Wedded Bliss – the surprise

Since we have had a few request for more information on last fall’s nuptials it felt like it was time for a blog post.  Matt and I decided to make our arrangement legal sometime back in June. We knew from the start that we didn’t want a traditional wedding with all the trimmings. We more than anything just didn’t want to put our friends, family and especially ourselves through all the fuss and muss. We wanted a simple evening with good food, family and friends to celebrate the event. So after some internet searching it seemed like a surprise wedding was exactly what we were looking for.

Our first decision was to pick a date and narrow down the exact event. How were we going to get people to come in order to surprise them? Food, we knew it had to be a celebration and good food. We first looked at several restaurants. Sampling them as we weeded them off the list.  Let me just say to the restaurateurs of the area. you never know who you are waiting on that just might be planning their next big event. We knew we were looking at spending $3,000 or so and wanted to take the burden of the day off us by going some place inclusive. A restaurant seemed the logical choice as the decor would be already in place and we would only have to show up. Several of our picks had unattractive back rooms that they would put us in, no thanks and another didn’t even call us back. It was a disappointing search.  The final choice came to a nice downtown restaurant and their room looked more like a sports bar, again no thanks. Finally, we checked out my friend Jim Schaal’s Metamorphosis in downtown.  Jim made it easy.  On a warm summer afternoon we had it figured out, the menu was partially set and away we went.

tmp_kimwedding-56That was the when and the where then it came down to the How.  How in the world were we going to get everybody together without telling them.  Of course we needed to tell the parents but after that we wanted everyone to be surprised. I turned to John Reburn at Appalachia Press. From the moment I started to describe the event he just lit up and really got into the planning and scheming. The rouse was to be a party to celebrate Kim’s recent Architectural License achievement. After all, Kim worked 15 years to get licensed and it would not be far-fetched at all to have a celebration to commemorate the event. John’s invitation design was a fun vertical tri fold that started at the top of a column and ended with the base. In the middle was the carefully worded party (in wedding style) invitation. The most fun part about this was that if anyone really thought about it and  knew me they could figure it out. I am not one to want the spotlight or talk about my achievements at length. The idea of an Architectural Presentation at 6:30 should have given it away. It didn’t 🙂  If my friends thought it was strange they were polite and played along. “Just humor her” they probably thought.  We sent them out formally exactly one month for yet another subtle clue to our participants.

Details after that all seemed to fall into place, mostly anyway.  Kim’s dress was from David’s Bridal and pretty easy. Matt bought himself a new dark grey suit. Rings took a while but we finally found the perfect ones with the lovely ladies at Jewell’s. Shoes came from Zappo’s with last minute comfort assistance by the Shoe Doctor. Best $1.69 I spent on the night.

As the planning progressed we did decide to hire a photographer for the event. Knowing that I didn’t want the full-blown wedding production photos it was a bit challenging to find the right photographer. Tiffany Maxfield fit the bill perfectly. She was luckily available for the date and very excited to help us keep the secret. We meet up for our before ceremony shots just before the guests were to arrive. No one was the wiser. She and her assistant hung out at the edge of the event with their equipment nicely tucked away until the big reveal came and were there to capture everyone’s surprise. So glad we spent that money to have the memories captured.


The cake was serious business to us. It was the one wedding to do list appointment that Matt went willingly. Lisa Link with Cakes by Lisa won us over with her sour cream icing and moist chocolate cake. Again we didn’t want the traditional wedding things. Matt and I are serious chocolate fans and wanted to indulge our guests with our over the love of all things chocolate. Since purple and grey seemed to be the color theme it seemed natural to have the chocolate cake with purple embellishments. We ended up with three tiers. The top is nicely wrapped and in the freezer for our 1 year anniversary. The middle was mousse filling and the bottom tier was ganache and raspberry filling all with ganache floated on the tops. I just can’t describe how De-lish this cake was.

For the cake topper, I found a wonderfully talented artist on Etsy to make a cake topper in the likeness of our best girl, Zoe. It was a fairly simple process, a few pictures to Twin Indigo Weddings and a few weeks later we had Zoe. The artist was also kind enough to add a small hook in the back for turning the topper into a Christmas Ornament for continued use.  I just love this idea, it commemorates both our precious pup and our first married Christmas together.

It has been almost 6 months since the wedding. Matt and I are still so happy with the wedding we had and the decision we made to go for the surprise. We had just the perfect day with the help of a handful of wonderful vendors.