surprise wedding at the madison beach hotel with carla ten eyck



There are very few things in my line of work that have surprised me, really. I mean, when you photograph weddings regularly you pretty much have seen it all! But. When you get a call from a couple who are planning on surprising their families with a wedding when they think they are just showing up for dinner together? Well, that is something new and I am all over it!

Nick + Brit had everything planned- and we talked a bit about how they were going to tell her Mom. They knew how mad she would be if they got married in Norway (where they were planning an extended trip together the week after, and hinted that they would elope there) so telling Brit’s Mom that there would be a surprise wedding instead would surely yield some emotion! And, HOW! I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun Joel and I had hiding in plain sight in the lobby of the Madison Beach Hotel that afternoon, waiting for her to check in with her husband and son. Brit’s best friend was with us doing double duty, so we would know who she was, and then be ready for the hand off of the card that would essentially spill the beans about the wedding! Once she spotted her, we sat her down, and gave her the card that Brit wrote out for her Mom, letting her know that the plan was now a wedding, and that she would be there to see her only daughter get married! Oh, the waterworks!!! What a fun moment this was, her Mom was so emotive, and loud, and sobbish and amazing to photograph and just be around! What fun!

We spent the afternoon on the beach, enjoying the light breeze and warm sun and dined under the stars with their family and friends. The ceremony was emotional and really spoke to who Brit and Nick are as people and as a couple, together. It was quite beautiful to see how clearly they loved one another, and their family. I felt honored to be a part of this group of people, at such an intimate and personal event. Thank you Nick and Brit for having us along for your wedding, it was one for the books! XOXO


dress: Katie May, Sienna Gown
cake: Madison Beach Hotel
hair + makeup: Genny Fonseca
officiant: Jeremiah LaCoille
music at the ceremony: John Ciambriello
flowers: Nicole Smudin

From my awesome groom Nick:

‘Our wedding became DIY on ‘roids, literally up until 20 minutes before the ceremony. There were so many helping hands in pulling off the big surprise. Brit and I made the arbor and the wooden post light structure over the table. Brit had this wild idea to fill the entire table with sea shells so we went scavenging Westbrook beach for shells, and six 5-gallon buckets of oyster shells later me and my fire buddies were up until the wee hours of the night drilling the shells (literally hundreds of shells and they all helped out) so Brit could string them all together…she gets the credit on that one. Our apartment smelled straight up terrible for months. Haha! Brit made the tablecloth and dyed it. Before the wedding we set up everything on the table in our apartment, it was nuts! Brit’s good friend painted the wedding sign. Décor was literally plucked out of our apartment dishes, napkins, candlesticks, blankets, pillows, electrical reel, driftwood; Brit packed everything but the kitchen sink. Wedding day setup was done by myself, the best man a few of Brit’s good friends, which took us right until the ceremony. I bought my 3 groomsman clothes (pants, shirts watches and shoes) bc they had no idea either and thank God I got the right sizes.  The beach was windy all day, and when the ceremony started, all went calm.  Perfect day all around and you and Joel were awesome. Can’t thank you both enough.’






Brit sees the video of her Mom’s reaction to the surprise wedding… !


photo below by Joel Callaway


photo below right by Joel Callaway


photo below by Joel Callaway


photo below by Joel Callaway


photo below by Joel Callaway



  1. I’m so proud of my Neice Brittney and her husband Nick. They are a beautiful couple inside and out. May Our Lord always shine His light on them now and into the future! Beautiful Heartfelt Wedding! Great Job Carla! Love Aunt Debbie?

  2. OH! MY! GOSH! This is incredible. I’ve never heard of anything like this. The photos are gorgeous and you really captured the intimacy of the day. Love this so much!

  3. Sean Molin says:

    OH. This is good. Stunning couple and location!

  4. I seriously think this is my most favorite wedding post ever. Simply gorgeous and so sweet! Love it!

  5. Patricia Dion says:

    Beautiful pictures! Stunning couple! thanks for sharing! ??? Wishing you bothe many, many years of blessings and happiness together ??

  6. chris says:

    love the photographs, job very well done!

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