A bride organised her wedding over nine months - without any of the 150 guests knowing a thing about it.
Slick Sylvia Murray married partner Iain Dewar at Falkirk Football Stadium last month but told everyone - even their parents - that they were going to her 30th birthday party.
Planning the secret wedding involved “incredible” amounts of fibbing, secret email accounts and undercover trips to bridal gown stores.
But the covert operation proved well worth it with Sylvia and Iain (37) enjoying the “best night of their lives” surrounded by stunned family and friends.
Sylvia, a social care worker, said: “It was a lot of work, and quite funny sometimes with everyone thinking they were going to a birthday party that was actually our wedding. I had to tell a few fibs, but can’t believe we pulled it off.
“It all just came together and it was fantastic.”
Sylvia and Iain have been together for over nine years, and have two children, Sam (7) and Amelia (3).
They had always wanted to get married but work and bringing up the children kept pushing the wedding back.
But, in January this year, Sylvia hatched her ‘secret wedding’ plan.
She said: “I was at home and ‘At Last’ by Etta James came on, and I started to think about it.
“I called Iain, who’s working in India as a mechanic, and I told him what I was thinking.
“He thought it was a great idea.”
With Iain overseas, Sylvia told sister Joanne (27), her bridesmaid.
Sylvia said: “She thought I was crazy. She said I’d never pull it off.
“We were the only ones who knew, even Iain’s brother Martin, the best man, didn’t know until a month before.”
As the wedding drew closer, Sylvia found it hard to keep the secret, especially from her mum, Bonnybridge’s Lynn Burgess.
She said: “My mum now lives in Cyprus and she came home two weeks before the party as a surprise.
“She was staying at our house in Falkirk, so I had to hide the paperwork and have a secret e-mail account.
“I was on my iPad organising this wedding and she was knitting and didn’t know a thing.
“I had to lie to Iain’s mum who was my babysitter, telling her I was working when I was really going for a wedding dress fitting.
“I did want my mum to give her approval on my dress, so I showed her a picture and told her it was one my friend’s wedding dress.
“She liked it!”
Invitations for Sylvia’s ‘30th’ on Saturday, September 22 went out with instructions to “dress glam” and arrive on time at 7 as the ceremony was at 8 p.m.
Sylvia said: “If people were late, they would miss the ceremony.
“On the night, the guests were waiting in a separate room from the one we were marrying in. Even the staff at the stadium didn’t know until the last minute.
“When Joanne and I were dressed, my parents came in, and the look on their faces when they saw me in a wedding dress was fantastic.
“My dad walked me down the aisle and everyone’s face was a picture.”
Sylvia added: “We wanted to get married, and I’d do it just like this again in a minute.
“I didn’t want to get involved with picking starters and table plans, I just wanted our family and friends there and to have a great night.”
Wedding photographer Paul Borg Grech said: “This was a first for me in 24 years.
“The atmosphere was electric, and it was very emotional.
“The couple were so much in love and everyone there was so happy for them.”