Real Wedding | Engaged and married within 88 minutes

“You don’t even need to be asking me this, you have been my yes from day one”

Alright Disney, here’s the script for your next fairytale.
It’s a pleasure. 

The guests are waiting in anticipation, buzzing for what’s about to happen. They sip on hot chocolate and coffees awaiting instructions for the proposal. Through the mist, they can make out the shadow of a car approaching – it’s GO TIME! The kids are giggling, the adults hugging each other and trying to catch a glimpse of Sia. They have all been personally invited by David to participate in his proposal. They have NO idea that David, in fact, has planned a whole wedding which is to follow. Sia, sitting on the back of a vintage car, eyes closed tight, is driven down an avenue of trees and celebrated by her nearest and dearest by a shower of rose petals. Davide emerges from the crowd, get’s on his knee and asks Sia to marry him. With her answer of “of course!” he adds “Will you marry me, RIGHT NOW?” and once more she says “YES, of course!” 

With that, Sia was whipped away for a touch of make up and a wedding gown. 88 minutes later, David saw his beautiful greek princess walking towards him, ready to begin what is about to be their biggest adventure. 

Queue tears!

We chat to Sia about how she felt starting the day as a Miss, and without any knowledge ending it as a Mrs. David and the team behind the wedding, share how they were able to pull off such a stunt.

This is a wonderful fairytale that has us at Hooray DRIZZING!!! 

A fantastic team brought this together and lucky for us, our very own Derryn was there to capture all the magic.

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HOORAY: How did you meet and how long had you been dating for before the big engagement/wedding?

SIA: David is an idealist with a heart for tradition and has always moved to the beat of his own drum. Nothing about our getting to know each other, dating or getting married was the norm!

We met in 2011 at a mutual friend’s house. We were both at turning points in our lives and facing challenges and not looking to be in relationships. That being said, the connection and friendship between us was effortless – it just kind of happened. Initially we messaged each other and realized quickly we had the same quirky sense of humor and outlook on life. We spent three years getting to know each other, almost like the courtship one’s parents would have enjoyed! Neither of us dated anyone else in that time, but we too weren’t dating. Strictly friends! I think everyone was waiting for something to happen – and maybe that’s part of why the reactions at the wedding were so intense! People had waited a long time for this love story to unfold. 

On the 19th November 2014 – David asked me out. He’s always done things right. He pulled out a beautiful ring which he called a commitment ring and asked ‘will you go out with me?’. Incidentally, my answer was ‘of course’ – same as I said when he proposed. 

I’ve always known David was for me. It was just a matter of the timing being right! We dated for almost a year… It was easy – we were used to spending time together. It was great! I adore David! In November 2015 – I was looking forward to our one year dating anniversary on the 19th… But of course, that never happened because we got married on the 15th November. So we actually dated for less than a year before we got married 🙂

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HOORAY:  Sia, had you been thinking about a wedding? Or had you any idea of what kind of wedding you might like to have?

SIA: I think I had been thinking about weddings from the day I met David! But David is a dreamer. He will get an idea for how he wants something to play out and then is committed to seeing it through. We hadn’t discussed marriage other than hypothetically. That being said, neither of us take dating lightly. We both believed that you don’t get into a relationship unless you’re thinking there’s a possibility of forever. So when he asked me out in 2014 – I trusted that marriage would happen, but he hadn’t discussed it with me. We had bought a piece of land and were working towards building a home, but it was all in the planning phase. I knew David and I wouldn’t live together until we were married- he’s old-school, a real gentleman. I knew a wedding would have to happen at some point, but no, it wasn’t something we were discussing, and I’m not one to push. I knew he would make up his mind when he was ready and I loved him enough to give him that space and wait. 

