Just a regular Sunday browsing Facebook..
Occasionally I will look at the ‘birthday’ tab to see who has a birthday coming up so with that tool and knowing one of my friends has always loved Halloween – I always remember her birthday is on that day.
The next day – I noticed her in a wedding dress and I saw a ton of photos from other friends we grew up with posting about a wedding. I was like what the heck did I miss? Soooo naturally being the best private Facebook investigator (aka, a girl) that I am I was reading that she told her guests it was a surprise wedding! I texted one of my good girlfriends, Samantha, and literally said “I dare you to tell me a friend of mine I went to high school with didn’t tell her friends she was having a 30th birthday/Halloween bash and had a surprise wedding”… then I said “So badass’.
Literally, it’s one of the coolest engagement, wedding, 30th birthday stories I’ve ever heard!
April and I met in high school. I was a sophomore and she was a freshman and we immediately hit it off in Senor Blanco’s Spanish class because we shared a love for our Carolina Tarheels, NASCAR and we both loved to talk. We all had to pick a Spanish name that Senor Blanco would call us and I picked ‘Carolina’ and she picked ‘Christina’ and he called us the “Ina Twins”. He also moved me 3 times away from her for talking. Then we were in Honors Earth Science (yes, I feel the need to say honors because I wasn’t THAT smart in school and thought I was this shit for taking an honors class..so what, if it was EARTH SCIENCE. It’s hard…. The earth is tricky…) anyway, we got closer and through our mutual interests but moved further in seating once again since we kept talking… Oh, Mr Harris.. Anyway, she was relatively shy in school but so fun. We gave each ourselves the name “Paraputa” – it translates something in Spanish I most likely don’t even want to google because Lord knows what will pop up..but we still use it to this day. We also went to prom in the same limo and had the same blue dress with a different bead pattern on it – we didn’t even know. She has always been someone I naturally was close to based off of being the same person. Haha
April and I don’t talk that much now but birthdays, random photo comments or a random memory will pop up on facebook and we say hi. I knew she started dating a guy a while back and they were so cute together. April didn’t date anyone really in high school so I knew once she met John, he must be something special! I asked her if I could share her story on my blog and she said yes. So…. Check this out…
April and John met at his best friends birthday party in May of 2007 and then started dating August 2007. They took a year or so “break” back in late 2013. They got back together this past summer in June.
She said it was different when they first got back together. April said and they both were like ok let’s see if its just the newness thats making it better or if they’ve really matured and grown up. It stayed that way and eventually in August they were like “we want kids so let’s get married at the courthouse.” April is not the kind girl that dreamed of ANY wedding let alone some fairytale story so getting married and having some big wedding was NOT in the picture at all for her.
September 6th they were celebrating her sister’s birthday and her aunt was telling them “Y’all can’t get married at the courthouse, you HAVE to do something else.” Then someone jokingly was like “just get married on your birthday since you’re having a big party.”
So the wheels started turning and they all kind of collectively looked at each other like “OMG!!! This could happen!!!!” ….
They went home and thought about it for like 3 hours and decided to do it! Almost immediately April started a pinterest board for her “party” that was a secret that only her, her sister and cousin could write on.
Right away she started searching for a DJ, photographer, videographer, venue, etc. And keep in mind April is in school stressed to the freaking max already. She sent out text messages and that week she got the venue at this place called the Raleigh Racquet Club.
That Saturday after they decided they are doing the wedding, her sister booked an appointment to get her dress. April tried on 3 dresses. She couldn’t order one so she knew she HAD to get one off of the rack since time was so limited. She found the one she wanted and it fit perfect!
They went home and did the online invitations for her “1920s birthday party”. She told everyone that it was a 1920s themed party so that no one dressed up for her “wedding pics” with face paint on or crazy costumes that she couldn’t see their faces in. Obviously these photos are important since it’s HER WEDDING DAY! Haha
Now the fun part begins.. “Behind April’s back” her sister told everyone that John would be proposing to her so that everyone knew how important it was to attend this party! They clearly needed to make it something people felt like they couldn’t miss!
I asked April how stressful this had to be!?! She said she got her dress altered October 13 and John’s outfit October 23rd as her time was frame was so tight! But when I asked her if it was worth it her response was “It definitely was stressful” and she cried 2 days or so just from all of the stress but the thing that was the most stressful was THE F&%#& DUKE GAME!!! Hahaha how funny being that I mentioned our love for the Tarheels before I even talked to her earlier in my post. So fitting the Duke game was the worst part. Hahaha #feels
If you grew up in North Carolina you know, you pick Duke or Carolina. There’s “Duke Blue” and there’s “Carolina Blue”, there’s GTHD and GDTBATH. It’s the biggest college rivalry for a reason and we grew up with this being an important part of life.
