Every girl dreams of her wedding day. It’s a daydream of wearing a beautiful princess gown surrounded by flowers and beauty. So it goes without saying that if you could you would want a whole camera crew to document the event.
It’s a memory you could watch and relive for the rest of your life. But what the videographer caught on camera will stay with one woman forever.
She was a music and dance teacher teaching classes such as Grade 1 Ballet, Grade 1 Tap, Preparatory Modern Jazz as well a Freestyle and Acro to children from four to eleven years old.
Dancing was her life and she loved sharing her passion with her young students, but spending all her time dancing left little time to plan a wedding.
Not Enough Time
Sharing the bulk of the wedding plans between then bride-to-be Liz Ravenhall and her fiancé Ollie, they were set on a traditional ceremony in a gorgeous stone church.
They both managed to get all the preparations done, some together, and some separately. But the time alone gave Ollie the time he needed to work some magic.
A Long Wait
The day of the wedding finally arrived. Liz made her way down the long stone aisle toward her husband-to-be. She had no idea what was waiting for her, and the surprise on an already emotional day would leave her in tears.
Ollie waited knowingly at the alter, although he kept a remarkably straight face right until the very last moment.
The Wrong Way
Halfway down the aisle, the videographer started recording and we see someone getting into a good position to take photographs. The photographer finds his place to the right of the aisle but, strangely, he doesn’t even look at the bride.
Instead, he turns to look at the guests. Another man with a camera appears on the left and he also doesn’t seem to be looking toward the bride. What were they doing?
She Doesn’t Notice
While Liz doesn’t notice that the photographers are facing the wrong way, everyone else does and the guests began to get a bit suspicious.
The congregation started to stir and some people, curious, begin to turn in their seats, trying to glimpse what the to men might possibly be focusing their attention on.
Liz and Ollie are still mesmerized by each other. They have eyes only for their partners as they stand, waiting at the altar. Most of the guests are now moving around in their seats, clearly torn between watching the bride and seeing what is happening behind them.
As they begin to put together what is happening you can see smiles and knowing looks. Then the groom peeks over his shoulder.
What’s The Wait?
It is obvious that Ollie knows exactly what is going on, but he is subtle about his quick glances. Liz doesn’t notice but is beginning to become worried about what the hold-up is about.
It felt like she had been standing up there for a very long time, and coupled with nerves she begins to feel uneasy. Perhaps she could hear all the shuffling going on in the pews.
Waiting And Watching
Behind her, though, all her family and friends have their gazes focused on the balcony at the rear of the church. Barely anyone is paying attention to the bride and groom at this point.
That’s because something amazing was about to happen. Everyone was waiting with bated breath — Liz for the ‘I Do’s’ and everyone else for something else entirely.
She Turns Around
Ollie had gone to the trouble of organizing a wedding day surprise that his wife would remember forever. Finally, he touches Liz’s arm and she turns around, clearly not understanding what was happening.
Ollie points to the balcony at the back of the chapel and her eyes follow. Now she could see exactly what her husband had done for her.
A Thousand Years
At that very moment, the performance begins. Seemingly out of nowhere, some 30 children assembled on the balcony burst into song, singing the beautiful lyrics to Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years.”
Liz slowly starts realizing what’s happening and the look on her face is utterly priceless.
Tears Of Joy
With such tension built from the emotional day, of course, Liz immediately bursts into tears. She spots the children, gasps and brings a tissue to her face as she tries to take it all in.
It’s clearly an overwhelming moment for her. Ollie endearingly takes his wife in his arms and kisses her on the forehead.
Some of these children had been learning at the dance school JayKay’s Dance for months, or even years. Thankfully, Ollie knew how much Liz’s students meant to her.
And behind her back, he organized a tribute during their wedding ceremony that brought the dance and theater instructor to tears. He knew that she had wanted them at the wedding all along.
Brought To Life
And the kids were doing a stunning job of bringing the song’s emotional lyrics to life. Indeed, many of the people in the church are in tears.
