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Surprise Wedding, Sam & Dayna

Updated: Oct 10, 2021

Sam and Dayna pulled off a surprise wedding, exactly this day last year, 10 -10- 20.

Remembering their wedding day, I realise, documenting wedding stories in the midst of COVID has strengthened my faith in the value of family, resilience and community.

Sam is a supportive loving man and Dayna is a lovely woman with great artistry and energy. They are best friends, complimenting each other with their strengths and weaknesses. All the elements in their beautiful rustic wedding was from their artistic and smart DIY team work.

They originally began planning their dream wedding for the next year when they found out that Sam’s mom had terminal cancer. They made the decision to instead have a surprise wedding at their engagement party.

Everything was fine and going to plan, a few minor hiccups but nothing major. That was until Covid hit.

They went back and forth about whether to postpone or not and decided to carry it out in June in the hopes it would 'blow over'. Then they found out that Dayna’s dad, who lives in the UK couldn't get a flight back to Australia. So again they were stuck with the decision of pushing through.

For Sam and Dayna, family has a huge place in their lives, so they decided they needed to get married while Sam’s mum was still well enough to enjoy the day her baby boy got married.

When I met Dayna for our first consultation meeting, her story moved me so much and the incredible love she has for her family is admirable.

On her wedding, I made it a point to record how her father was a huge part of the wedding in spite of miles.

Her sister helped set up a father-daughter first look over the phone, and it was moving. The whole day, her dad witnessed the whole event by a video call.

In Dayna’s words on her post wedding write up “It was a really tough choice to get married without my dad there to walk me down the aisle or have my father daughter dance I had always dreamt of. Instead I had my nana and my mum walk me down, and instead of a 'father daughter dance' we had a 'mothers dance'.

Now I am very pleased to say that everything went off without a hitch apart from a (not so) minor panic attack on my behalf right before the ceremony and that my mother in law is doing extremely well right now health wise. We still have a long road ahead of us but for now we are making the most of the time we have “.

The value of capturing memories has never been this significant. Truly an honour and noble task to photograph once in a lifetime moments not only for remembrance, moreover for sharing them across the miles to the ones we love who wishes to be on our side but cannot.

| The Surprise Wedding on their Engagement Party

|The Ceremony

|The Reception

Wedding Supplier :


Venue: Curdnatta Park, Sandy Creek

Celebrant: Dan Grant -

Photography: Michelle Kenney Photography

Associate Photographer: Claire Pasion

Dress: Ultimate Bridal

Alterations: Ronda's Bridal and Alterations

MUA: Gabrielle Sanders

Bridal Party Attire: Johnny Big

Decor: DIY - Marketplace/Kmart

Arbour: DIY

Guest Globe: DIY

Photobooth: DIY

Hired Items: Olympic Party Hire

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