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I think we both knew we would never opt for a standard wedding. I’d always said what was important to me was looking lovely for the groom, the vows and that there were some photos. I had spoken of avoiding all the fuss of planning. I had said I thought eloping was appealing. So I guess he knew I wouldn’t mind not planning a wedding. He had spoken of a surprise wedding, but always hypothetically. Like ‘wouldn’t it be great for us to have a surprise wedding where people think they’re coming to an engagement but then it turns out to be a wedding. He never spoke about the bride not being in on the surprise! So in the end it was like a surprise in a surprise! All the guests thought they were in on it, and that the surprise was on me – but turns out the surprise was on them too! We had always said we wouldn’t want people to fuss. Gifts and all that wasn’t for us. We would want people to join in on something special, enjoy, feel no pressure and leave feeling good. And that’s exactly what happened. We did end up with a stack of engagement cards! 

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David’s always loved giving surprises and he knows me. He knows that I handle emotionally charged situations well – he knew I’d handle the wedding surprise. When I’m in shock I go into cool, calm and collected mode. He’s highly attentive and has a remarkable eye for detail. So many of the details of our wedding were considered. He chose me a timeless dress, searched carefully for my ring. He knows I love the outdoors – so it was an outdoor service. He knows I love reading so the table decor included books. He knows I love colour and being a bit bold so he chose bold shoes. I could go on! Every detail was considered and tailor-made to my liking. I don’t know how he organized the mist – I’d always said there’s nothing like getting married outside in the mist. When something’s right I believe God steps in and does His part.

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HOORAY:  David, where did this idea come from?

My heart. My friends who encourage me to share weakness as well as strength. My family who teach me that kindness really matters. 

HOORAY: Sia, be completely honest. Had you any idea what was about to happen?

SIA: I know David. I knew something was up because he was acting out of character. Subtly, but it was there. There was a little extra skip in his step, he was extra happy. He was always busy during the lead up to the wedding! I knew he was hatching a plan but I couldn’t quite piece together what it was. If I had snooped I’m sure I would’ve found something… He was happy planning whatever he was planning and I didn’t want to mess that up. I chose to go with the flow and see what unfolded. But no… I certainly didn’t wake up that morning thinking I was going to be married that afternoon! 

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HOORAY:  David, did everything go according to plan? Any hiccups or surprises?

I expect luck in my life and everything went to plan. Nothing could have gone wrong because we were led by David and Alexis Yapp. Everyone was encouraged to go that little bit further and feel that little bit stronger because of their leadership. Real leaders inspire a feel-good factor to those around them.

HOORAY: Sia, what was your first thought when David asked you to marry him, and then suggested an immediate wedding? And once you had time to sit down and digest what was about to happen, what was running through your mind?

SIA: David had been away at the farm. He called that afternoon and asked if I wanted to go for a drive and a hot chocolate. I agreed and that’s what we did, got a garage hot chocolate then took a drive to Summerveld – Not out of the ordinary, we often go for drives. He told me to close my eyes as we got closer, which I did. So the last I saw was open, empty, Summerveld fields. He must have manoeuvred the car to where the Dot (that’s her name) was parked. I hadn’t seen the Jag or the crowds or the tent or anything! The radio was on – so I didn’t hear anything either. I thought he was going to show me a pretty scenery! He then got out, walked to my side, told me to keep my eyes closed and that he was going to take me out of the car and put me into something. He said: “Don’t worry, you’re fine, but I want you to keep your eyes closed and just smile”. At that point I thought “Ok this is fun…”. Then he was gone. I listened to him and kept my eyes closed. Nobody believes that! But I really did. Why ruin a surprise that someone’s trying to give you. I had no idea I was in the boot of our car. I remember feeling the cushion and metal around it and wondering what on earth I was on! Then it started to move. The sensation was strange, I couldn’t figure out if I was going up or forward or where!? Then I heard the music. I remember being quite rational about it… the thought process went kinda like this: “Ok, I’m hearing music. I know this song. This song is special to us… This sound is REAL sound – like not cellphone or car sound –  high calibre sound… where on earth is speaker sound coming from in the middle of nowhere, where would there be a plug point…” And at that point I heard cheers and was being attacked with petals! That’s when I opened my eyes! I was shocked. There were people everywhere. I knew everyone… and I remember going into Sia-shock-calm mode. Everything happened so quickly but in great slow motion at the same time. I remember picking out individual faces and smiling and saying hello! I remember seeing Bryon, David’s brother and thinking: “You’re in Guernsey… how on earth can you be here” and the same for friends who had clearly travelled great distance. I think on some level I must’ve known something big was going down, but I hadn’t quite connected with all of that. And then David was there in front of me kneeling down…

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Although everything was overwhelming and confusing… David was the one thing that was clear – He’s always been clear to me, from the moment we met. So saying yes to getting engaged and then to getting married was very easy. I remember thinking: “you don’t even need to be asking me this, of course it’s yes – it’s been yes from day one”.