“Darling, don’t be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years, I’ll love you for a thousand more,” they sang. Liz, meanwhile, wipes tears from her eyes.
Her Dance Students
These aren’t just any children, though. In fact, they’re Liz’s students, making the situation all the more emotional for her. It turned out that Ollie and one of Liz’s colleagues at Jaykays Dance Company had jointly organized the surprise.
From secret rehearsals to the logistics of getting 30 children into a wedding quickly and quietly, it was no easy feat.
The look on Liz’s face shows just how well everyone involved had kept the performance a secret. After all, her expression when she turns around is one of pure disbelief.
It’s clear at that moment that she never expected something like this to happen on her big day. Her mouth was still open wide in an ‘O’ of surprise, which she modestly tried to cover up with her hand.
The Camera’s Got It All
As the children continue through the moving lyrics of the song, the video captures every tune perfectly. There was even a camera up on that balcony getting close-ups of all the students singing their hearts out.
Ollie put this all together for her and he was happy to stand back quietly while she had a private moment listening to the sweet voices beaming down at her.
When the song draws to an end, all the kids wave ecstatically at their teacher. Stunned by their surprise appearance and moved by their beautiful singing, Liz was still in tears – but she fondly returned their waves even though her make up was possibly ruined.
She didn’t care in the least.
In the meantime, the rest of the congregation grinned up at the kids, happy that they were somehow involved in the touching moment. The final shot of the video shows the bride making a heart sign with her hands and pointing towards the balcony.
Her adorable students had made her big day that little bit more magical. But the photos of the day carry on.
The couple leaves the chapel, showered by rose petals. And when their first dance came around, dance teacher Liz showed off with some graceful dip and turns.
With such a thoughtful husband and caring wife, we are sure this couple will grow old together and share many more surprises, joy, and love. But Liz wasn’t the only one who had a surprise guest at her wedding…
They wanted to celebrate their special day with a ceremony as lavish as any of Hollywood’s elite stars, but all heads turned when the band stopped playing and the gathered crowd sat in silence, watching it all unfold.
The bride wondered what she had done to deserve this? No one said a word, even as she clutched her stomach and buckled forward.
A Gorgeous Couple
Taylor Sinclair was playing a game of minor-league baseball when he saw Samantha Carisch up in the stands, that’s when he knew he had to have her number.
After two romantic dates, he had to suddenly leave for the beginning of the new baseball season. Would their relationship survive the long distance and time apart?
Happily, for Samantha and Taylor, it was meant to be. Taylor decided that the time had come for him to just take the plunge and relocate to California to be with Samantha permanently.
Although they had been through a lot lately, “It’s just made us even stronger,” Samantha says. But something sinister lay ahead in their near future.
The Big Question
It took four years for Taylor to get down on one knee and ask Samantha to make an honest man of him.
While on a romantic vacation in Cancun, Mexico, Sam accepted, with butterflies in her stomach, and immediately set about every girls dream; planning her fairytale wedding. Unfortunately, fairytales were out of reach for the moment.
Friends And Family
Sam and Taylor decided, as a lot of couples do, to have the wedding back where it all began. No, not on a baseball field but rather in beautiful Cancun, where Taylor had proposed, it was to be a destination wedding.
They had big dreams of being surrounded by all of their family and friends, but then overnight, tragedy struck.
But not everything had been easy for the couple. Leading up to the wedding tragedy stuck suddenly. As Samantha gleefully told her mother of all her wedding plans she felt something was amiss.
Her mother was very quiet, not at all her usual self and Samantha’s heart sank when her mother told her multiple sclerosis had worsened. She would never travel again.
Man Of Her Dreams
“Taylor immediately said, ‘If that’s the case, we’re abandoning that idea,’” Samantha recalled. They began to outline new plans with a wedding in San Diego, so as to be closer to her mother.
Samantha’s hope restored that her mother would be at her wedding as she has always dreamed and everything was back on track, but catastrophe was not done with them yet.
It Changed Their Lives
During this challenging time of uncertainty, Sam tried to hold on to her now idle wedding plans. So she began to research cheap wedding ideas, even a courthouse or backyard wedding crossed her mind.
