Morgan and Ben’s Surprise Garden Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,



Ben and Morgan

Three weeks before our engagement party we came up with the crazy idea of getting married ASAP. We had dated for over seven years, had been engaged for only two months and thought why wait – let’s have a surprise wedding in place of our engagement party! With only three weeks to plan our dream wedding, we had to move fast. I did not have a dress, celebrant, photographer or rings, there was a lot to do and not a lot of time.

Luckily we had a lot of help from our parents and bridal party, who were the only ones that knew about our wedding plans. We are so thankful for parents and bridal party who kept our wedding a secret for three weeks and for helping us pull it all together and making our dream day come true.

My dress was designed by an Australian designer and made from antique French lace. I also wore a ribbon veil, a vintage clip, Mikimoto pearls, and gold sparkly shoes.

Our lovely photographer, Melissa from a Shot Above the Rest, captured us getting ready – we had a bit longer to get ready as we were not tying the knot until 7pm. We broke tradition and decided to see each other before our wedding ceremony to take photos.

Melissa said, “some people just get it right, and when they do – man its inspiring and exciting to capture on their day! I love these colours, love the fabrics, love the textures, love the light – I love this wedding”.

I’m not sure what happened along the way but it all came together for us. The weather was perfect and the leaves were beautiful autumn colours. We didn’t plan our wedding around a certain colour palate or theme, so I think we were either really lucky or really good at coordinating everything so well!

Bruce from Kombi’s for All Occasions not only drove us around in his very cute Kombi, but took extra photos of us on the day. It was truly great service.

Our flowers were amazing. We had all of the large flower displays and bouquets done professionally, and purchased and arranged all of the flowers in the smaller vases ourselves at a local flower market the day before the wedding. You can never have too many flowers. I think it’s the small touches that make a wedding so beautiful.

We were lucky enough to have everything right at our fingertips. Our wedding ceremony and reception venue was at Ben’s parent’s house in Yarralumla, ACT. This is where Ben and I first lived together after a number of years house jumping from our each of our parents’ houses. It was a special location for us.

When our guests arrived for our ‘engagement party’ they were ushered into the house and through the back courtyards. We had a chef and staff waiting guests, and our parents were under instruction to tell a white lie to all our guests – that we were running late after having letting our bridal party know about our future wedding plans in Bali!

The front garden was all set up and ready for our ceremony. The pavilion, chairs, and decorations were carefully hidden by surrounding hedges and all of the lighting was strategically switched off – it was our secret garden perfect for our surprise garden wedding!

Our lovely three-tiered cake with fresh antique roses was made by a local cake maker, Cake Lovers. It was everything we wanted vanilla and chocolate with textured icing on an antique tray.

Ben and I couldn’t have planned a better wedding. It was far from what we had dreamed of – it was even better!


Images by A Shot Above the Rest

Ms Gingham says: An amazing achievement to have planned such a beautiful wedding in 3 months!!! Congratulations to Morgan and Ben!

Morgan says: “Ben did a wonderful job designing my engagement ring without me knowing. I have received so many compliments and truly am grateful.”


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  • Koren Harvey - Marriage Celebrant says:
    September 30, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Congratulations, Morgan and Ben – it looks like it was a beautiful, romantic celebration!

    It’s important to note that with the exception of limited prescribed circumstances, couples must give their Notice of Intended Marriage to their chosen celebrant/clergy no later than one month before their wedding. Don’t overlook this part, as failure to do so may mean that a long-planned for wedding becomes a commitment ceremony!

  • Melissa - Lead Photographer - Owner says:
    October 3, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Morgan and Ben’s wedding was in a word DIVINE!, it was special, it was personal, and it was so elegantly done. when they first met with me, i was excited, and there is nothing like knowing a massive secret like that and not being able to say a word! So so, soooo glad i was available to do this one, it was very special and their love and desire for each other glowed the whole day and night, as they shared this special moment with their friends and family in such a relaxed and stunning location. I loved Morgan’s bridal prep images so much i entered one of her in the Australian Professional Photography Awards in September. thanks again Ben and Morgan, – Kind Regards Melissa.

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    October 4, 2013 at 10:02 am

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  • Bellagio Limousines Perth says:
    October 6, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    The kombi added a nice touch to this relaxed and beautifully decorated Wedding.I loved reading about all the Surprise elements they had planned so well.Congrats!

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