Renee Bouchard and Sam Habashy

August 7th, 2016
Lowell, MA

As a wedding industry professional, Renee has been involved in thousands of weddings (she’s assistant manager of Madeleine’s Daughter, a bridal salon in Portsmouth, NH). So when she became engaged to Sam in 2016, she knew what she wanted: a surprise wedding.

“I see hundreds and hundreds of weddings,” says Renee. “It’s hard to come up with something truly memorable. I wanted something unique. Fortunately, Sam was onboard with having a surprise wedding. Guests were invited to join the couple at a so-called engagement party at Nesmith House in Lowell; the couple only hinted that they would be making a grand entrance at the event.

The day of the event, Renee and Sam stayed upstairs at the Nesmith House until their friend Brance Cornelius announced to guests what was really happening, telling the story of how Sam and Renee met and inviting everyone to gather in the parlor. Sam and Renee came downstairs, took their place in front of the fireplace and the ceremony began. “My coworkers, who pride themselves on knowing everything about weddings, were in complete shock,” Renee says. “They had no idea this was coming!”

Afterwards, the couple celebrated with a cocktail reception and a rousing sing-along around a piano with family and friends. Renee, a pianist, had music books printed with lyrics to her favorite Broadway show tunes and took turns playing with their hired pianist. Later the couple and a small group, still in their wedding attire, went out for piza and to a local pub in Lowell. “People honked and leaned out car windows yelling congratulations,” Renee says. “We had a great time.”

-Written by Debbie Kane

{the wedding recipe}

Nesmith House
Lowell, MA

Two Chefs Are Better Than One
Lowell, MA

Madeleine’s Daughter
Portsmouth, NH

Created by the bride

Joya Beauty
Dover, NH

Created by the bride

Chris Keeley Weddings