a surprise wedding…

Photo taken by Peter Stonerough.

On Saturday we had our farewell BBQ at a beautiful bush park reserve here in Raglan and surprised our family and friends with a wedding!
We have been thinking about the idea for about 6 months now, but only seriously decided to go ahead with our plans two weeks ago. You know, with all the stress of moving countries, sick kids and injured feet, we figured why not just add to it and organise a wedding too?! Crazy right?!

Si and I have been together for just over 8 years, own a house and have two kids, so really we already felt like an old married couple. We thought however, that it would be nice to make it official. Especially as we are mere moments away from starting our new life over in Australia.
We're not into the whole palaver of the "traditional" wedding, opting instead for a simple, low-key celebration surrounded by those we love. The added surprise element was the perfect way to take the stress and pressure out of the day.

I managed to keep it quiet, only telling 5 people of our plans to marry. Secretly we planned, baked and sewed. My sister helped to make the buntings that lined the wedding circle, that was created by one of my dearest friends, while I baked the gluten-free chocolate wedding cake. It was based on my chocolate love cake recipe here. (I'll be posting the full recipe and instructions as soon as I get our photo's back).
I would have easily got away with not telling both of my parents, had my mum not popped over while I was icing the cake that Saturday morning!

The invites said "you are invited to our fancy farewell BBQ, wear a dress and bring a plate", as people arrived, some commented on how dressed up Si, the kids and I were (I'm not usually one to wear make-up), one even guessed what we were really up to, but only one. Another friend commented "all you need is a celebrant, Emm. You have all your family and friends here, and you're all dressed up", I just laughed saying "yeah, that would be a great idea".
The look on every ones faces when it was announced that they had been invited to a little bit more than just a farewell BBQ, was unforgettable.

The fast and simple little ceremony that proceeded was then followed by beautiful food shared under the shade of the trees, while the kids zoomed around the paths and down the hill on their bikes.
It was quite simply, the perfect day and my perfect wedding. Sweet, simple and fuss-free, just the way I like it.

On a completely and utterly different note, my thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been affected by the earthquakes in Christchurch. What a harrowing day today has been in NZ. Xx

Update: To see a few photo's from our wedding along with my recipe for gluten-free chocolate wedding cake click here.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    February 22, 2011 at 10:41 am

    WOW what a great idea, sounds like a perfect wedding =) Congratulations and look forward to the chocolate cake recipe and perhaps more pictures hehe xxxx CONGRATS again and lykke til i Australia (good luck)

  • Reply
    February 22, 2011 at 10:43 am

    man that cake was EPIC!!! Seriously so good Em. The wedding was really cool too 😉

  • Reply
    February 22, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Wow,congratulations! What a great way to get married. All the best for your big move. I moved from NZ to the Gold Coast two years ago and though am still missing my family like crazy, am loving the lifestyle here. I'm sure you will love Aussie too!

    Chocolate love cake looks divine, gotta try that one – my husband's 30-something birthday is coming up next week, perfect!

  • Reply
    February 22, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Congratulations! What a fantastic idea for a wedding – am totally inspired by you pulling it together in two weeks. Can't wait for the cake recipe + pics.

    Without wanting to take away from your news, my thoughts are also with all New Zealanders on this horrific day. x

  • Reply
    February 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    It is so good to read something lovely today. Congratulations, I hope you will continue to be very happy together.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2011 at 3:20 am

    I got the goosebumps just reading it! Congratulations to the old and new married couple! Sounds like the perfect wedding, especially for you two. Good Luck with the love. xx m.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Congratulations! That is so exciting and such a great reminder that happiness continues amongst turmoil. Many blessings to you and your family across the ditch (as I have learned you say here).

  • Reply
    Pat @ Elegantly, Gluten-Free
    February 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    How lovely! Congratulations on your wedding! Best wishes also for your upcoming move, and many thoughts and prayers for your nation after the quake yesterday. I hope you are not impacted by it personally!

  • Reply
    February 23, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Congratulations! This sounds like a lovely wedding – wish you lots of happiness 🙂

  • Reply
    Janet NZ
    February 24, 2011 at 12:38 am

    PS – MY mother would have KILLED me if we'd done that – and oh how I wish we had! 🙂

  • Reply
    February 24, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Congratulations Emm, that is a beautiful story…….especially at such an awful time for NZ…

  • Reply
    Anahera Moon
    February 24, 2011 at 2:50 am

    OhMyGosh Em!! That is so awesome!! Wow girl, would love to see more pics! Huge congrats xoxoxoxox

  • Reply
    February 24, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Congratulations Emma!What a wonderful occasion.
    We look forward to hearing all your tales from Oz.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2011 at 1:09 am

    Thank you all for your kind words. It really was a wonderful day. I planned to do a post real soon with a few pics of the wedding and cake (with recipe). But would you believe it, our computer has had a melt down. Perfect timing. So it may have to wait until we get to Perth. Life's just a tad manic at the moment. I've got a great recipe I'm hopefully going to share tomorrow via Dad's computer…

  • Reply
    Laura Jane
    March 1, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Such a sweet idea, I love it! Can't wait to see the pics and recipe. Congratulations, hope the move goes smoothly for you and the fam 🙂

  • Reply
    March 17, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Congratulations! It sounds like the most perfect way to hold a wedding!

  • Leave a Reply