MORE than 80 people have been forced to keep tight lipped to give an unsuspecting bride the ultimate birthday gift.

It wasn’t until 6.40am on “drama queen and control freak” Sofie Joanne James’ big day that she tearfully received instructions to meet fiancé David Griffin, 37, at the altar at Nant Hall in Prestatyn.

Originally a 30th birthday party planned to the letter by the now Mrs Griffin, a group of more 20 conspirators – including three best men, six groomsmen, a maid-of- honour and Sofie’s mother Carolyn Roberts – swelled to 80 people to help Mr Griffin elaborately hijack the celebration.

Rhyl Journal:

Sofie and David Griffin tie the knot at Nant Hall in Prestatyn

Mrs Roberts said: “It was the ultimate Don’t Tell The Bride - except at least they know they’re going to be married. I’m absolutely amazed we managed to keep it a secret for so long.”

To help keep the secret over three months, the bridal party had a Whatsapp group codenamed ‘The Party’, to help prevent slip ups and come up with plans to throw Sofie off the scent.

Mrs Roberts added: “A few weeks before the wedding, she did start asking questions 'Why is he spending so much time at Nant Hall? You’d think he was planning a wedding.'

“I just had to keep telling her not to be silly, but I’m amazed we managed to keep it a secret for so long.”

Rhyl Journal:

Mum Carolyn Roberts dries the eyes of the bride to be Sofie

"I even had to pretend that one of her bridesmaids in the group was someone I’d never met, even though we’d actually been in touch five times.”

Upon opening the door of her Rhyl home to her mother, her maid-of-honour Simone Espley a photographer and a camera crew, Sofie - a hairdresser originally from Rhos-on-Sea - was presented with a white leather Ottoman containing a wedding dress and instructions for the ceremony.

Cunningly, Mrs Roberts helped orchestrate a dress fitting at WED2B in Wrexham with her daughter in April, under the guise of a “pick me up girly day" for her mother - who owns a farm near Llanrwst - after a “difficult lambing season”.

Rhyl Journal:

Sofie Griffin in the dress chose for her during a "girly pick me up" with mother Carolyn Roberts

Mrs Roberts added: ““She was absolutely blown away when she found out. They've been engaged for seven years - so imagine how much of an itch she's had.

" David works as a groundsman in Manchester and he told her that he was working late, so when we were banging on her door at 6.40am she thought it was him coming home.

“When she opened the door with cameras flashing she just couldn’t believe it. All she could say is ‘My Heart is Thumping'.

“Sofie’s such a drama queen and control freak – it might have been dream come true, but it was also her worst nightmare. She was so overwhelmed though, the drama queen definitely took a back seat.”

Before heading her workplace, Pin Ups salon on Vale Road, to get ready Sofie then broke the news to their son Evan, six, receiving a hug when she revealed that they would now share a surname.

Heading to the venue for a meticulously planned humanist service and evening do themed around Sofie’s love of Murder Mysteries, it wasn’t until she walked down the aisle that she first confronted the groom.

Mrs Roberts said: "When she saw David, he kissed him, and then told him ‘I’m going to kill you’.”

“The day was absolutely gorgeous. There had been thunder storms predicted for the weekend, but in the end we had the hottest day of the year and red carpet treatment when she arrived.

The service was absolutely beautiful, particularly when David’s sons Kyan and Mason joined David, Sofie and Evan to light a unity candle – they're one big family now.”

Due to the surprise nature of the nuptials, the couple will have another ceremony later in the summer in Rhyl to sign the Register, and are planning to have their honeymoon shortly after.

Mrs Roberts said: “ After letting David –plan the whole thing, I think she’s going to want to take charge now.”