Camilla & Andrew stun christening guests with their surprise wedding!

When I was approached by a couple to cover a christening that would turn into a surprise wedding I was really excited if not a little anxious about the prospect of being in on the secret.  A surprise wedding would definitely be a first for me as a wedding photographer. We discussing the couple’s plans we all expressed concerns over the numerous ways in which the plans could have been uncovered. How on earth do you even begin to hide all the key elements of a wedding from guests – like a wedding dress for a start?

Luckily, Camilla and Andrew had some fantastic plans and ideas. They would keep their wedding simple and as close to a traditional christening celebration as possible so as not arouse any suspicion or complicate timings. Guests would already be at the couple’s local church and a relaxed lunch at a local pub with no formal seating arrangements would follow.

A Surprise Wedding

So, on a warm springtime Sunday morning we spent some time at Camilla’s parents home as she prepared her hair, make-up and a party dress, ready for her daughter’s Christening. Meanwhile, guests were arriving at the local church in preparation for the Christening of baby Violet. Everything went to plan and Violet behaved impeccably during her Christening.

What the guests didn’t know was that as the Vicar was performing his sermon at the end of the Christening, Camilla had disappeared to a broom cupboard at the back of the church to change from a smart party frock into a Wedding dress.

As the vicar spoke his last few words the organist began to play and the beautiful bride emerged at the back of the church. It was a scene like nothing I have ever witnessed as a photographer, silence only broken by huge gasps and hands covering mouths in utter disbelief.  As each of guests turned their heads upon hearing the gasps and sighs from behind they realised that they were about to witness something really unique and wonderfully special.

Relaxed reception

After the truly emotional service and once everyone had the chance to catch their breath, we had a short walk to the reception while guests excited discussed their surprise at what they had just witnessed and what had actually just happened. The church in Eye is a very short walk from the local pub and restaurant The Swan Inn Of Hoxne 

The May weather was very kind and meant the outdoor drinks reception (as was planned just for the Christening) could go ahead. An informal buffet was the perfect choice for the occasion and a violinist provided some amazing musical entertainment with a series of pedals and loopers to create a fantastic sound.

The impromptu speeches were rapturously received while everyone involved was thanked for their efforts in keeping the secret – including the vicar.

This was such a beautifully simple wedding full of real emotion, love and the wonderful surprise element. I will never forget the faces of the congregation as they realised what was unfolding in front of them.

Calendar shows date of christening

Baby Violet before her Christening

Bride to be Camilla having her hair done

Bridesmaid in waiting keeps her bride's baby daughter amused

Camilla's hair before her daughter's Christening and her wedding ceremony

Bride's best friend looks excitedly toward her best friend

Make-Up artist applies eye make-up to bride.

A shot of Violet and her mother before heading off to the Christening

Guests arrive at the rural church in Eye, Suffolk.

A Violin player warming up before playing at a Christening and Wedding ceremony

Bride and Groom's dog looking directly to camera with a grin

Groom Andrew greets guest at his daughter's Christening before his surprise wedding.

Mother and daughter in church before Suffolk christening

Children pull faces and entertain baby Violet before her christening

Mum and Dad look on during the Christening service

Mum Camilla carries baby Violet along the church aisle

Vicar wets the baby's head during her Christening in Suffolk

Bride's Dad looks on before his daughter makes and entrance at her own surprise wedding.

Bride emerges in her dress at her surprise wedding ceremony in Suffolk

Stunned Christening guests realise they are at a surprise wedding.

Surprise wedding guests look on as bride makes her entrance.

Stunned and emotional guest at secret wedding ceremony in Suffolk

Bride and her Dad walk down the aisle at a surprise wedding in a Suffolk church.

Emotional groom looks tearful as her sees his bride for the first time at surprise wedding in Suffolk.

Bride smiles with joy at her groom at secret Suffolk wedding.

Bride and Groom giggle together as guests realise they are at a surprise wedding.

Wedding guest applauds while laughing at secret wedding ceremony.

Bride smiles at groom during her Suffolk wedding ceremony

Surprise wedding guests look on with tears in their eyes.

Suffolk couple exchanging rings during their surprise wedding ceremony.

Newlyweds embrace with a hug as they are pronounced husband and wife.

Flowergirls look on during a wedding at a Suffolk church wedding

Flowergirls walking the aisle at a wedding in Eye in Suffolk

A Bride and Groom and their daughter walk the aisle after a surprise wedding ceremony in Suffolk.

Surprise wedding couple showered in confetti.

Newlywed couple make their way to the wedding and christening reception.

Bride, Groom, Daughter and pet dog walk to their Suffolk wedding reception.

The Swan Pub in Eye, Suffolk for a wedding reception

Flower girls walk to The Swan pub in Eye, Suffolk for a Wedding reception and Christening.

Bride and Groom speeches at their surprise Suffolk Wedding reception at The Swan pub in Eye

Wedding guests at The Swan pub in Eye, Suffolk

Wedding speeches to guests at reception at The Swan pub in Eye, Suffolk

Guests at wedding at The Swan pub in Eye in Suffolk raise their glasses to the happy couple.

Father of the bride speech after her surprise wedding in Suffolk.

Smiling wedding guest at Suffolk wedding

A Bride hugs her guest after her surprise wedding ceremony.

Canopee at a wedding reception

A kid kicking a ball at a an informal wedding in Suffolk

Simple wedding cake surrounded with flowers.

Happy newlywed couple pose for portraits after their surprise Suffolk Wedding.

A bride tenderly hugs her baby daughter.

Small white baby shoes after Christening

Bride and Groom portait in the streets of Eye in Suffolk

Newlyweds pose outside colourful front doors of house in Suffolk

Bride looking to camera with her groom standing behind out of focus.

A tender hug between Bride and Groom after their secret Suffolk wedding.

If you are planning a surprise, secret wedding or any other kind of fun, relaxed or other kind of non-traditional wedding then I would love to be the photographer to capture your memories. I’m a documentary wedding photographer based in Cambridge and I shoot weddings all over the UK and beyond.

I create vibrant, natural images the burst with emotion, personality and soul.

Please look around my website to get a feel for my work and style, you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

I’d love to hear from you.


Cambridge Wedding Photographer

Shot on location at Eye parish Church in Suffolk and to The Swan Inn Of Hoxne Restaurant