Romantic Anthony surprises his bride with a secret wedding
ANTHONY Campbell not only surprised his partner, Lilli Schall, with a marriage proposal on the weekend, he also surprised her with a wedding.
Unbeknown to his partner, Anthony had spent months secretly organising their wedding ceremony.
In a two part-marriage proposal which he sprung on here in Cotton Tree Park on Sunday, Anthony asked Lilli if she would a) marry him, and b) get married on Wednesday.
His carefully laid plans came to fruition yesterday21/10 when they were wed in front of 42 family and friends, including their daughter, Anastissia, 2, at their Bli Bli home.
Anthony, 28, hit upon the idea of surprising Lilli, 30, with a proposal and a wedding when contemplating how to have her German parents present for both.
"I initially asked them to come over for the proposal and they weren't keen on travelling so I decided to put the wedding and proposal together," he said.
He admitted that planning a wedding on his own, in secret, had turned out to be a bigger job than he had realised.
"I'm impulsive. I didn't think too much about planning the wedding and once I got in too deep, I had to keep going and learning as I went," he said.
Anthony sent out invitations, booked a celebrant, booked Lilli's hair and make-up appointments, and lined up his mother to buy three dresses on eBay from which Lilli could choose.
Lilli was starting to become suspicious about why Anthony was being a little secretive with his mobile phone but was totally shocked by the proposal and wedding.
"I was crying the whole time. I did not expect that but it was the best surprise of my life," Lilli said.
"How much effort he put in is unbelievable."
Lilli said she had had even been helping Anthony build tables in their backyard for their reception without knowing it.
"He said they were for his friend, a plasterer. I was whingeing about it for six months," she said.
Lilli was not disappointed in the least about not having a hand in organising her own wedding.
"He's thought of everything. We just had to get the kids' tables - some food for the kids. I didn't have to get stressed about any of it," she said.
The wedding coincided with a three-week visit by Lilli's parents and she had already taken time off her work as a mental health case manager to spend with them.
Friends and relatives, including Lilli's best friend from Germany, had been in on the secret for months and travelled from interstate and overseas to be there for the special occasion.
Anthony said some had been sceptical about whether or not Lilli would appreciate the surprise but he had an idea it would appeal to the spontaneous, adventurous streak they both share - and he was not wrong.
"I wouldn't have said no. I made up my mind a long time ago," Lilli said.
Anthony said keeping the secret from Lilli while telling everybody else was probably the greatest feat of the whole surprise.
"The organising of the hens' night and bucks' night was on Facebook, all private messaging. It was all over social media and it didn't get out," he said.
Anthony realises he has set the bar high for other blokes in future.
"All my mates have told me that one. Too bad. They have to step up."