(Hooray: Can we just intercept a second here to say – is this not the most romantic line ever?!)

For the rest of it – the day went by wonderfully quickly. I remember thinking “K, I’ve got this. I’m ok. I’m great. David loves me. We’re getting married. Wow!” and also thinking “I can’t wait to get home tonight and sit on my persian rug with a cup of tea and go through all this slowly in my head…” which was followed by… “Hang on… where am I going tonight… I’ll have a husband by then and I need to live with him!? Where are we going to live?” Ha ha! I calmed myself down and went to basics. Marrying David was clear and for everything else… did it really matter? I remember talking at the end of the day and voicing all of that… all the “what now? where to?” etc. and he just said “Let’s take our time and figure it out, we’ve got the rest of our lives together to figure it out”. And he was right.

I wouldn’t have wanted things any other way. My husband carefully created the day for me. He chose the things I liked and phoned the people we love, inviting them to support us and share in it.  It’s lovely to know that his bride was just as he had pictured- my gift to him. Perfect for us. 

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HOORAY: This might seem like an odd question, but we need to handle some girl stuff for a second…were you groomed?

SIA: Hmmm.. girl stuff, everyone wants to know about that! David had carefully considered that. Seriously… when I said David pays attention to detail… I really mean it! So a couple of days before the wedding David’s mum (who was in on the whole thing and was helping him pull it together behind the scenes) said: “You’ve been working so hard, I think we should treat ourselves – let’s get our nails done on Saturday”. I’m not one who gets nails done often at all – so that was a real treat. I was excited! I didn’t put two and two together… I wasn’t thinking of weddings, we weren’t even engaged! So I didn’t read anything into it. Incidentally I had had a bit of a cold that week which I had just gotten over, so after getting nails and toenails done I went home and decided to have a long soaking lavender bath and pamper some more 🙂 Needless to say, on the day, by sheer fluke, I was groomed and feeling great!

David couldn’t have worked every little detail but he and I have always been great believers in good, we have faith. When something is right… it just works out. And it did!  

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I remember being asked how I’d like my make up and hair done when I was in the little booth that had been set up for me at the wedding – I just said “do whatever looks nice, it doesn’t matter – as long as my hair is down because David likes it down 🙂 Seeing the dress… the dress was so lovely, and perfect! And the shoes – I had a couple to pick from. He gave me a classical white option and the crazy colourful option – of course I went bold and picked the latter :). The bouquet was created by my closest friends and family who were lined up down the isle. Each handed me a flower as Dev and I walked down. Alexis turned them into the most beautiful bouquet. They were made up of my favourite flower – a special protea called ‘blushing bride’.

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HOORAY: We would love to hear about the rings. 

SIA: The engagement ring is an antique – it’s 100 years old. So so lovely. What’s so special about the engagement ring is it has the exact shape and setting of the commitment ring he gave me when he asked me out… Just the engagement ring is made up of diamonds. The wedding band he made up. David knows exactly what I like – I’d always said I loved rose gold and that I think a very thin, simply wedding band is the best. David’s given me a few rings along the way, and he’d always said engagement rings should be interchangeable – you should have a few of the things so that you don’t feel bad if you lose one! He’s always loved antique jewellery, so I have a few special pieces already – most special being the engagement ring and the commitment ring. All sized for my wedding finger. Anyway, the idea is the engagement ring is interchangeable but the band never comes off – so the band needed to be simple and flat and with no stones so that I never ever have to take it off. David’s mum has never taken her wedding band off from the day it was put on her finger. I think that’s a lovely tradition to follow.

David is an outdoor person and not someone who wears jewellery. He had always had a vision of using of copper. He sourced a copper pipe and together with his very talented friend Tarquin, created an exceptional ring. It actually shows the pipe branding and all. 

