Imagine you're heading to a friend's party to enjoy an afternoon with friends — and then the unthinkable happens — a surprise wedding occurs! Welp, that's exactly what happened on Saturday, August 20 in Los Angeles when a casual Saturday afternoon turned into a surprise wedding for Mark Steines and Julie Freyermuth.
The backstory: about 100 people headed to TV personality Mark Steines' home, where they thought they were attending an anniversary party for his show Home and Family. The Hallmark Channel show had just celebrated its fifth year on air, so it was an easy ploy for the two to hide their nuptials before the big reveal, Us Weekly confirmed. His beautiful bride, Julie Freyermuth, 36, is the author of the children's book series Norbert the Dog, who is based upon her real-life dog Norbert, a 3-lb mixed breed therapy dog (with the cutest little wiggly tongue and floppy ears). Of course, he played a role in the nuptials.
Photo: Instagram via Norbert the Dog
In a flowy, off-white BHLDN gown with a strapped sweetheart bodice and flute-shaped train, the elegant bride walked down the aisle to the surprise of all their guests to one of the couple's favorite songs, "100 Years" by Five for Fighting. The beautiful brunette wore her hair back with just a few tendrils left forward, adding to her romantic look, while holding white peonies in a tight bouquet. A thin silver necklace grazed her neck, and her nails were polished a pinkish beige color. The only real jewelry on her hands was her engagement ring and a Neil Lane French antique wedding band, created circa 1910 — worn by both the bride and the groom.
Photo: Instagram via Mark Steines
The wedding reception had a celebrity-filled guest list, including Leeza Gibbons, Nicky Whelan, Kerry Rhodes, and Dot-Marie Jones, who officiated the wedding. During the festivities, guests wined and dined on delicious comfort foods like fried chicken, Kobe sliders, and shrimp with a dessert table that included chocolate and Nutella-covered strawberries — a winner in most wedding guests' minds (and stomachs).
The two first met in August 2015 when the children's book author was a guest on Steines' show, and almost a year-to-the-date later, they tied the knot. "It was a day filled with love and laughter as our friends and family watched as our hearts danced under the stars," Steines, 52, shared. "Julie has illuminated [my family's] world. The darkness that once existed has been lifted and I am exuberant for the bright future that awaits our family." The former Entertainment Tonight host and photographer is a divorced father of two.
After the party died down and the guests left, it was clear to see the newly-married husband and wife were left feeling totally on cloud nine, ready to begin their lives together. Both posted twinning Instagram snaps of each other the next day in their wedding attire (with totally adorable captions!), with the journalist sharing a photo of his wife looking down and smiling in her white wedding dress, writing "Good morning wife." Not to be outdone, his bride shared a photo of her new hubs in his off-white suit complete with a white button down and black bowtie, saying "Good afternoon husband." It seems the two are both smitten with each other and their new marital status, and pulled off one heck of a surprise wedding. As it should be!
See below for more of the beautiful wedding photos from their surprise nuptials.