If you’ve been following me long enough you’ll know that My husband and I got married at our engagement party in August 2016.
I was pregnant with Bowie and Levi was 11 months old, I knew when I had fallen pregnant with Bowie that I didn’t want to give birth to him before we were married.
I wanted Phil to be my supportive “husband” not “Boyfriend” and I remember how much I hated being in the hospital and having a separate last name to Levi.
So we decided to save money and do it as a surprise at our engagement party, less stress, less money, less having to worry about everyone else.
We told a small group of our friends as we still wanted a wedding party and wedding photos. The morning of the engagement party all of my bridesmaids came over and we started getting our hair and make up done. We ate food, we laughed, it was such a relaxing morning!
I had 5 Bridesmaids, 3 friends & my 2 twin sisters. Phil had 8 groomsmen, we weren’t bothered by the uneven number. Phil just happens to have way more friends then me haha.
The boys were in a separate area to us in the house so we didn’t see each other getting ready.
By 2pm We were all ready and headed to the Botanical Garden at Mt Cootha for our wedding photos. They have a beautiful garden there and it was close to home so it was perfect! The boys arrived before us so that they could get their photos done first (also we weren’t exactly ready like i said before) haha
Phil has such a versatile group of friends, they’re all in different stages of their lives and working different jobs and busy with family; but they’re the most supportive group of friends I’ve ever met. I envy how close they are, their brothers and nobody can tell them any different. It’s so comforting to know he has such a huge support network behind him
Us girls arrived around 40 minutes after them, we had a 2 hour window to take photos and get back home and get changed before our guests started arriving for the engagement party.
You wouldn’t know it, but among all those girls and flowers were 2 sweet little growing babies. My friend Kristy (far right) was also growing a little baby & it was really special that she could be apart of my big day!
Phil and I only saw each other for the first time when we met at the garden’s, I wish i’d put my thought into maybe staging a “first look” moment but in the chaos it totally slipped my mind. I remember him walking up to me and grabbing my hand “Hey, you look nice” he said. Then we went down by the water to get our group and couple photos.
The time was just getting away from us and we had about 40 minutes to get the rest of our photos, I underestimated the amount of time spent on getting our photos which was really disappointing but we still managed some good ones!
Trying to get photos of a group this size definitley had it’s difficulties, I would definitely recommend getting a photographer whose confident in directing large groups of people.
After we got our photos back I noticed that in 90% of them someone was either looking away or not smiling, just something to think about when shopping around.
Ultimately i’d love to re-do our photos, just the ones of Phil and I. Not because I wasn’t happy with the ones we got but time just slipped away from us and we don’t really have that many to look back on! We plan on re-doing them on our 1 year anniversary.
So, before we knew it; it was 4:45 and we had to get back home, get changed and be ready to greet our guests at 5pm! I remember pulling into the drive way and there were already people there so we had to stealthly run inside and up the stairs and hope to god nobody saw us! I think we managed because nobody said anything.
Phil and I set up the backyard where our party was all by ourselves the day before.
we built the back drop ourselves and added a custom made plaque from Zilvi.
Nick (far left) was the lovely person who married us. His wife & met when I use to teach both her little babies, we formed a friendship and I’ve been so grateful to have them in my life. Erin (far right) was my maid of honor.
Me doing what us preggo’s do best, Eating, Eating, Eating.
So, around 7pm the wedding party snuck upstairs to get changed back into our wedding attire while Phil started to make the speech that would lead into us getting married.
He thanked everyone for coming and it was show time! During his speech he mentioned a special thanks to his grandparents for travelling as far as they did to attend and said he was thankful they could make it and it was sad that they could potentially not make it to the wedding. Nick (the friend who married us) then yelled ” Why don’t you just do it now then?” Everyone laughed. ” No way” said Phil ” I don’t have any groomsmen”.
In the distance a voice then shouted “Did someone say groomsmen?” and out marched Phil’s friends, everybody clapped and cheered as they came to the realization that this was now a wedding.
I walked down the aisle to Ellie Goulding’s Love me like you do but a cover version by Boyce avenue. My mum met me at the door and walked with me.
We said our vows, exchanged rings, said I do & the rest was history.
So that was our wedding day, I loved everything we did for it. If I’m honest and I had the choice to do it again i’d probably just elope and go on a holiday but that’s because we couldn’t afford a honeymoon at the time and I’m still sour about it, haha… maybe for our anniversary? hint hint Husband!
If you want any advice or have a question for me drop it below!
I hope you enjoyed my post x
What an amazing story! I had only just started following you when I seen your photos of the suprise wedding and I remember thinking HOW COOL! And that was at the time I had started planning mine!
Looks like so much fun
Oh thanks babe! It was such a fun night!
Beautiful story and stunning photos. 🙂
Thanks Anne ❤️
Jess I remember this like it was yesterday and it was so so beautiful and special ❤ I love your posts and look forward to more xxx
Oh thanks Stacey! So glad you and the fam made it ❤️
Aww Jess, I was in absolute tears reading this, so beautiful and soooo romantic ❤❤
Oh thanks Kirsty! It was a special night that’s for sure ❤️
Absolutely loved it!! We were so honoured to be a part of your big special day. So much love between you both ❤️Xxx
Oh thanks doll! Me too! Wouldn’t have had it any other way x