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HOORAY:  David and Sia, What was the most memorable moment from the day? 

SIA: A few moments stand out: The song that played as I was driven down the avenue. The song holds such meaning for us. The words. That he remembered it, and that he chose it for us for that day.  I can’t listen to that song now and not have a good drizzle. 

David saying he loved me when he proposed was amazing. I’d told him I loved him before but he hadn’t yet said the words back. He was waiting for the right moment! That definitely stood out. I mean, I think I knew – but having him say it, in front of everyone, after creating the most amazing beautiful scene… you don’t get better than that.

Walking down the isle and seeing him there. I had dreamed of that moment, I remember thinking: “Sia… remember this!”

Our vows. WOW. 

My brother’s speech! My husband’s speech!!!! The words! I’ve kept his speech cards – I keep reading and rereading! Still can’t take it all in!

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And probably one of the absolute highlights was all the children. We both love children. There were children everywhere! So much love. The children were all in awe – it was like something from a fairytale. It feels like David gave all those children a great sense of hope and wonder in the day he created… something that I think this world has lost… a little slice of magic… seeing their faces and everyone’s emotion… something that will always encourage us.

DAVID: On top of seeing the people and deeply feeling their love, their joy, sharing big tears: our cake, lovingly made and gifted to us by the most remarkable woman, our friend Fern of Providence. 

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HOORAY: Any regrets? 

SIA: None at all! I couldn’t have done a better job of it if I tried. 

HOORAY: Sia, the question I think most people want to know…how do you feel about having played no part in the planning of your wedding?

SIA: I feel incredibly loved. That someone would make that amount of effort… take such a risk not knowing what I would say… plan everything so carefully to every basic detail! I just don’t think you can get better than that. That my husband gave me a wedding and could show me how well he knew me… it’s a gift and a blessing and I wouldn’t have changed that. It was perfect, perfect for me. And perfect for David.

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Supporting cast:

Wedding Co-ordinator: Alexis Yapp of Surreal Eventing, assisted by Lisa Napier
Sound and music: David Yapp of Surreal Eventing, David Ward, Luc Montgomery
Photographer: Derryn Schmidt
Videographer: The Shank Tank
Catering: The Farmer’s Daughter
Cake: Fern McComb from Providence
Flowers and Decor: Labola
Hair & make up: Kendyl of Nixon Make up
Dress: Karen Monk Klijnstra
Groom’s outfit: His own
Venue: Summerveld
Minister: Hilton Greig


HOORAY: Alexis, we believe you co-ordinated the whole thing. This must have been the very first time EVER to have worked with a groom and had no input from the bride. Please share your experience with us.

ALEXIS: Getting asked to plan a wedding in 2 weeks for one of your closest friends is crazy on its own! This was definitely a first for me, David knew exactly what he wanted to happen and he had the most romantic vision in his mind. He knows Sia so well so making sure all the wedding elements were perfect was easy and it was just a case of implementing Davids vision. I am very lucky to have the most Surreal team behind me, my hubby and business partner David Yapp as well as my fabulous assistant Lisa Napier made my ‘job‘ a lot easier. Choosing the perfect wedding suppliers/friends who I knew would work well with David and Sia and would remain ‘calm’ and create a relaxed wedding day for David Sia is what I needed, so my choices were easy there and I am so grateful for the team we had – Derryn, David Yapp, David Ward, Karen, Kendyl, Stace, Wes, Jen, Lindy, Michael, Luc, Lisa, Fern.

 Last minute plans were at a high with the weather changing from a lovely warm week to a bitterly cold, rainy and misty day, so adding a stretch marquee and a coffee station was a must. The guest list went from small proposal/wedding of 65 guests to 200 in a matter of days, so increase in refreshments, food, seating and so much more was a little stressful but we managed to pull it off. 

Ensuring David remembered all the details was imperative – everything from the dress, shoes, veil, rings, legalities, making sure Sia’s nails were done. The two David’s sat choosing music over dinner the night before while I arranged flowers for a ‘function’ in the next room. Knowing that Sia had no clue what was coming her way, was all part of the fun in putting together the most Surreal wedding day for her and David. It was such a honour to have been asked to be part of Mr and Mrs Rees’s special day.

