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Couple Invites Family and Friends to Engagement Party — Then Reveals They Secretly Wed Earlier That Day! (Exclusive)

"Everyone was shocked!" the bride tells PEOPLE

<p><a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@the_lovely_lens/video/7333826748221492487?_r=1&_t=8kGml34Lq5K">Michelle Valastro - The Lovely Lens - Wedding & Event Content Creator</a></p> Madelaine and Mitchell Brereton at their surprise wedding reception

As Madelaine and Mitchell Brereton began mapping out their wedding plans post-engagement, a question arose: should they also throw an engagement party?

The couple shared a mutual desire for a grand celebration with their extensive circle of friends and family, yet when it came to the actual ceremony, they wanted a more intimate affair.

"I couldn't picture a 'big and traditional' ceremony for us and was throwing different ideas at Mitch," Madelaine, 29, shares with PEOPLE. "I even threw the idea of getting married at the registry office and then throwing a party, but Mitch still wanted to do a few of the traditional things like having a bridal party and a big wedding entrance."

After much deliberation, Madelaine devised a plan: they could have a small daytime ceremony followed by a surprise wedding reception during what their guests believed was an engagement party.

Initially hesitant, Mitchell, 31, gradually warmed up to the idea. "We spoke to our families about it, and they loved the idea and were on board straight away," Madelaine recounts.

<p><a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@the_lovely_lens/video/7333826748221492487?_r=1&_t=8kGml34Lq5K" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Michelle Valastro - The Lovely Lens - Wedding & Event Content Creator</a></p> Madelaine and Mitchell Brereton surprise guests at their engagement party

Related: Bride and Her Dad Shock Wedding Guests with Epic Father-Daughter Dance! (Exclusive)

On Feb. 9, the couple's surprise wedding unfolded.

In the lead-up to the surprise, Madelaine aimed to craft an unforgettable experience for their guests. Collaborating with Mitchell, they brainstormed ideas, all of which hinged on a video presentation to share the day's highlights. Enter Michelle Valastro, their wedding and event content creator at The Lovely Lens.

Working together, the trio planned the surprise wedding reception. They decided that while the 130 guests were occupied, the bride and groom would discreetly change back into their wedding attire from earlier in the day. Meanwhile, Valastro would coordinate the creation of a video showcasing the couple's journey, culminating in footage from their wedding ceremony.

"Madelaine contacted me a couple of months prior to ask if I was available to film her micro wedding during the day and then put it together into a video to play at their engagement party that same night," Valastro, whose viral TikTok video captured the essence of the surprise wedding, says. "I LOVED the idea and was so excited to take the job, understanding the urgency of splicing together the video in a short amount of time."

Armed with her Samsung S24 Ultra, Valastro documented the moments leading up to the ceremony in Montsalvat, an artists' colony in Eltham, Australia. She then captured the tender exchange of vows between the newlyweds.

"After moving on to capture the behind-the-scenes of the newlyweds having their professional photos taken, I rushed home in the late afternoon and put the video together," Valastro tells PEOPLE. "It kicked off with some videos that the bride sent me earlier of the couple along their journey and their proposal. I sent the video through via Google Drive and headed down to the engagement party to capture the surprise that evening."

Valastro adds that having the video start with snippets from the early part of their relationship threw off the guests as they thought they were just watching a recap of the couple's 10-year journey. However, when it showed the bride and groom getting ready for their big day the guests realized something was up.

Related: Bride and Groom Save Thousands of Dollars by Growing Their Own Wedding Flowers: 'True Labor of Love'

<p><a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@the_lovely_lens/video/7333826748221492487?_r=1&_t=8kGml34Lq5K" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Michelle Valastro - The Lovely Lens - Wedding & Event Content Creator</a></p> Madelaine and Mitchell Brereton during their wedding ceremony

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Looking back at their wedding day, the couple says they wouldn't have done it any other way. Madelaine adds that she's so grateful to Valastro for all of her help in making the surprise happen.

"Everyone was shocked! Everyone was happy for us, there were a few comments that we were sneaky and had lied, but once the shock factor was settled everyone was super excited and the vibes were so high for the rest of the night!" Madelaine says

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