Caitlin & Michael’s Surprise Backyard Wedding

by | Australia - Western Australia, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Surprise Backyard Wedding058

Caitlin & Michael

I love a good wedding and I love a good engagement party turned wedding which is exactly what Caitlin and Michael decided to do for their own special day. They chose Christine Lim  to capture their wedding day in all of it’s gorgeous glory.

On how they met, Caitlin fills us in. “Six years ago we met at a gig after hearing a rumour that one of our favourite bands were performing as a secret special guest. We were both at a bar near the venue with friends and Michael was with a mutual friend of ours and they ended up coming and joining our table. After being introduced we hit it off immediately and have talked every day since meeting. I knew that night that Michael was the one for me and this was the person I was one day going to marry.”

Surprise Backyard Wedding004
Surprise Backyard Wedding009

Unassuming guests were invited to an engagement party – little did they know what was about to happen! The bride remembers, “We really wanted to keep it fun and casual and we thought that having a surprise wedding was a perfect way to do that. By keeping it as a surprise (immediate family were in on the secret) we got to plan our day as we wanted it and it felt extra special because it was our happy secret.”

Surprise Backyard Wedding012
Surprise Backyard Wedding022

The couple chose Caitlin’s family home for their wedding. “We decided pretty early on that we would get married in my parent’s garden, I just couldn’t imagine it taking place anywhere else.”

Surprise Backyard Wedding023
Surprise Backyard Wedding025
Surprise Backyard Wedding019

“Having a wedding at your house instead of hiring venue is a lot of work, everyone was running around like crazy on the day and mum and I chose to get our hair and makeup done away from the house to get away from all the stress! ”

Surprise Backyard Wedding028
Surprise Backyard Wedding030

“I got my dress from Melbourne from Gwendolynne, I wanted a non-traditional wedding dress and found there were a lot of dress shops over that that had dresses, which matched my style more. Gwendolynne was the third shop we tried when mum and I were over visiting my brother and I fell in love with the dresses, it was really hard picking which one I wanted as all of her dresses are amazing. We decided on the ‘Tara’ dress and I had to go over several times for fittings. The detailing and beading on her dresses are stunning.”

Surprise Backyard Wedding035
Surprise Backyard Wedding037
Surprise Backyard Wedding039
Surprise Backyard Wedding043
Surprise Backyard Wedding044

The couple chose a first look, the bride remarking, “We wanted our wedding to be an enjoyable experience for us and our guests so we had our photos taken before the ceremony so the reception started straight after the ceremony and we got to celebrate with our guests immediately.”

Surprise Backyard Wedding045
Surprise Backyard Wedding046
Surprise Backyard Wedding047
Surprise Backyard Wedding048
Surprise Backyard Wedding049
Surprise Backyard Wedding052
Surprise Backyard Wedding053
Surprise Backyard Wedding055
Surprise Backyard Wedding060

Of their photographer, Caitlin remarks, “We chose Christine Lim as we had seen her beautiful photos and felt they matched perfectly with how we wanted our photos to look. After meeting her we felt very at ease and comfortable with her. So many guests commented afterwards what a great photographer she was and how impressed they were with her skill at taking photos without imposing or getting in the way of guests. We are so glad we went with Christine as our photos are perfect and she has captured the love and joy of the day.”

Surprise Backyard Wedding061
Surprise Backyard Wedding064
Surprise Backyard Wedding066

“One of our favourite things about the wedding was the family involvement. Mum and Michael and Michael’s mum decorated vases and jars before the day, mum and her friend made and decorated our cakes. A lot of my family is from Victoria and they flew in a few days early, so for the few days before the wedding everyone was at our house helping set up the backyard, arranging flowers, putting lights up. Michael also made the bar and the beer that was served at the wedding.”

Surprise Backyard Wedding067

Surprise Backyard Wedding070
Surprise Backyard Wedding077
Surprise Backyard Wedding073
Surprise Backyard Wedding080
Surprise Backyard Wedding083

Caitlin walked down the aisle to “Scudbooks by Hudson Mohawke.  We wanted something grand and happy to make an entrance to and it suited the mood perfectly.”

Surprise Backyard Wedding082
Surprise Backyard Wedding085
Surprise Backyard Wedding089

The couple’s dog Lana was the proud ring bearer.

Surprise Backyard Wedding086

Chelsea Crowe officiated the wedding, the bride remarking, “We had Chelsea Crowe as our marriage celebrant and she was kind enough to let us have our family friend do most of the ceremony and then Chelsea stepped in to do the legal bit. Having our family friend up there to officiate added an extra personal touch to the ceremony.”

Surprise Backyard Wedding090
Surprise Backyard Wedding096

“Writing and saying our own vows was really special, I have never felt happier and more loved than when we were saying our vows.”

Surprise Backyard Wedding099
Surprise Backyard Wedding100
Surprise Backyard Wedding103
Surprise Backyard Wedding104
Surprise Backyard Wedding107
Surprise Backyard Wedding108

Niece Holly was very much involved in the day, says Caitlin. “Our niece Holly (4) chose to come up and stand with us during the ceremony and afterwards told everyone she ‘helped us get married’, she also insisted on sitting on my lap while we signed our marriage certificate and tried to join in during our first dance. She is very important to us so it was nice she wanted to be so involved.”

Surprise Backyard Wedding114
Surprise Backyard Wedding119
Surprise Backyard Wedding120
Surprise Backyard Wedding124

Thank you for sharing your day with us Caitlin and Michael! Congratulations! Thank you also to Christine Lim for sharing today’s celebration.


This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Flowers
  • Central Avenue Deli
  • Venue
  • Private property
  • Wedding Cake
  • Bride's Mother's Friend


We ask that the comments you leave on our site are respectful of each other and the personal stories that are told. We reserve the right to remove any comments that do not fall within our site policies.


Trackback from your own site.