HOORAY: Derryn, this must have been quite different to all of the other weddings you have shot. 

DERRYN: Well, Derryn, Yes – it was quite different to anything I have ever done before. At a regular wedding, the photographer has a very strict schedule to work off and a very clear idea of when things are going to happen and how. With this wedding, I had to let go of all control and just photograph what was happening in front of me. This allowed me to really enjoy myself. It was SO difficult to drag Sia and David away from their guests (especially the children) for a few portrait shots. But Alexis had warned me saying that they may not think it is important today, but in time to come they will regret not having portrait photos of the two of them. David is a wedding photographer himself and after about 30 minutes, began trying to call the shots. I guess he just couldn’t help himself.

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HOORAY: Karen, how did you design a dress for a bride without her knowledge?

David approached me to create Sia’s gown after David Yapp had called to tell me this incredibly story. I remember pulling to the side of the road, and being completely captivated. I was inspired and bowled over by the impending adventure and being a part of this magic. 2 weeks till blast off!

David arrived at my house with a vintage gown in a pillow slip. But before we could get to work, he stopped and played with each of my four children, spilled the beans to them and invited them to the wedding. It was then that I knew we would be firm friends.

When he described Sia, I immediately knew that we needed to get her here and invent a smokescreen. David had the perfect solution. During their years together, David had bought Sia many vintage pieces, all too big though as she is tiny. She would be brought to me after work, with her bags of clothes, under the auspice of being measured for alterations. We even had the dress out on a dummy in the corner of the room to see if she would remark on it. How I kept a straight face and my kids didn’t spill the beans I will never know.

I altered the gown, made the lines more ergonomic, and encrusted by hand and antique beaded lace around the neckline, back line, derriere and train. Each step a labour of love and excitment for what lay ahead. I can honestly say that this has been one of the most meaningful and magical projects I have been privileged to be a part of.


HOORAY: Stacey and Wesley, you created a magical video of the event. Have you had some good feedback? 

We have had some amazing feedback from the video! We first did a 2 minute teaser a few days after the wedding, this went crazy online and we had over 4000 views in a week (our highest views to date). These views have been from all over the world, we literally have views from every single continent! We then posted the feature film, this is a longer video that tells the story of the day in more detail, and we are watching the views grow every day. It is currently sitting on over 1670 views. 

At first it was a little daunting trying to tell the story of the day through video, we were concerned that we wouldn’t be able to capture the raw emotions… but we have received wonderful feedback and Dave & Sia’s love really shines through. 

This was definitely a career highlight for us and we are so grateful to have been apart of this awesome team!


Dave & Sia’s Surprise Wedding Feature Film from The Shank Tank on Vimeo.

And there you have it, a proposal and wedding in 88 minutes. It just goes to show that anything you set your heart to can be done and you don’t have to follow the “norm” when it comes to your wedding day! Throw caution to the wind and design the most meaningful wedding to yourself and your fiancé and we promise you, you won’t go wrong! 

6 thoughts on “Real Wedding | Engaged and married within 88 minutes

  1. Erika Lind says:

    This was incredible. It must have been such an amazing experience photographing this glorious, rare event.

    I’m just speechless. That this kind of love exists. These kind of people exist.

    What a beautiful, beautiful, touching story.

    Thank you for sharing it and making gorgeous photographs about it!

  2. Lizel Benade says:

    I met David a few years ago as he comes to do our school photographs every year. The venue has always been our school library – and until recently i was the school librarian. I have had the pleasure of hosting him and chatting with him has always been a pleasure! David is a true gentleman! Soft spoken, kind and friendly – my girls adore him! In fact all of Darnall Primary do. Photo Day is a highlight at our school because we all look forward to catching up with him. David and Sia, may your life together be blessed with many more wonderful surprises but most of all an everlasting love and joy in each other. Lizel Benade.

  3. Pingback: Real Life Wedding: 'We Got Engaged And Married Within 88 Minutes' - Marie Claire - South Africa

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