Weddings are unforgettable for the newlyweds and their loved ones by nature, but some are made even more special by the surprises that arise throughout the day. Whether it be something the couple thought up beforehand to excite their guests or something totally unexpected that they're not in on, these weddings are anything but ordinary.
From A-list celebrity guests, to a bridal party that carried puppies instead of flowers, we rounded up some notable moments from weddings that made them even more memorable for everyone.
1. This bride who shaved her hair off mid-wedding reception in a bold move of support.
Joan Lyons from Liverpool, England decided to shave her hair as a way to lovingly honor her terminally ill groom, Craig. The couple had known each other since they were 14-year-olds, but only revealed their romantic feelings toward one another 30 years later. The couple got engaged and were excited to spend the rest of their lives married to each other.
Unfortunately, Craig was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2015 and was told he would have nine to 12 months to live. The news was heartbreaking, but the couple decided to continue with their wedding by moving it up to an earlier date and making it into a fundraising event.
"In an act of solidarity with Craig, and others affected by life-limiting illnesses, Joan shaved her head in front of all of their guests," The Way We Met Instagram post about the couple said. "Her hair was donated to Little Princess Trust — a charity that makes wigs for severely sick children." The couple also donated to Macmillan Cancer Support, Zoé's Place hospice and Woodlands Hospice.
The move came as a surprise to guests, but it was another way for Lyons to show how much she cared about her new groom. In the process, she was able to help others who are suffering, too.
Sadly, Craig passed away just before Christmas 2016.
2. These six guests who wore the same exact dress to a wedding, but weren’t bridesmaids.
Yep. Six women showed up to a friend's wedding in New South Wales, Australia accidentally wearing the same navy lace dress from the brand Forever New.
"You really should start a bridal registry so that your customers can enquire whether anyone else has purchased one of your dresses for the same event," Debbie Speranza, who was one of the women wearing the dress, wrote on Facebook. "No, we are NOT the bridesmaids just the guests. Think I deserve a gift voucher for all this advertisement."
3. This bride who also wrote vows for her 4-year-old stepson.
During United States Marine Corps Sergeant Joshua Newville and Senior Airman Emily Leehan's wedding, Leehan found a very special way to include her new stepson in the ceremony. She turned to 4-year-old Gage and read vows she wrote specifically for him, now that she'd be his stepmom.
"I want you to be safe and to try your hardest and to be a good person," she said. "I know that you and I will butt heads, but I hope with all my heart that as you become a grown man, you will understand my methods and realize I have only done what is best for you and that I love you."
Gage was completely overwhelmed with emotions and sobbed as she read the beautiful words she'd written. He then wrapped his arms around his new stepmom.
4. This bridal party that used rescue puppies as an alternative to bouquets.
Some brides pay painstaking attention to their bridesmaids bouquets so that they'll look perfect during the wedding shoot, but Sarah Mallouk Crain decided to forgo them completely. During her bridal party's photo shoot, she had them carry rescue puppies instead of flowers.
"Aside from past clients bringing their dog along to their engagement session here and there, this is my first time doing wedding day photos that include animals. It was such a fun experience to have them involved in Matt and Sarah's day!" the couple's photographer, Caroline Logan, told A Plus in a previous interview. "Having something to divert attention from that uncomfortable 'Oh my goodness, I'm getting my picture taken ... what do I do with my hands?!' feeling to pure puppy bliss made for relaxed photos where the bridal party was able to focus on interacting with the fun-loving puppies as I documented it all unfold."
The bridal party loved the unexpected choice, and it made for some seriously beautiful wedding photos.
5. This couple who was surprised by Taylor Swift at their reception.
Taylor Swift completely shocked newlyweds Kenya Smith and Max Singer at their wedding in Long Beach Township, N.J when she showed up to perform a stripped-down performance of "Blank Space." Singer's sister set the whole thing up by reaching out to the star and explaining her brother is a huge fan. He'd even chosen "Blank Space" from Swift's 1989 album as the song for the mother-son dance.
6. And this one who had no idea Maroon 5 was going to crash their wedding.
No one wants uninvited guests at their wedding, but we have a feeling this Los Angeles couple didn't mind when Maroon 5 crashed their theirs. Filmed footage from the reception was featured in their music video for the song, "Sugar."
"It's December 6, 2014, we're gonna drive across L.A. and hit every wedding we possibly can and it's gonna be awesome," Levine, dressed in a tuxedo, says in the video. "And we're late."
Better late than never. The look of complete shock on the bride's face said it all. The wedding party danced the band's songs as they played live and even took some photos with them.
Levine, 35, told E! News at the time that "literally, there was only one person in the entire wedding that knew, 'cause we needed a contact."
7. This couple that stopped in the middle of a marathon to say, 'I do.'
Anthony Johnson and James Makokis started the Vancouver Marathon as an engaged couple, but finished it as a married one.
"It's definitely motivating for your run time if you're getting married. Running to the altar," Johnson told CTV Vancouver. "We wanted to do something fun and different."
"And special and unique and exciting," Makokis added. "We thought, 'what a good way of being healthy together.'"
Throughout the race, the couple had on tuxedo T-shirts. They veered slightly off-course to exchange vows and threw on tuxedo to complete their looks. In a teepee on English Bay Beach, they were surrounded by friends, family, marathon spectators, and even tour groups as they tied the knot.
8. This bridal party that showed solidarity for the bride's broken wrist by showing up in bandages.
Jaclyn Summers didn't expect to be wearing a cast on her big day, but weddings rarely go exactly according to plan. She broke her wrist just 10 days before she planned to walk down the aisle after chasing her dogs in her home and accidentally falling down the stairs. She needed surgery after the accident and ended up in a cast.
She was surely disappointed, but her bridal party helped to make things a little better. In another detail she did not plan, Summers's bridesmaids and groomsmen showed up with their wrists wrapped in casts as well. Summer's wedding photographer, Jennifer Stanley, helped to orchestrate the surprise shoot. She asked Summers to hold up her hand with the splint and then her husband announced, "I wear it better."
"No we do!" the groomsmen said.
"No we do!" the bridesmaids added.
Once Summers looked around, she was surprised to see her entire bridal party holding up their bandaged arms. She told A Plus at the time that the gesture was "totally unexpected" and thought it was hilarious. The sweet surprised helped to make her feel a bit better about the unfortunate accident.
9. This couple that got stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, but didn't let it ruin their first dance.
Instead, Jeff and Rebecca Payne decided to have their first dance right there in the middle of a traffic jam on U.S. Route 35 in Dayton, Ohio. Set to Alison Krauss' "When You Say Nothing At All," and videotaped by Levi Curby Media, the couple got out of the car and slow-danced surrounded by the glow of car headlights. They eventually made it to their reception where they danced together again, but something tells us it doesn't quite compare to that first one in the middle of a highway.