Kelsey + Nick were already in the middle of planning a big wedding in the Poconos when they realized that a large-scale celebration wasn’t the right fit for them. They wanted to create a fun and intimate day that would feel true to who they are without having to field a ton of opinions about the fact that the Poconos plans were changing.
So they made it a surprise!
Under the guise of a big dress shopping trip, Kelsey + Nick lured their families to their apartment in NYC and announced that they’d actually gathered everyone for their wedding day! After popping some bubbly, everybody got ready and set off to the lakeside gazebo in Brooklyn’s beautiful Prospect Park where Kelsey + Nick said “I do.” And super talented photographer and friend of the couple Robert Aveau was there snapping gorgeous photos of this surprise celebration every step of the way.
The Big Surprise
Big smiles as Kelsey + Nick break the news!!
From bride Kelsey: “We as a couple love to laugh and have fun together. And we know that weddings can be extremely stressful. So, in order to eliminate most of the day of stress we decided to hold a surprise wedding. This way the whole day was already planned when our family and friends found out! Nothing to fuss about, just get dressed and come! Although it was definitely stressful for the two weeks we had to plan the wedding, it was wholly worth it for what turned out to be an absolutely perfect wedding day.”
Photographer Robert says the family was “mid bagel smearing” when Kelsey + Nick made their exciting announcement.
Kelsey + Nick tied the knot only TWO WEEKS after deciding to go ahead with their new surprise plan, so Kelsey knew she didn’t have a lot of time to make a dress happen. The goal was something chic and timeless in satin or silk, and, after ordering and trying on a handful, the La Lune Cream Lace Back Maxi Dress from Shona Joy was the winner!
First Looks in Prospect Park
How elegant is Nick’s dark gold Italian stretch velvet tuxedo jacket from Bonobos?!
Check out our tips on how to elope in a national park if you’re far from the big city but like the idea of getting hitched somewhere scenic.
Kelsey added some drama to her gorgeous yet simple satin dress with these sheer pearly opera gloves and her short pearl-adorned veil. Take a peek at our rundown of 21 great pairs of wedding gloves and our list of the best veils for every bridal style if you need some guidance recreating the look.
Bride Kelsey says: “The surprise created a little bit of rush for the day but that led to a sense of excitement and helped us soak in every moment. That was our goal. To have as much fun and laughter together and spend as much time with our closest friends and family on our wedding day.”
Kelsey did her own hair and makeup surrounded by her friends and family before heading to the park while Nick got ready elsewhere so they’d have this first look moment. Even small-scale wedding days cane be full of romantic suspense!
We can’t get enough of the way Nick’s classic black velvet tuxedo slippers really complete his look. Check out a similar Magnanni pair we love.
Votives and colorful bud vases from Stems Brooklyn helped mark the Prospect Park gazebo for the ceremony so Kelsey + Nick would have it all to themselves.
We spy some Craspedia (or Billy Buttons) in Kelsey’s bouquet! Love how much character and texture those little yellow ball shaped flowers add to an arrangement.
Violinist Concetta Abbate lent her musical skills for the romantic moment.
The most memorable part of our wedding day was our wedding vows. One of our best friends, Michael, married us and he created the most beautiful invocation. It described our personalities and relationship perfectly. We both teared up many times throughout! At the end, he included a poem that both Nick and I love by Jalal al-Din Rumi, “Unable to perceive the shape of you, I find you all around me. Your presence fills my eyes with your love. It humbles my heart, for you are everywhere.” And that is when we both broke out into happy tears before saying, I Do!
If a small-scale celebration like Kelsey + Nick’s is speaking to you, take a look at our tips for planning an intimate wedding.
Do what will make you and your partner happy. Your friends and loved ones will always have fun and be happy if you do exactly what feels right.
An Intimate Dinner
After all the excitement at the park, Kelsey + Nick headed to Convivium Osteria for a family style feast with their nearest and dearest.
How delicious does that wedding cake from Mia’s Brooklyn Bakery look?! The perfect sweet treat to cap off a day full of “Surpirse!”
Congratulations, Kelsey + Nick! You pulled off the perfect elegant elopement surprise! Best wishes from all of us at GWS!!
photography: Robert Aveau // venue name: Propsect Park, Brooklyn, NY, USA // florals: Stems Brooklyn // wedding dress: Shona Joy // groom attire: Bonobos // catering: Convivium Osteria // cake: Mia's Bakery // music: Concetta Abbate