Almost every little girl dreams of one day having the perfect wedding, of the perfect dress and flowers, and Prince Charming, sweeping her off her feet and living happily ever after. Unfortunately, that's not always possible, but here's the story of one man's attempt to give his princess a fairytale ending.
A nervous groom at a beach wedding in Canada is not exactly the subject of fairy tales. But last Saturday, Shawn Lippert, of Ontario, was sweating the stuff of legends.
His girlfriend of seven years, Colleen, had no idea they were getting married that day.
Shawn and Colleen had decided to elope in Las Vegas -- next month. They'd agreed to announce their nuptials at a party afterwards.
Shawn recalled, "She said, 'Hey, when we have our barbecue afterwards, let's have it on the beach.' And I was like, 'No that's a terrible idea. I don't wanna do that."
And then the storybook deception began.
In a YouTube video that captured the surprise wedding, Lippert said to guests prior to the surprise reveal, "Her favorite line is, 'As you wish,' in (the movie 'The Princess Bride'). So I started asking her questions, back in August 2010. ... She doesn't know it, but she's planned her entire wedding. She was like, 'I want mason jars with a candle.' So, if you look around there's mason jars with a candle. She said she wanted Martha Stewart paper balls."
After a full year of cleverly collecting every last detail of Colleen's perfect wedding, Shawn prepped 200 guests on the big day.
And then he filled in the bride. Complete with bridal gown and bouquet, the blushing bride made her way down the aisle and said, 'I do.'
On "The Early Show," Shawn Lippert and his new bride, Colleen Lippert shared their story.
"Early Show" co-anchor Chris Wragge asked Shawn Lippert, "You have set the bar very high though, mister. You have raised the bar for a lot of people out there. Did you ever, ever think that I might not be able to pull this off?"
Shawn said, "I'm sure there was some times, but there was no time to really think about it. I mean, once you put operation white cake in motion, it just happened. When I was sending the texts to the groomsmen, I was like, 'Operation White Cake's a go, Roger, copy and we started going into action that morning. It was like playing G.I. Joe. Like riding on our bikes playing cops and robbers in the streets."
And he evidently played the game very well because Colleen says she had no idea what was going on for the entire year prior to the nuptials - even as he pumped her for every detail about their wedding day.
"I had no clue, absolutely no idea," Colleen said. "Like I worked that day. I gave -- I own a salon and I was giving people manicures and pedicures that were attending my wedding that day."
She added, "No one slipped. If they did, I wouldn't have noticed. In hindsight I remember when this person, but at the time -"
Shawn said, "We planned on eloping. We were going to go away September 10th to Vegas and come back on the 17th and surprise them. She came up with the idea, 'Why don't you tell them it's a surprise engagement party and we'll make sure they're all there.'"
"Like a double-cross," Wragge said.
"It was covert," Shawn said. "She just actually planned her whole wedding."
Colleen said, "Even when I watch the video, I tear up, that happened to me, I got married and the whole world is seeing it. It's insane."
Shawn said he called his filmmaker friend for a little help on making the wedding video.
"I called my buddy Gavin Booth...we've been friends forever, (and said) can you film this thing? He's like 'I don't do weddings,' but this is what I want to do he's like OK, whether this goes good or bad I got a great clip' and it was a great story."