She had been waiting literally ALL of October for the time of the Duke football game to be released since they had a game the night of her ‘birthday party’ and they release it a week or so before the party. It was a 7 o’clock game! Most of his family has season tickets, the best man who didn’t know he was the best man has season tickets and some others so she was like CRAP they can’t miss it!
She almost called it off because of them not being able to make it and also one of her bridesmaids had a mix up at work and someone couldn’t take her shift but that ended up working out so she was able to make it!
Now, the rings.. pretty important part, right? All of her friends were texting John telling him where to go to get her ring, asking him if he was excited but really they were talking to April. She said they were so cute and so sweet!
She told one of her friends that she was getting her “1920s dress” from the Goodwill store and she was like “NO WAY! You can’t do that!”..so she contacted April’s sister and told her that she couldn’t get proposed to in a dress from Goodwill and she also offered to pay for her dress. How freaking sweet!
April then text her friend, Brandy, an hour or two before the party and asked her if she could get there early so she could help her do her hair. She got there and April asked her to come downstairs where they were and she told her “SURPRISE…see that dress over there..well its a wedding!”
Now! The fun part. Planning is done. Hair is done. Rings are in…
The ‘party’ started and about two hours in April went back to change into her dress and two of her unsuspecting bridesmaids were like “Can we help you change?!?”
April’s like “noooo I’m ok” … hahaha
The DJ announced for everyone to go outside for a “Birthday Surpirse” and so they all went outside and she text her cousin when she was ready for the first video to play. The video showed pics of April & John and halfway through it said ” surprise! Welcome to our Wedding”
At this time April was standing upstairs and heard them all start shouting “yeahhhh” and crying and cheering. April said that part, “IT WAS AWESOME!!” Just like me and probably you right now picturing this, she already started crying but that just made her even more excited!
After that song was done the DJ played a song by Nick Lachey called “This I swear” I know we all remember the Nick and Jess days and their wedding day…. Ahhh…. Haha, When the song came on John told his best man that he was the best man and they walked to the front together and then April’s sister Tiffany walked out with her flower girl and ring bearer.
Then April walked down the steps when the first chorus started and her dad was at the bottom and walked her to the front…everyone was crying she said. WELL, YEAH!!!! How amazing is this?!
She got to the front “dropped off” her dad and she had a rose with each of her bridesmaids’ name on them and she asked each if they would be her bridesmaid. She handed them the rose and then the ceremony started.
At the end of the ceremony the officiant said “By the power of your love and the power vested in me by the state of North Carolina and the world wide web, I now pronounce you, husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride!
They kissed and then the officiant said what they say after every first down at the UNC games… “AND that’s another first down for the TAR …HEELS” and everyone in the crowd that knows said “HEELS” with the rest of them! She said this was one of her favorite parts!
The Décor: She got pumpkin decorations with handles on them and spray painted them an off white color with dark purple glittery ribbon on it. The ring bearer had a white glow in the dark ghost ring and a black glow in the dark ghost ring on his pumpkin. They had koozies made that said “April & John…Laid their single lives to rest…October 31, 2015” and it had an RIP tombstone on it so they put them in glittery goody bags with candy and a sign beside it that said.. “Tricked you to a wedding so take a treat”. Ahhh so cute! She got a big letter H for everyone to sign as like her guestbook.
The Cake: The topper was a skeleton couple wearing a wedding dress and a suit. They had chocolate drizzling off the top cake with Halloween picks in the cupcakes and they had a sign beside them that said “one cupcake is poisoned, enjoy your night”
It sounds like this was the perfect party/wedding/30th birthday! She said she did have one bridesmaid who had to go out of town suddenly so she couldn’t make it. One downfall was there were many friends and family who couldn’t make the party who texted, called and messaged her saying how bad they wish they had known and they would have been there. She said she couldn’t justify telling some and not others BUT she did get it all on video so they can see it later.
She is in dental hygiene school so a honeymoon isn’t happening right now but her family will eventually set up a go-fund-me account for their honeymoon, a joint post bachelor/bachelorette cruise party.
As soon as I read about this I knew I HAD to write a blog post on it. The older I get the less I want a huge wedding and all of the traditional festivities. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to do something this creative!
Cheers to April & John. If their marriage is anything like the wedding – you will have such a fun, exciting, happy marriage! (Love you Paraputa!)