Bronwyn & Rhys
Has the thought of a surprise wedding ever crossed your mind? Bronwyn and Rhys turned the bride’s 30th birthday party into a seriously gorgeous surprise, complete with thrilled guests, serious industrial vibes and ALL the plants! Tahnee Jade Photography captured all the sweet emotion.
Having met at their local Kmart when they were 17 years old, it took 2 years for the bride and groom to make it official, with Bronwyn sharing, ”It took 10 years to get engaged, but we got there.” The proposal happened in South Australia while road tripping. Bronwyn remembers, ”There is a beautiful beach you can drive your car along for 12km, so we were cruising along the sand. We stopped for some photos in a secluded spot, and while I was setting up the self-timer on the camera, Rhys got down on one knee and we snapped the proposal photo.”
Sharing their cunning plan, Bronwyn says, ”We decided to have a surprise wedding. Neither of us were keen on the build up to the wedding, the opinions and questions, pressure about guest-lists, so decided that we would only tell our immediate family about our engagement. We thought a surprise wedding would be such a fun and exciting event, and we really just wanted a big party to celebrate our love with all our favourite people. I was turning 30 at the end of the year, so decided we would invite the guests to a ‘Surprise 30th Birthday’ that Rhys was organising. Of course, the surprise was on the guests, who arrived and realised it was actually a wedding they were attending. Rhys greeted the guests, and the wedding kicked off with me arriving thirty minutes later once everyone was ready. We were really impressed at the turnout and punctuality for just a 30th, it actually went very smoothly!”
Walking down the aisle to a Lily Allen version of ‘Somewhere Only We Know’, Bronwyn and her dad faced all the ecstatic guests, surrounded by the stunning Glasshaus Outside decor. The bride shares, ”We wanted the ceremony to reflect us and our story, to be personal, light-hearted, but still full of the love we have for each other. We asked my brother Daniel and Rhys’ sister Sophie to each share a memory or something about our relationship which was lovely.”
Botanical, industrial and so close by, Glasshaus Outside was an easy choice of venue for both Bronwyn and Rhys. They tell, ”We loved the venue after seeing it online then walking past it just around the corner from our apartment in Richmond. The beautiful greenery meant that there was little decorating we needed to do, already being such a gorgeous space. We wanted native flowers, and thought that burgundy and green tones would tie in nicely with the venue and suit and dress colours. They were from Glasshaus nursery and absolutely perfect.”
Absolutely loving the process of finding her dream wedding dress, Bronwyn was thrilled to find so many she adored! She tells, ”I went to a few bridal shops with my mum and bridesmaids, and had a great time trying on some beautiful, but expensive gowns. We were saving for a house as well at the time, so I thought would check out Still White for a dress. Lucky for me, I found the same dress I had loved and tried on previously that fit me almost perfectly. It was a beautiful Suzanne Harward lace dress with a plunging front and back neckline. Rhys had a navy P Johnson Tailors suit made for the day, and wore a white shirt and black bow tie. He chose to keep it classic for the day, wearing custom engraved cufflinks.”
Capturing the fun spirit of their surprise wedding, and all the botanical details was Tahnee Jade Photography. Bronwyn remembers, ”Tahnee was great, very easy to work with. We had our family photos in the Fitzroy Gardens before the wedding, and she was very efficient and instructive, but mostly made us feel so relaxed with the whole experience. Neither of us love photos so were dreading this part, but it ended up being one of our favourite parts of the day with the first look and anticipation of the surprise. She was also brilliant at staying ‘invisible’ during the wedding. We felt like we hardly saw her yet she was clearly everywhere from her stunning photos.”
Every detail was thought out, and every vendor did an outstanding job creating this joy filled surprise. Bronwyn shares, ”We were thrilled with all our vendors. James from Lensure was our videographer, and like Tahnee produced a brilliant video whilst feeling like we hardly noticed him. Our celebrant Charis White was professional and delivered a beautiful ceremony, our cake from Mad About Cakes was delicious, and the food and staff from Blakes Feast were perfect.”
Given that Glasshaus is a veritable paradise of plants, the botanical/industrial vibe is already strong! Bronwyn and Rhys added a few touches to make the day their own, telling, ”We had some photos around the room to tell our guests the story of our secret engagement, as well as a ‘help us build memories, please sign a Jenga piece’ station instead of a guestbook. We made all our welcome and menu signs, brought some candles in, but didn’t have to do too much else with the venue.”
Continuing the surprises for their guests, the newlyweds created their own dance, lifts included! They tell, ”Neither of us were keen on a slow shuffle first dance, we wanted a song that would get the party started, reflected us and would surprise people. We chose the 2001 classic ‘Jackie’ by Joanne Accom, a song that we’d played a lot over the years in our friendship groups and always seemed to get people up and about. We made up our own dance routine, a bit of a mash-up of dance moves from YouTube. It took about a month of practicing especially to get the lifts right, but we got there!”
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