She wanted to spend her life with Tayler but didn’t have time to plan much. None of the ideas were exceptional however, she stumbled across something that would change her life forever.
Sam found an online competition and showed her friends, they later told her that they had all nominated her for the “Win A Dream Wedding” competition.
Everything would be completely taken care of, the food, venue… everything including the wedding expenses. She was relieved that she would be able to continue helping her mother, but little did she know that another huge obstacle was coming.
Snowball In Summer
With a snowball effect, the votes for them came in, bringing her closer to her dream wedding. She even received an email from a woman in Australia saying that she was voting for the couple…
There was one twist. If she did win the competition, would the terms and condition be worth a free wedding?
The gorgeous venue set in Chateau St. Jean winery in Kenwood, California, was most certainly a beautiful enough place for any wedding but the catch was this: every single detail, from the dress and honeymoon to the flowers, cake and bridesmaids dresses would be decided by the American public.
America was given four options for each section to vote on. The highest would vote would dictate the wedding.
Finally, as one of six finalists from thousands of applicants, Samantha got the news that she had won the competition.
“We’ve always said the most important wedding detail is each other, and everything else will fall into place.” With all the other weird things that would be part of the wedding she knew he would be enough.
Sam and Taylor chose the Country song, “Love You Like That” by Canaan Smith for their first dance number. This was the song that reminded them of their love for each other and made them smile when they were apart.
As the melody of the song began they started dancing and something truly incredible occurred.
We Have A Better Idea
The band abruptly cut out before the song had even begun and one of the musicians declared, “You know what, we have a better idea,” to the couple, over the microphone.
“Sam and Taylor, we have a special guest who’s here to sing you your first dance song.” Samantha’s heart stopped beating as she wondered what was happening.
Samantha slowly spun around and spotted Canaan Smith himself walking toward them, towards the dancefloor! The Knot had asked the country singer to fly out to California to sing a live version of their favorite song.
Being a newlywed himself he couldn’t turn down the idea of giving the couple the surprise of a lifetime.
The newly-weds were frozen in disbelief and in that moment of sheer joy, Samantha hugged the singer as he came to take the stage and begin his special performance “Love You Like That”, just for them.
They thought the part of saying ‘I do’ would be the most exciting part of the day, but they were very wrong.
“That was beyond our wildest dreams,” Sam joyfully recounted to the camera crew. She went on to explain, “We’ve loved that song from the second that we heard it…I showed it to Taylor and I said, ‘Taylor I think this should be our first dance song.’
And he was like, ‘Oh, absolutely.’” But not everything had been as easy as choosing a shared favorite song.
Moments Before “I Do”
Sam remembers waking to a terrifying experience, “I got a phone call in the middle of the night, from my mom and sister,” Samantha said. Her mom, Kathy, had successfully battled stage 2 colon cancer the previous year.
But now, moments before the wedding, it was back. Having gotten the worse news at such a critical time, what else could they endure?
A Terrible Diagnosis
Following the heartbreaking diagnosis, Samantha quickly quit her interior design job and began the move from the Redondo Beach, California, home she shared with her fiancé to Simi Valley, where her mother, as well as her sister, were living.
She knew she needed to support and care for her mother, no matter what the cost.
Tech From Above
It was only after they found out that they had won their dream wedding that the annual theme for the year was announced… It was to be, “The most high-tech wedding ever!”.
Samantha remembers saying, “I can barely work a TV remote” yet her wedding would far more tech than a simple TV remote, some of the gadgets planned in the wedding were truly astonishing.
The “most high-tech” wedding included: A drone capturing pictures and live footage of the entire ceremony, Sam had a GoPro camera tucked, neatly hidden in her bouquet, and a production crew was assisting to live stream the entire event to thousands of viewers, including Sam’s mom.
A robot bartender served the drinks, and the 3D printed cake topper was an exact mini replica of the bride and groom, Samantha and Taylor even wore Fitbit heart rate trackers to document what made their heart race.