Former Bachelorette star Emily Maynard married fiancé Tyler Johnson in a surprise wedding ceremony on June 7th!
When guests arrived at the groom's family farm in Charlotte, North Carolina, they thought they were attending an engagement party. Little did they know that the couple — who got engaged this past January — had been secretly planning their rustic-chic wedding for months.
So, how did they pull it off? The stealthy pair, both 28, sent invitations in the form of View-Masters to 200 of their nearest and dearest, inviting them to a party at an undisclosed location. The unsuspecting guests were then picked up from various meeting spots and transported to the farm.
At sunset, while the couple's family and friends sipped on cocktails, they were shocked and overjoyed when the party was transformed into a ceremony space. Music began to play and the blushing bride was escorted by her father down the lantern-lit aisle, where Johnson stood waiting by an oak tree. "It was romantic and beautiful, when Tyler saw Emily, he was completely in awe," an eyewitness told Us Weekly.
Maynard wore a stunning strapless ball gown designed by Modern Trousseau. It featured pink floral details on the bodice and a lavender sash at the waist. She completed her country-chic wedding look with a pair of comfy cowboy boots. Johnson donned a dark suit jacket and pants with a white button-down shirt. In a casual twist, he opted against wearing a tie. Maynard's adorable 8-year-old daughter, Ricki, served as the maid of honor.
After the newlyweds recited their marriage vows, they kicked off the reception celebration with a live country band. After the bride and groom danced for the first time as husband and wife, Johnson shared a special dance with his new stepdaughter. "It's just as much her day as it is mine because it's a big change for her," the bride told People. "She just adores Tyler and he is so good with her. He loves her as if she was his own daughter. It's been so great to see their relationship grow," she added.
Guests dined on traditional Southern cuisine, including fried chicken, shrimp, pulled pork and scalloped potatoes. For dessert, the couple chose a pink four-tier cake featuring circular gold accents, topped with an arrangement of pink and ivory roses.
Maynard was previously engaged to the late Nascar driver Ricky Hendrick, Bachelor Brad Womack and Bachelorette contestant Jef Holm. The former ABC reality star credits her faith for giving her the strength to find true love again: "Tyler and I met at church. I think that’s why our relationship is so good now, because we started out as friends."
Congratulations and best wishes to the new Johnson family!
All photos via Emily Maynard on Instagram
— Mary Gillen