Real Weddings

An English Country Garden Surprise Wedding

When Grace and Ed decided to tie the knot they wanted it to be low key and a complete surprise to their guests so they held it at their son's christening! This lovely wedding was as real as they come, with a reception held in Grace's parents garden afterwards. Read on for this beautifully simple english country garden wedding...

“It was a total surprise for our guests; the only people that knew were my mum and dad.

Everyone thought they were going to just our sons christening and then the vicar announced that it was going to be a double celebration!”

English country garden wedding

How did you guys meet?

We met a couple of years ago at our local pub, but have known each other for our whole lives.

Church wedding

Tell us about your proposal…

Ed proposed at Cley Windmill in Norfolk, it was very, very special. On my 30th birthday Ed bought me a necklace with sapphires and diamonds and engraved on the back was ‘G.E.P’ – the initials I would have when I married him. He then proposed with a sapphire and diamond engagement ring and my wedding ring is a band covered with them too! I love how he had it all planned a year and a half ago.   

Surprise wedding christening

Where did you get married and why did you choose your venue?

Eaton Parish Church in Grantham, Lincolnshire and the reception afterwards was at my parents house. We wanted a low key venue were nobody would suspect our surprise. We were both christened in the church, Ed’s mum was married there and I lived next to it for 18 years before I left home to go to uni. It’s a very special church.

Who walked you down the aisle?

My Dad and son George.

Bride with father and son

Who was your photographer and how did you choose them?

BGS Photography We have just received the gallery from Barney and are delighted with our wedding/christening pictures! When we approached Barney and said that our sons Christening was now going to be a surprise wedding we were wondering how he would be able to capture the surprise on everyone’s face…but he did it and they are AMAZING!! Barney was friendly, professional and excellent at keeping our big secret! Would 100% recommend!

Tell me about your cake

It was absolutely delicious and looked stunning! We had a naked lemon cake by Nan’s Nice Cakes.

Who did you catering?

My Mum prepared nearly all the food on her own, we had salmon, roast beef, cheeses, hams, salads, vegan options (well done Mummy!), Eton mess, nibbles….. It was an absolute feast! My mother in law also helped with salads and moral support!

My parents opened up their home to our 50 plus guests, marquees in the garden, bunting in the trees, flowers on the tables, a table brimming with delicious food all homemade, they bought in help to serve the food and all our parents contributed towards drinks. Without their generosity and the effort making the garden and house look beautiful (my Dad even painted the front door!) our day wouldn’t have been so special.

How did you get everyone up on the dancefloor?

Ed and I left around 7pm as booked our wedding night at Stapleford park however I know my Mum and Dad had people stay and there was lots of dancing and fun. We didn’t want an evening do, we just wanted a low key afternoon garden party .

What was your first dance?

We didn’t have one. We didn’t want any of the traditional aspects of a wedding. No bridesmaids or groomsmen, no favours or table settings, no first dance…..we did cut the cake though and my Dad and Ed did a speech, but it was not formal!  

How did you choose to decorate your venue?

Bunting in the trees which was secondhand from my friend’s wedding, Jo Jo Maman Bebe baby bunting, Not on the High Street for personalised ‘George’ bunting and flowers on the tables.

How much did you spend?

In total I think it cost somewhere in the region on £8000.

Would you do anything differently?

Nothing, it was perfect and exactly as we had planned it. However we have discussed how much we would have loved to have a honeymoon after….but we will have one soon! Also having my first night away from George as our wedding night was not a great plan, for any new mummy out there they probably can understand why I shed a few tears.

REAL moments

  • The surprise, my husband said it was amazing to see everyone’s faces as the penny dropped and they realised we were getting married
  • It was in our home village, the marriage took place in a very special church and we had a garden party in the house I had grown up in….it was simply perfect.
  • With it being a surprise there felt like there was very little pressure (apart from keeping the secret). No wedding politics, we just focussed on the promises we were making and enjoying our sons christening.
  • Walking down the aisle with my baby boy. Still brings tears to my eyes, born on 31 Jan 2019 and walked his mummy down the aisle on 21 July 2019….an amazing year!
Happy bride English country garden wedding


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REAL Suppliers

Photographer: BGS Weddings | Bride’s dress & veil: Vow Bridal | Shoes: Ted Baker | Hair accessories: Gypsophila | Rings & necklace: Topset Jewellery | Hair & Make up: Liz Staniland | Groom’s suit: Own suit | Florist: Sophie’s Flower Company |Cake: Nan’s Nice Cakes | Catering: Bride’s mum | Transport: Melton Executive


Gaia Hudson

Written by gaia_bkir

Founder of Brides Keeping it Real and mum of two little ones, Leon & Ada. Passionate about providing a supportive online community for brides and grooms who want an achievable, uncomplicated wedding planning experience.