Melissa and Nick planned to have an intimate first look before their Milwaukee wedding ceremony, but the Best Man had other plans. The day before the wedding, he decided that he would surprise his lifelong best friend by posing as the bride. The result was epic!

Together for 8 years and engaged for 4, Melissa and Nick were determined to have their 10/10/20 wedding day, no matter what. The Covid-19 pandemic has made it especially hard for couples with weddings scheduled in 2020. Planning their special day around the best man’s US Army deployment added another level of challenge for the couple.Melissa, Nick, and their wedding party got ready at Milwaukee’s Brewhouse Inn & Suites, a historic brewery turned hotel dating back to 1844. Accustomed to the pre-wedding chaos during this unique year, I wasn’t surprised when Melissa contacted me the day before the wedding. She said there was going to be a change in the timeline. The best man, Shayne, wanted to surprise the groom during the first look! I found out later that Melissa had reached out to Shayne at the beginning of the year to see if he was interested. He was all in.

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Looking oh so beautiful in his $60 Goodwill find!

When I entered Melissa’s suite the morning of the wedding, I noticed a very large, very ornate gown hanging alongside her petite-sized wedding gown. (Shayne’s significant other found it at Goodwill only the day before!) I mentally wondered if it was a family heirloom. I didn’t make the connection that this was the dress that Shayne would be squeezing into.

A little peek. The excitement in Shayne’s eyes is undeniable

The approach

According to Nick’s version of the timeline, the First Look was scheduled for 12:45 pm in front of the hotel. This is when Shayne ducked into Melissa’s suite and got into his dress. Melissa wanted all of their family and friends to see, and it was quite a spectacle! Everyone was stifling their laughs so as to not throw Nick off! Watching Nick’s face when he turned to see Shayne was the real treat. He was deadpan at first—surely processing what he was looking at—and then he nearly fell over as the nerves that had built up to that moment dissipated.

The groom is processing…

The moment facial recognition sets in

Time for the real thing