A loved-up young couple who said: ”I dough!” enjoyed a full-scale wedding celebration minutes later – in a pizza restaurant.
Maddie Jones, 29 and Alex Sung, 30, were nominated for the ultimate shotgun wedding by a friend who spotted the pizzeria’s Facebook offer to create a spontaneous marital ceremony.
The quick-fire nuptials began when Maddie and Alex, who had been engaged for a year, arrived for dinner at PizzaExpress in London.
After revealing a friend of theirs had tipped off staff about their 12-month engagement, waitress Milly Threw declared: ”I have had a crazy idea, why don’t you get married today?”
When Milly explained the couple’s friends and family were already on their way to the restaurant on Russia Way in London, primary school teacher Maddie and electrician Alex agreed to instantly tie the knot.
Within hours the restaurant was completely converted into a room with 30 seats for guests from Cumbria and Durham where the couple are from.
Maddie chose one of 16 dress options and she was then whisked off to have her hair and make-up done while Alex underwent a quick shave and trim.
At 6pm wedding celebrant Sheron Burt presided as the couple pledged their futures to each other and exchanged rings.
Bride Maddie Jones said: “It was an amazing day, of course a bit of a shock initially but the whole thing was lovely.
"We love pizza, so the wedding food was perfect, and the giant Dough Ball Heart shaped wedding cake was an absolute showstopper.
"I can’t say a big enough thank you to Natasha for her secret planning and of course to PizzaExpress for bringing everyone together to make this happen.”
Natasha Killip, best friend of the bride for over fourteen years, who answered the initial Facebook ad, added: “I put them forward and didn’t think any more of it, so when the confirmation came through.
"I was a little panicked.
"Planning the whole wedding and keeping it all a surprise was somewhat daunting, but the whole day was so unique and magical.
"It was fantastic to be able to bring all Maddie and Alex’s loved ones together for such a special celebration”.
Natasha, 29, put forward the unsuspecting loved-up pair for the ceremony, by responding to a Facebook challenge from the pizza brand, back on 10 January.
The post asked for nominations for the UK’s biggest pizza lovers who would then go on to win an exclusive all-expenses-paid wedding experience and honeymoon to Italy.
Maddie and Alex met on Tinder in 2016, which led to a romantic proposal from Alex at the top of the Rockefeller Centre in New York in 2017.
After selecting the couple, organisers quickly got in touch with Natasha to set the wedding plans in motion.
Natasha worked closely with a surprise wedding production team, led by expert wedding planner, Ann Nicholas, to tailor every aspect of the day, including inviting all the couple’s friends and family, who were also in on the secret.
Natasha told the couple they had won a complimentary meal at PizzaExpress in the heart of London.
The pair were then invited down to the pizzeria, where 19 secret cameras were hidden, to capture every step of the surprise moment. PizzaExpress also installed 20 hidden mics.
With 30 of the couple’s closest friends waiting in the wings, an intimate wedding ceremony was held, before the venue came alive with an evening of celebrations that same day.
The special occasion was complete with confetti cannons, sparklers, a live jazz band and even a giant Dough Ball Heart shaped wedding cake, created especially by renowned baker, Juliet Sears.
The activity was set up in celebration of the fact the brand has been bringing people together to celebrate good times for over 50 years.
PizzaExpress is now considering licensing a number of its pizzerias to become wedding venues, to allow more of its superfans to say “I Dough” over a slice of their favourite pizza.
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