Dip smooch by the pool
Photos by Aaron Crootof (friend of the couple)

The Offbeat Bride: Tasha, Help Desk Specialist (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: David, college student extraordinaire

Date and location of wedding: Bride's backyard, Arlington, MA — July 13, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: A few months into the planning process, we were feeling overwhelmed by budget. In my internet scourings, I read about surprise weddings and proposed the idea to David. He was totally down for it, so we planned it for the already-scheduled engagement party that my mom was preparing for us. We told all our friends and family that we were postponing the wedding until 2015 so we could save up more. As a result, we saved a ton by not having to buy anything!

Modified engagement cake
They're engaged married!
Backyard ceremony
Guests during the pool-side ceremony

Tell us about the ceremony:
Our officiant (David's big brother) was already registered as a Dudeist priest, so he took care of the legal stuff to marry us. We found a Dudeist ceremony online and edited out some of the more spiritual stuff. The ceremony was only five minutes long, which was a request of the groom's. We did not have any vows, just voiced our agreement at various points. My godfather was in on the surprise and he performed a reading that I had found:

To love very much is to love inadequately; we love — that is all.
Love cannot be modified without being nullified. Love is a short word but it contains everything. Love means the body, the soul, the life, the entire being. We feel love as we feel the warmth of our blood, we breathe love as we breathe the air, we hold it in ourselves as we hold our thoughts. Nothing more exists for us. Love is not a word; it is a wordless state indicated by four letters.
-Guy de Maupassant
Getting ringed (no wedding bands yet)

A couple of months after the ceremony, David, my parents, my brother, my sister, and her fiancé went to my grandmother's house to perform a family tradition that is supposed to occur before the wedding. The bride's father puts a gold coin in her shoe for luck and good fortune and she wears it on her wedding day. In this case, I wore it in the house for a bit and then we drank some mead that had been bottled by my grandfather.

Shotglass collection
Shots with friends post-ceremony

Our biggest challenge:
The biggest challenge was keeping this a secret from as many people as possible! We weren't sure who we could safely tell, so some friends and family didn't end up coming. The officiant had to spill the beans to the groom's oldest sister the morning of the party because she was originally planning to attend an event that afternoon. We had to wait a while for the last of the guests to show up before we could announce the surprise and keep calm while trying to play along with wedding talk with the other guests!


My favorite moment:
Having my grandmother present meant a lot. She was the VIP as far as I was concerned. The shots I did with my aunt and dad in my grandfather's memory were also meaningful. Seeing David's nervous expression during the ceremony and his complete enthusiasm after made my day.

Shots for my grandfather
Shots for my grandfather

My funniest moment:
Before we made the announcement about the ceremony in the middle of the party, we had to tell our photographer what was going down. We had previously asked him to bring his camera to get some family shots, but we pulled him aside right before the announcement and told him about the wedding. He started freaking out (in a good way) and asked how long he had to keep it a secret. Fortunately, only seconds!


As we made the announcement about the impending wedding ceremony to our guests, one friend's jaw literally dropped and he could not shut his mouth until we were nearly ready to start the ceremony.

Cutting the cake

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!

Meet our fave wedding vendors

Comments on Surprise backyard pool party wedding

  1. this is brilliant – I remember seeing the pics on the tribe right after it happened but so glad to see the full story! 😀

  2. So fantastic! I love the idea of a surprise wedding. Very cool and casual, it seems. Here’s to many happy years ahead!

  3. This was brilliant!! The surprise must have been amazing fun (not to mention saving so much moola!)

Comments are closed.