Emma & Pete’s “Enchantment Under the Sea Dance” & A Big Fat Surprise Wedding

I honestly don’t know where to begin describing Emma & Pete’s wedding to you all. From the reaction to just the sneak peek post (epic) that I put up last week, I know pretty much the whole of blog-land has been eagerly awaiting to see this wedding too and so I’m pretty flipping honoured that not only was I invited (and let into the secret that it was a surprise wedding!) but that Emma & Pete have allowed me to share it with you all. I have the best job in the world.

So, in January I got a call from my friend Emma Case. Emma & Pete have been engaged for like…forever…since before we even met in fact, but still hadn’t made any plans for actually getting married. I guess that with Emma being a ridiculously busy and successful wedding photographer, all their weekends were always booked up with other people’s weddings! Also, the fact that Emma has quickly become so well known for shooting the raddest Rock n Roll weddings out there, the couple said they almost felt a bit of pressure to make sure their wedding was as ‘cool’ as the weddings they shot…as well as being different. No pressure then!

Anyway as I was saying, Emma called me at the beginning of the year to discuss her 30th birthday plans. She was having a big party on the 19th March and I had had had to be there. “Of course I’m there, I wouldn’t miss it for anything!” I replied. “Good,” Emma said, “cos me and Pete are gonna get MARRIED…and it’s gonna be a SURPRISE!”

Oh. my. God…

“Me and Pete had been happily engaged for about 3 years…” Emma told me this week, “but any time we talked about getting married we ended up arguing… we knew that we wanted something that reflected us but we’d start talking about who to invite, table plans etc and we were quickly getting fed up… the question ‘Why are we doing it if it’s such hard work?’ usually stopped any further discussion. Also we were shooting amazing and creative weddings pretty much every week so all of our concentration was on other people’s days… which was great but it meant that it was quite hard deciding on how ‘we’ wanted to do it… and without copying all of my couples who have flippin’ fantastic weddings!”

“In January a good friend of ours Anthony came round and we chatted about my 30th birthday party… Anthony joked that we could get married in the afternoon and have a party on the night… we all joked about it even mentioning a 50’s prom theme based on the ‘Enchantment Under the Sea Dance’ from Back to the Future and then when Anthony left we started to talk about it seriously and we weren’t arguing! But we wanted it to be a surprise. We get asked when we’re getting married a lot and people would then say how amazing it’s gonna be (because of all the gorgeous weddings we luckily get to shoot) so I started to feel a bit of pressure. I also didn’t want to be going on about ‘our’ wedding all the time… I kind of just wanted to get on with it without the fuss… a little bit like being behind the camera I suppose…”

Emma & Pete are one of those enviably and naturally awesome couples and I have to say I wouldn’t have expected anything less from them. Emma’s ‘birthday party’ was a 50’s ‘enchantment under the sea dance’ prom theme and guests were ask to come in their vintage finest…which we all did of course. Both Emma & I wore dresses from our favourite vintage dress shop, Fur Coat No Knickers (Em also wore a blue prom dress to keep the fact that it was a wedding secret, which she found at The Wedding Club in Birmingham.)

Halfway through the evening Emma disappeared and went to get changed into her wedding dress. Their friend Joe stood on the stage and asked us all to split onto either side of the room (making an ‘aisle.’) He then informed the confused crowd that we had all been brought to the party under false pretences. ‘Hide & Seek’ by Imogen Heap kicked in. Pete stepped on stage and 3 girls carrying bouquets walked down the aisle followed by a very nervous but excited looking Emma with her dad.

It was an incredible moment.

People were whooping and cheering and in front of me I could hear a gaggle of girls screaming “NO WAAAAY!” Our friend Chris turned to me and mouthed “OI! Did you know?!” and finally I was allowed to share that I’d been in on the secret the whole time!

Once the cheering had died down Joe informed us all that Emma & Pete had gone to the registry office earlier in the day and got hitched, followed by a canal boat lunch/reception with their family. They now wanted to say their vows, which they wrote themselves, in front of all of us. The short ceremony was beautiful.

Emma cried.

Pete cried.

I cried.

All my friends around me cried.

The couple danced to ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe & The Magic Zeros and we all joined in. I ran to hug the couple as soon as I could (and Pete squeezed me so hard that one of my straps broke on my dress…he was THAT excited!) We danced like loons and I spent waaay too much time in the photo booth.

At 11pm taxis came to pick us up and the hardcore partiers headed to a nightclub in the city centre where we drank until 3am and sang karaoke (badly…) The night was rounded off by 6 off us in a curry house at 4am…I’m not sure who’s brilliant idea that was but it was kind of the perfect way to end a totally Rock n Roll night.

(More photo booth photos after the ‘jump’ – in the gallery. If you have the opportunity to do a photo booth at your own wedding that do it! It was HILARIOUS!)

Emma & Pete wanted to do their wedding their way. They didn’t want the ‘industry pressure’ of having the coolest or most out there wedding (yes there can be pressure even if you don’t want a traditional wedding!) Yet in getting married in the way they did, they inadvertently organised the coolest wedding of them all.

