A COUPLE stunned family and friends when the christening of their baby daughter became a surprise wedding.
Hannah Clayton, 29, and Darren Harding-Evans, 39, hatched a secret plan to throw the double celebration at the baptism of nine-month-old Bryony.
While guests took photos with the tot, the pair sneaked off and got ready to pull the surprise.
Hannah then re-emerged at the back of the church in a white wedding dress, much to the amazement of the congregation.
She walked down the aisle with her grandfather as the best man’s two young daughters sang Elvis’s Can’t Help Falling In Love.
Many family members were in tears as Hannah and Darren then exchanged vows at the altar in St Giles Church in Wrexham, north Wales.
The couple went on to host a reception at Holt Lodge, which had already been set aside for the christening celebrations, for their 74 guests.
Only a handful of relatives were aware of the top-secret plans — with even the flower girls and best man being taken by surprise on the day.
Hannah, a support worker from Wrexham, said: ‘We’ve been together eight years and engaged since 2014 so we thought it was as good a time as any.
‘We only told a handful of people including parent and the bridesmaids, as we needed a little bit of help organising it.
‘But most of the people just thought they were coming along for Bryony’s christening, so they were all in for a massive shock.
‘Not even the flower girls or the best man knew until the day.
‘We sneaked off while one of Darren’s friends was being deliberately awkward taking photos.
‘He was trying to get a big group shot to give us a bit of time, so I went and got changed into my wedding dress and we gave the flower girls their bouquets.
‘I was so nervous I didn’t even look at anyone in the crowd. It was all just a blur but I know a lot of people were very emotional.’
The couple organised their big day in just nine weeks.
Darren, who owns a shop, said his best man Ben Jones, 36, was gobsmacked when he handed him his tie and pinhole flower.
He added: ‘My best man wasn’t happy at first when I dropped it on him at the altar. His first words were, “I hope you don’t expect me to do a speech!”.
Hannah’s mum, Sharon, 49, said she only found out about the surprise three weeks before the wedding: ‘It was beautiful. I’m so happy and overjoyed for them both, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.’
Bridesmaid Kayley McGreachan, 29, said: ‘It was very emotional — a lovely afternoon.’
The couple, who are also parents to four-year-old George, are planning a honeymoon in Thailand later in the year.