Could you imagine planning your dream wedding — having so many different aspects of it prepared + in waiting… And then losing it all to a house fire? Well for Emery + Casey, that was their reality. However, they chose to focus on the positive — and that was what remained through all the ashes: love. A strong and faithful love that holds more value than any tangible thing possibly ever could. Emery knew that what mattered most to her was the man she wanted to spend her forever with, and so she decided to plan a surprise (YES, it was a complete secret!) elopement to her best friend.
Photographer Monique Serra was in on the whole thing, she shares: For months and months Emery worked with planner Peachy Keen Coordination along with other vendors to create a shoot, which would ultimately lead to a surprise proposal, and then an elopement. The day came and her man was such a trooper as he played “model” for a bunch of artists putting together an industrial styled shoot. What he didn’t know, was that EVERY SINGLE PERSON was in on the secret, except him. While taking some “bride and groom” shots, I (the photographer) said “Okay, I think we have some nice calligraphy vow books that I want you guys to pretend to read from…”
Ready to see what happened?! The story only gets better!
Dark and moody florals with king proteas for texture and tons of lush greenery, Ali Briskey Designs absolutely nailed the floral design!
Lacy details and an open back, isn’t this one sultry wedding dress from Merrime Bride & Soiree?
He still doesn’t know…
Setting the mood for their intimate day + letting the industrial feel of their venue, Oasis 41, shine — we love the pairing of blush, gold, and dark reds.
Playing off the idea of “light of my life,” cake artist Saint Like Sweets, was given creative freedom to make this confectionary masterpiece.
Emery: It’s hard to pinpoint just one moment as the most memorable since this built up for such a long time for me… But I would probably have to say when we were driving in the car together — on the way to the photoshoot and I looked over at Casey and he was smiling… He had no idea what was coming and I knew that this was everything we’d been waiting for, for so long. I wanted to scream so bad and say, “WE’RE GETTING MARRIED RIGHT NOW OMG!” But instead, I just said, “I love you Casey,“ and he replied “I love you too, baby doll."
Casey: Probably when I figured everything out and realized all the work she had done to make our day perfect, and at least for me, stress free. Realizing all she could accomplish without me, and knowing that she wants me around, but doesn’t need me. Seeing her shake and stuff was pretty cool too, she’s usually very composed, so it was fun for me to see her get that nervous over it, haha. Also, when the songs we picked out started playing, that really sticks out in my mind.
At this point, both moms were hiding behind a white cardboard stand, and every vendor was shaking and sweating as we anxiously awaited the BIG moment. Emery had prepared a few pages of vows, as well as an explanation as to what was really happening “for reasons unknown to us, a house fire prevented us from having our dream wedding. But what it can’t prevent is us marrying one another….” She got down on one knee, secretly bought him a ring, and proposed! What followed next, aside from a flood of tears, was a small ceremony in which his best friend (he secretly got ordained!) married them.
How darling is this hand lettered vinyl record?! Clink & Kiss definitely created a piece worth hanging up after the wedding.
It was such a beautiful reminder that what matters most is love, and not the little things we think make up our “dream wedding.” Emery even planned a potluck reception with all of their closest friends and family! It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and we all left feeling so alive, refreshed, and drenched in tears!
Emery shares I still can’t believe we pulled this off. These vendors are generous powerful women and they made our wildest dream come true. I am so happy we have this story to share and to tell our kids someday!
Pure magic. How fun would it be to surprise your love with the exact vision — without planning a “real” wedding?! Let us know if this is something you would do!
And for a bit more into their surprise day… Check out this clip by Lightfoot Moments!
photography: Monique Serra Photography // venue name: Oasis 41, Junction City, Oregon, USA // planning: Peachy Keen Coordination // florals: Ali Briskey Designs // wedding dress boutique: Merrime Bride & Soiree // hair stylist: Meghan Cavanaugh // makeup artist: JLM Artistry // videography: Lightfoot Moments // paper goods: Bridgetown Design Studio // handmade details: Clink & Kiss // cake: Saint like sweets // tabletop rentals: Poppies and Top Hats // officiant: Friend / Jason Cronk // models: Emery and Casey