To Emma & Pete – seriously guys, words can’t express how happy I am for you. You are perfect for each other and I love you so bloody much.

Be sure to watch this short 16mm film by Cine8 too (with sound). I’ve already watched it about 5 times. I love our happy dance at the end!

Thank you so much Emma & Pete for not only inviting me to be a part of your special day, but for letting me be the VERY lucky wedding blogger who gets to share you awesome wedding with the world. Big love to photographers SteveJoanna and videographers Cine8 for sending over their beautiful images and film too.

Go check out Emma’s blog post for her side of the story & some awesome polaroids. Steve’s blog post & Jo’s blog post have also got more photo goodness if the 186 photos in my blog post isn’t enough!

(See file names of each image to see who shot what…there are so many photos which may be slow to load due to the amount of people that I know have been dying to see this wedding. I couldn’t cut down any more to please bear with it!)

Photography Credit: Steve Gerrard Photography & Joanna Brown Photography

iPhone/Hipsmatic Images: Ashton Jean Pierre Photography

Video Credit: Cine8

Ceremony Venue: Birmingham Registry Office

Lunch Reception Venue: Away2Dine (Canal Boat)

Surprise Wedding Reception Venue: Rowheath Pavilion, Bournville

Bride’s Wedding Dress:  Fur Coat No Knickers, London

Bride’s Blue Prom Dress: The Wedding Club, Birmingham

Bride’s Headband: WhichGoose

Bride’s Shoes: Rachel Simpson (white pair) & Beyond Retro (brown, vintage pair)

Groom’s Suit: Topman

Groom’s Shirt: Beyond Retro

Groom’s Brogues: Office

Groom’s Tie/Bowtie: Topman/Converse

Bridesmaid Dresses: eBay/Cath Kitson/Vivien of Holloway

Cake/Dessert Table: Boutique Bakery Company

Flowers: In Bloom, Birmingham

DJ: Friends

Balloons: Balloon Away, Kings Heath


  1. WOW! This wedding had me at ‘Enchantment Under the Sea Dance’ it’s awesome in every way! Emma & Pete look sooo in love…it’s just beautiful. Such AMAZING photos and video-the raucous photobooth shots/footage are especially fab! {Lovely, heart felt write up too}

  2. bee bee

    amazing couple, amazing day, amazing pictures, amazing blog – just AMAZING!!!! every time I look at the pictures or read the blog it makes me cry – so many fab memories of the day :-) xxxx

  3. Ashley

    What an amazing story! Everyone looks so truly excited and photo booth picts are killer!

  4. Oh my… Steve… Joanna… how awesome can you get?

    I love every single image, every single smile, the dress, the emotion, the awesome… Just epic.

    Truly, madly, beautiful.

  5. That video made me cry and I haven’t even met Emma. This is what a wedding is about really, you don’t have to know them as a couple or as individuals to see it’s perfectly perfect for them.

  6. claire

    absolutely gorgeous and an inspiration for brides-to-be stressed about trying too hard…the video had me in tears, and the whole day just looked so perfect for you both. huge congratulations, and thanks for sharing kat x

  7. It was pretty embarrassing when I saw the photos on my lunchbreak and wept a bit at work, but I’ve just had the chance to watch the video and let out a big guffawing sob.

    THAT’S how you do a wedding. x

  8. This is so exciting! Good for them! I agree – this is what a wedding is about: being in love and celebrating your love with family and friends, they definitely ‘rocked’ their wedding!

  9. Lulu

    I have just broke down reading this to my partner!!! Truly beautiful! i love everything about it! They really did do it their way! And that girl with the Union Jack flag is amazing!!!

  10. Just gorgeous – fantastic photos and looks like a fab day & night was had by all! (All except the two ladies with their fingers in their ears!!) Huge congratulations to Emma & Pete!

  11. superb photography, love the photo booth, its something I will be offering from now on in.
    Well done Kat for keeping the secret bet you were busting to tell someone haha xxx

  12. holy(beeeep)shit! this wedding leaves me speechless, this is hard to do. ;) my mouth is hanging agape, a little drool running off my chin. just simply epic.

  13. Jayne Sacco

    Truely awesome post, wedding and photography! Can’t wait to meet them all at the Rock n Rock party.

  14. i’m crying. CRYING. that video? amazing!!!! i couldn’t be any happier for these two…and i don’t even know them! ;)

  15. Awww, so sorry it’s taken me so long to get round to commenting, but this is just so brilliant, I love absolutely everything about it, and I’m so proud to say I was there!!!!

    So much love to you both Emma and Pete :)

    Annabel xXx

  16. Just been sat here for 10 minutes trying to put into words how amazing it is… not only to be married to Pete but to also have this much love literally thrown at the pair of us… thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone that has commented, tweeted or sent an email… we have been blown away. We had the BEST day and we still have balloons floating around our house, our flowers in vases and my wedding dress hanging up on the outside of the wardrobe… I’m not quite ready to put it all away just yet…. :)

  17. Allison - Magic Photography

    Congratulations to Emma & Pete – what an amazing wedding day! Love everything about it :)


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