Surprise Wedding Narrated by the Groom – Part Two


It’s typical to hear all about the wedding from the bride, but this wedding story is a bit unique in that Matthew, the groom, was very much involved in his bride’s planning process. He was a support, a collaborator, and a creative contributor to the special day. Both Kristin and Matt are creatives and have a gift of writing (you can read Kristin’s moving perspective on Matthew’s proposal here).

If you haven’t already caught part one of this incredible story, please be sure to see it here before reading any further!

Okay, now that you’re all caught up, here is Matt’s descriptive write-up of his and Kristin’s wedding day (with a few snippets from Kristin!), and all of the deep meaning behind each and every aspect of the day that they planned together (all without anyone knowing!).


“When our guests came to the Fullerton Ballroom on the 24th of January, they expected an engagement party. But by the end of the evening, they celebrated not only the our engagement… but our marriage too!
For our guests, the evening began at 3:00 pm in a cozy and intimate party: “cocktail attire requested.” Light hors d’oeuvres, wine, and plenty of mingling and catching up with old friends.”
“The engagement room was travel-themed; we had maps and globes and travel decor everywhere since Matt and I spent time abroad, both together and apart.” – Kristin
“After a short while, Kristin had sneaked out of the party quietly, while Matthew climbed onto a chair for an important announcement.”
“You all have waited so patiently for kristin and I to get engaged… You know, you really shouldn’t have to wait any longer. What do you say we have us a wedding now?”
The reaction was very positive, to say the least!
“Even Kristin, hidden and changing, could hear the cheers of surprise and excitement.”
Straightaway, Matthew led the group into the next room over (up to this point carefully concealed), to reveal a beautiful and ethereal ceremony room. Two facade walls made of pallets funneled the guests down the aisle. And flanking the aisle on either side were two long family-style tables and garlands of olive leaves and pomegranates.
“It was important to us to have pomegranates at our wedding. Not only did they fit the color scheme, but they have nuanced symbolism as well.” – Kristin
The Guests filed into the rows, and Matthew took his place on stage in front of a stunning scroll. Kristin did the scroll entirely by hand, and its become a cherished heirloom already. See more of her work on Instagram here!
Beside the scroll were ladders, trimmed with olive branches and candles. And in front of scroll was a decanter of wine. Matthew explained, “The decorations were all very deliberate. The scroll coming down from above us was meant to show how Love comes from above; and because we want to build our marriage on that supernatural love, we stood on it during our vows.” It doesn’t end there, though: “The pomegranates, olive leaves, ladders, wine, candles… [laughs] Even the layout of the ceremony room and the color scheme have personal and spiritual significance for us. It was a lot of fun and very meaningful for us to plan everything together.”
“The wine that we used in our ceremony was from Nazereth. Matt got some while we were in Israel years back, but kept it specifically for our wedding day!” – Kristin
“We chose maroon for multiple reasons: my ruby ring, pomegranates, wine.” – Kristin
After a brief a capella rendition of Come Thou Fount by family friends, Matthew stepped forward: “I apologize if my voice cracks, I’m obviously pretty emotional.” And with that, he closed his eyes and sang:
“Let our Voices rise like incense, let them be as sweet perfume.
Let our praises fill the temple, Alleluias ringing ever new.”
At that moment, another voice from the back of the room replied:
“Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty,
Holy Holy is the Lord our God.”
It was the bride, and everyone turned and stood to see her as she sang, approaching with her father.
The ceremony was short, but the effect profound. The moment we had been preparing for and anticipating was here, and it was simple and clean.
“Today, We are gathered here to celebrate a wedding, and the mystery of two becoming one.”
“As Yeshua chose us, and as Solomon chose the Shulamite, so too I choose you. My banner over you is love.”
Our ceremony led immediately into our reception; right in the same room! For dinner we recreated a meal from our time in Nazareth. We wanted to share that experience with everyone!
As a friend of Kristin and Matthew, it was so exciting yet so challenging keeping the secret with them! The craziest part for me was pretending it was just an engagement party, right after we went through the entire exciting experience of getting ready and taking all of the wedding photos. We all had to verbally remind each other, “Okay, no more ‘wedding’ talk! Careful with your words. Smile and act casual!” I had my second photographer Emily (thank you Emily!) photographing details in the secret room while I shot candids of the engagement party, so it didn’t look too suspicious having a whole team there for a small party. We were all so anxious every time someone walked by the ceremony room, hoping no one would peek through the doors! The surprise wedding announcement turned out amazing, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a rush like that in all of my wedding photography days. I’ll never forget how amazing that moment was when I turned around after Matt’s announcement, and everyone started yelling and cheering. Seeing in photos later that Kristin was able to hear the cheers from the other room just made it even more perfect.

Kristin and Matthew, you did an amazing job pulling together this beautiful and deeply meaningful wedding. I couldn’t be more honored that the two of you chose me to document the day for you.

Thank you to all the amazing vendors who made this day possible!

Wedding Scroll: The Bride – Phoenix Feathers Calligraphy
Wedding Venue: Fullerton Ballroom
Boutique Hotel (Bride’s Getting Ready Location): Hotel Pepper Tree – Anaheim
Wedding Coordination: Natascia Morrison
Bridal Hair – Bree Lathrop
Makeup – Alyna
Photography – Jenna Joseph
Florals – Tanya Jackson
Officiant – Father of the Groom
Wedding Singers – The Sasis Family
Wedding Gown – Allure Bridals
Bridal Shoes – Zara
Catering – Michelle & Jack
Bride & Groom’s Rings – Tacori
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