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March 27, 2018 03:14 PM

A year after marrying her husband, one woman found out there was a hilarious (and terrifying) uninvited guest hidden in her wedding photos.

Vince Alexander and his wife, Manda, tied the knot in March 2017, three years after they met at a Texas restaurant. The couple held their ceremony at the Witte Museum in San Antonio, and took their wedding photos with photographer Megan Bowling of Pop of Color Images just outside of the venue. But Manda had no clue that her husband had secretly conspired with their photographer to place a “killer clown” in the background of their pictures, just for a laugh.

“I originally told her I wanted to have a clown in the wedding to tie balloons and do stuff like that,” Vincent, 39, tells PEOPLE. “My wife is amazing and said, ‘If you absolutely want it, you can.’ But she didn’t really want it and I knew she didn’t want it. So I told her we didn’t have to—and I planned this instead.”

Megan Bowling of Pop of Color Images

 

Vince recruited his brother, Matt, to quickly dress up as the knife-wielding clown after the ceremony, and had him hide in the background of the barn where the couple posed in their wedding attire.

“I planned it out. I talked to my photographer, the wedding planner and the person that was running the event,” Vince explains. “There was a period there right after the ceremony where we’re taking pictures with all the family, then we went off and took pictures by ourselves. I had my brother get dressed right then and he was waiting inside that little barn in there.”

Yet, Vince didn’t reveal the secret to his wife until the couple celebrated their first wedding anniversary this month.

Vince—who works for the Department of Defense doing marketing for the U.S. Army—figured printing out the surprise photo for Manda would be perfect since it would fit with the theme of the “paper anniversary,” a tradition where married couples give each other papers gifts to celebrate their first year together.

“I kind of thought that waiting a year for our anniversary was awesome if I could do that,” Vince says. “If I could make it happen, it would be perfect.”

 

In a video posted to Vince’s Facebook on March 23, Manda is seen unwrapping the picture and bursting out in laughter when she realizes what her husband had planned so long ago.

“She loved it. She was so happy about it,” Vince says. “We have it hanging up right now. She thought it was absolutely hilarious!”

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