out on that traditionally sentimental piece.

Matt and I had gone to my friend, Timbrel of Chyatee Bespoke, to get a custom suit made. We had discussed what it would look like, but I didn't want to see it until the day of the wedding. She absolutely nailed it!

After some photos together, we snuck off the premises for a few photos including a private ring exchange and reading letters to each other, just returning before guests started to arrive.

After a quick champagne tower, we hopped on a boat for some pictures and to stage our big entrance. Luckily, we had some family friends who were willing to help us out with the boat and already dock at the Marina, so they were familiar with the waters. They, too, had no idea it was actually our wedding. Thank you to Captain Ken and Skipper Marian Messick!

Both Matt and I agreed that the boat ride was one of our highlights from the day. We had time to recharge, drink champagne, enjoy the sunshine and cool breeze, and focus before the big moment.


Pro Tip: 30 minutes before your ceremony start, allot yourselves downtime to have the opportunity to breathe, use the restroom, do touch-ups, etc. before walking down the aisle. You'll thank me later.


Once docked, we had a short speech to welcome guests and drop the bomb. The surprised faces and subsequent cheers were what we had been waiting and calculating for two years.

We welcomed up our officiant, Leeroy, played a quick game of rock-paper-scissors to see who got to do the vows first (Matt won), exchanged rings, and said both personal and traditional vows. We were officially Mr. and Mrs. Price! Fittingly, we had "The Price is Right" game show theme song for our exit, which was then sequenced with an opening number from Big Boy Brass on the balcony behind the guests - another surprise for them!

The evening progressed smoothly from there - we greeted guests, opened stations of heavy hors d'oeuvres to enjoy, did a first dance and parent dances, and danced throughout the evening. But we had one last surprise for everyone, a caricature artist! Dylan Draws Stuff joined us for the evening and was a huge hit. Guests of all ages enjoyed getting a caricature and was such a fun change up from a photo booth. With that, the dance floor was open for cutting a rug!

As if an evening of a surprise wedding wasn't personal enough, we added a few more elements into the fold to truly be "us."

  • The food was a reflection of our heritage - Matt is of Polish descent and I'm from a very Lancaster County Dutch background. We had pierogies, ham balls, whoopie pies, and key lime dessert shooters as we have a vacation home in Key West.

  • Instead of one signature drink for each of us, we did a blend of our two favorite spirits. Gin for Matt and champagne for me, we made a version of a French 75. We even added our personal signatures to the bar sign.

  • We love our kitty cats, Ziva and Sasquatch, and just had to make sure they were present all night long - so we had cocktail napkins printed with their pictures!

  • For a guest book, we asked our friends and family to sign a white bottle of champagne - how fitting?!

  • Lastly, we had to make sure guests understood a few things about the surprise wedding. No, we weren't pregnant and no, we weren't doing this for insurance purposes.

So there you have it folks, the whole story of how this surprise wedding came to be and what it looked like. For a wedding planner, this came together perfectly and was a dream come true, but it's only the start of a lifetime of love and happiness together.

While this was our dream, we understand it's not for everyone. This story can serve as a spark of joy and a reminder that your wedding day should be about what you and your partner want. Throw tradition out the window, start from scratch, and prioritize what you want to remember from your day. And remember, it is only the start of your marriage, not the end goal.

Lastly, if you'd like to see the video of how this all came together in real life, check out our wedding video by the very talented Mark of Bamboo Shoots.

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