I got married at my engagement party because I didn't want a traditional wedding - family thought we were insane

Canadians Julia Polley, 29, and partner Kevin, 32, planned a truly 'special' dayREAD MORE:  I knitted a life-size doll that looks like Jason Momoa - I sold it for $300 and now more women want their own

A couple left their family shocked after tying the knot during their engagement party - as the bride didn't want the attention of a traditional wedding.

Julia Polley 29, and her partner, Kevin, 32, invited 120 of their nearest and dearest to 12twelve events in Whitby, Ontario, Canada, for a party to celebrate their engagement on April 27.

During a speech to thank their guests for coming, Julia joked that it would be easier to tie the knot there and then.

Before dashing off to change, she told guests: 'If you give me 20 minutes to change my dress, we could make it work.'

When the couple exchanged vows, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

Julia Polley, 29, and her partner, Kevin, 32, shocked family and friends by getting married at their engagement party

Julia Polley, 29, and her partner, Kevin, 32, shocked family and friends by getting married at their engagement party

Although the pair hit it off when they met at work in 2010, they didn't start dating until 2014

Although the pair hit it off when they met at work in 2010, they didn't start dating until 2014

Julia, a digital marketer, from Toronto, Canada, said: 'We have always been different in the way we do things in general.

'When we got engaged we knew we didn't want to do something that was traditional.

'I love going to my friends' weddings but I knew I wouldn't be the bride to enjoy that environment.

'We wanted to do something special but we always wanted to prioritise what was important to us - using that money for a fun experience and to put towards the rest of our lives.'

Julia met Kevin, a sprinkler fitter, when they were both working at McDonald's in 2010. Whilst they hit it off, the pair didn't start dating until 2014.

The couple got engaged in May 2023 while they were holidaying in Rome, Italy.

Julia added: 'When I first met Kevin, I thought he was so funny. We both love travelling and we both love music.

'We have been travelling together and we enjoy doing fun things - we are up for anything.

The Canadian couple, who first met in 2010 while working at McDonald's, got engaged at the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

The Canadian couple, who first met in 2010 while working at McDonald's, got engaged at the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

Julia made a speech to thank everyone for attending her engagement party before joking that it would be easier to tie the knot there and then

Julia made a speech to thank everyone for attending her engagement party before joking that it would be easier to tie the knot there and then

The couple exchanged their vows in front of 120 of their family and friends at a venue in Whitby, Ontario, Canada

The couple exchanged their vows in front of 120 of their family and friends at a venue in Whitby, Ontario, Canada

'Kevin popped the question in Rome - we woke up early as we heard the Trevi Fountain was stacked with tourists. It was about 6am and there was nobody there.

'We were standing there and enjoying it - I was setting up my phone to take pics of us and that is when he asked the question.

'When we got home everyone was asking us when the big day would be.'

Julia and Kevin knew they wanted to have an engagement party and joked about surprising their family with the wedding.

Julie explained: 'I thought it would be amazing and I quietly pitched the idea to Kevin and he said it sounded fun.

'The only thing we made sure was that we told our parents beforehand to make sure they were not offended with the decision.

'They were so excited for us - they thought it was insane and were incredibly supportive. Overall they were excited for us.

'I am the youngest child so my wedding was huge news for them and them not being able to tell anyone was hard.'

Kevin got down on one knee at the Trevi Fountain in Rome to propose to Julia in May 2023, nine years after they started dating

Kevin got down on one knee at the Trevi Fountain in Rome to propose to Julia in May 2023, nine years after they started dating

The newlyweds, who had always thought they would do something a little different for their wedding, are pictured embracing at the end of the ceremony

The newlyweds, who had always thought they would do something a little different for their wedding, are pictured embracing at the end of the ceremony

Julia and Kevin share a passion for travel and music
The fun-loving couple admit that they're 'up for anything'

Fun-loving Julia and Kevin, who share a passion for travel and music, admit that they're 'up for anything'

Julia said their big day was 'incredible' and one to remember.

She added: 'We told everyone to arrive at 6pm and we put a note in the invitation to say be on time.

'We said there was an open bar and everyone needed to take advantage of it.

'We mingled and gave a welcome speech where we made the announcement.

'It was hysterical, everyone was screaming and cheering - I felt like a celebrity giving a speech.'

After they made the announcement, Julia went to change into her dress and the venue was transformed for the ceremony.

Julie enthused: 'It was an incredible day - I hoped it would be so much fun and it was way more fun than I could have imaged.

'All of our loved ones had so much fun.

'We have such a supportive circle of family and friends - we are blessed.'

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