Surprise Lakeside Fall Backyard Wedding in Louisiana

Posted by Caitlin on Jan 05, 2015


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Liza and Wyatt were married in the bride’s uncle’s backyard in Shreveport, La. on December 13. Liza has been battling a form of cancer called synovial sarcoma, and she and Wyatt planned the surprise wedding in just two days.

“After getting the prognosis that my cancer was terminal, we laid in bed that night and made a bucket list of things we wanted to do — mostly travel and adventure trips,” Liza said. “When we started considering it more seriously we both decided that we wanted to get married. Once we were told I only had a couple weeks left, I never thought we would have enough time to pull off a wedding, but Wyatt said he knew we could do it, and convinced me by coming up with the idea to do it as a surprise! When we returned to Shreveport the night before the wedding, Wyatt and I finally had a little time for just the two of us. He pulled out the most beautiful ring and told me he couldn’t love me anymore or be any happier to call me his wife. I was taken aback by the ‘official proposal’ because I had no idea his dad had already shipped Wyatt his mom’s ring to give to me.”

The venue was nestled on Cross Lake, “where my family spent a lot of time growing up,” she said. “I always wanted to get married there because the sunset over the lake is so beautiful.” The bride wore a v-neck lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with capped sleeves and keyhole back, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, floor-length veil, and a bouquet of roses and hydrangeas. “Maybe the most trickiest detail of planning a wedding in 48 hours is finding a dress,” Liza said. “Luckily for me, I had always dreamed of wearing a dress just like the one a neighbor had worn at her wedding a few years before. Because we were in such a rush, I decided to call her and just ask if I could wear it at my own wedding. She graciously said yes and even offered to allow me to make alterations. It fit perfectly. I also borrowed my best friend’s mom’s sapphire earrings. My best friend had gotten married the month before and her mom wore the earrings to her wedding. I loved them so much that she promised me I could wear them as my ‘something blue’ at my own wedding, thinking that would be years, not weeks away.”

The ceremony took place at dusk on the lawn with 150 witnessing. “It was so fun to see everyone’s faces as I walked down the aisle,” she said. “They were so overjoyed and many of the guests, men and women alike, had eyes full of tears. Wyatt said he can’t stop thinking about how happy I looked when I walked out on my dad’s arm. He said my smile has never been bigger.” The newlyweds’ performed their first dance shortly after followed by dinner and the cake cutting inside the private residence. Of course, Liza smashed a piece in Wyatt’s face! “We cut out a lot of the little details and delegated decisions that weren’t important to us,” Liza said. “I’m sure most of the details weren’t perfect, but I felt we had the best wedding ever. We realized that what makes a wedding great are best friends and family, a great setting, good food, plenty of drinks, and non-stop music.” They ended the night with the song “Shout.” “After about eight hours of celebrating, we closed the night by dancing to a favorite song,” she said. “We were in a screened-in porch and all of our family and friends swarmed around us in a circle. I remember looking around and seeing all these people we loved dancing and having the times of their lives.” A grand exit took place amongst a sea of glitter and a ride in a fancy old convertible car.

For more information on synovial sarcoma, visit the Love for Liza at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center fund. Please follow this link here


Photography: Mary Ann Elston Photography | Hair Stylist: Natalie Nail | Officiant: Jonathan Beck | Floral Designer: Fleur de Lis Flowers & Gifts | Cake: Julie Anne’s Bakery

Intimate Surprise Spring Backyard Wedding in Florida

Posted by Caitlin on Aug 15, 2014


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Maria and Jason were married at their own home in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on June 14. “Our engagement party was actually a surprise wedding to all of our guests,” Jason said. “For the first hour and a half of the event, we were dressed casual. We made an announcement over the microphone thanking everyone for coming to share in our special day. We then dropped the bomb that no one was supposed to leave because the party was really our ‘surprise wedding!’ We said were going upstairs to change, and we were to be married in 30 minutes. And that is exactly what happened. People’s faces were in complete shock, and one person even yelled out, ‘Are they for real?’ Once reality settled in, everyone started clapping and congratulating us.” The bride wore a strapless lace wedding gown, accessorized with a her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls with a jeweled headband, while the groom wore a khaki vest and pants, accessorized with a pale blue tie and pair of Vans slip-ons. Her bouquet featured cymbidium orchids. The very important extra was Piglet, the flower pup. Following the outdoor ceremony, dinner and dancing began underneath a tent. To beat the heat, refreshing drinks in beverage dispensers, such as pink lemonande, were served. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Not everything is going to come out perfect,” he said. “Just roll with the punches and enjoy your day.” Almost everything was handmade! Tables included burlap runners, mason jar centerpieces, lanterns, and lots of candles. “They were full throttle on making something beautiful from scratch,” Stephanie Rawcliffe, the photographer, said. “What an amazing job she did!”

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Photography: Stephanie Rawcliffe Photography | Dress Designer: David’s Bridal | Jewelry: Beverly’s Jewelers | Hair Stylist: Desire Roeser | Makeup Artist: Fernanda Vingren | Groom’s Attire: JC Penney | Officiant: Kristin Semple | Floral Designer: Hearts and Flowers Florist | Rentals: Kolors Party Rentals