Approximately 120 guests were invited to an engagement party to celebrate and congratulate the happy couples at Greendance, the Winery at Sandhill in Mt. Pleasant Pennsylvania. Saturday August 29th was such a beautiful day filled with smiles, warm weather and plenty of wine to go around. However only a select few vendors were privy as to what was really going to take place just an hour from then.
Guests began arriving around 4:30 and were free to roam around the lovely vineyard filled with grape vines, apple trees, and gorgeous landscaping. Hors d'oeuvres were made available to anyone who wished something light to tide them over until dinner was to be served. There was plenty to do as folks congratulated Jim and Kelly upon their newly engagement and begin to inquire so have you started planning the wedding or even pick a day yet.
Halfway thru the cocktail hour Kelly excused herself to check on the dining arrangements and be sure everything was on schedule. When in fact she slipped off to a private room in the back of the small gift shop to change into her beautiful wedding gown. Jim was dressed in a nice suit and tie for the event so no one became the wiser as to what was about to occur.
At 5:30 the guests were asked if they would please make their way down the drive to a pebble path leading into the woods. With drinks in hand folks made their way couple by couple while taking in the luscious scenery surrounding them. What lay halfway down the path was a massive clue as to the real reason they were here.
At the crest of the narrow path lay a sign which read "Surprise! Welcome to our wedding". Many had to read it twice as the couldn't believe they were duped into such an amazing surprise. Going a few more steps revealed a small alter between two large trees with many white chairs and benches awaiting the visitors. White illuminated stars twinkle above the alter and down the tree's trunks making it the perfect location to say "I Do!"
A variety of gentle music filled the woods adding to the atmosphere and taking all away from the everyday hustle and bustle. Once everyone had taken their seats Kate, the mother of the bride and Beverly, mother of the groom were escorted to their seats by the groom himself. He then joined Reverend Dennis Wargo at the alter awaiting his lovely bride.
Then in the distant a slight hint of a white wedding gown was approaching down the walkway. Our bride Kelly, carrying a white rose floral bouquet, was being escorted by her father Kevin to the top of the chapel area. The familiar song "Canon in D" by the O'Neal Brothers began to play as they began to make their way down the stone staircase.
All rose to their feet and watched as this gorgeous bride, who had pulled off such a great surprise along with her husband-to-be made their way to the alter. Reverend Dennis officiated the marriage ceremony and before too long had announced them as husband and wife. As the newlyweds turned and faced their guests applause immediately erupted as they were introduced as the new Mr. and Mrs. Jim Valinsky.
Kelly and Jim greeted guests at the end of the walkway then sent them off for a few cocktails and dinner while the couple squeezed in some time for some wedding pictures. Guests feasted on a variety of wedding food prepared by the Elegant Catering Company.
The newlyweds mingled with their friends and family and were told no one had even a hint of a clue why they were really invited to the winery. A wedding that no one will ever forget. This is a true testament to the clever and excellent wedding planning done by this couple. Leanne from Leanne Feil Photography and Videographer Ryan DeJoy from Fade and Focus captured all of the exciting moments.
At the stage area Jim danced with his wife to the Lee Brice song "I Don't Dance" for their first dance formality. Kelly had a very special dance with her father to "I Loved Her First" by country music group Heartland. Then a mother and son dance was the final formality as the groom danced with his mom to Taylor Hicks hit "Do I Make You Proud".
The engagement/wedding guests danced the remainder of the evening away with a variety of songs such as "Twist and Shout" by the Beatles, "The Cupid Shuffle" by Cupid and finally closing out the evening a group sing-a-long to Billy Joel's iconic "Piano Man".
This wonderful event will go down as the wedding of the century as far as planning the perfect surprise wedding. Keeping it hidden from all except for the vendors. This was truly a day to remember. We were so blessed as to be a part of the day providing all of the music and coordinating the festivities.
Congratulations to both Kelly and Jim on their marriage and we wish them all the best life has to offer as they start a new life together. Both my wife and I were blessed to be able to take part in this amazing surprise wedding event.
Pittsburgh Wedding DJ Rockin Steve Credo