RHOD Alum LeeAnne Locken Surprised by Friends with Car Parade for 1-Year Wedding Anniversary
LeeAnne Locken and Rich Emberlin sure had a memorable wedding anniversary.
A year after tying the knot in a lavish ceremony and celebrating with an eclectic reception, which were both filmed for The Real Housewives of Dallas, the couple were surprised on Monday afternoon by their closest friends, who organized a surprise drive-by parade to help celebrate.
All stayed safely six-feet apart, practicing social distancing from their cars amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Steve Kemble, the pair's wedding planner, put the festivities together — making homemade signs and gathering a dozen of the couple's BFFs together in their cul-de-sac for the brigade, including Locken's former RHOD costar Kameron Westcott and her husband, Court Westcott.
"Oh my God!" a shocked Locken, 52, said in a video shared with PEOPLE of the surprise, as she and Emberlin exited their home to a sea of car horns. "Best surprise ever!"
It was an extra-sweet gesture, as Locken and Emberlin, 57, were scheduled to go on their belated honeymoon this week — a trip that had to be cancelled when the pandemic hit.
"I just want to say thank you to everyone who showed so much love and kindness today," she later said on her Instagram Stories. "It was felt and you made my one-year anniversary so special. And we both genuinely appreciate it."
PEOPLE was on hand last April when Locken and Emberlin, a 30-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, said their “I dos” at the Cathedral of Hope — the world’s largest inclusive church — in front of 400 guests made up of family, friends and some of Locken’s Bravo costars.
Both had some bling in their outfits, too. Locken wore $3 million worth of jewelry by Joe Pacetti Precious Jewels — sparkling in diamonds and emeralds (a sentimental nod to the magnolia leaf, the favorite flower of Locken’s late grandmother). Meanwhile, Emberlin had his own sparkle, in $30,000 worth of accessories, including a platinum brooch with an American flag motif of rubies, sapphires and diamonds.
“I know what Cinderella felt like,” Locken told PEOPLE after the big day. “The whole wedding was perfect. It couldn’t have been better. I’m smart enough to know perfection doesn’t exist, but if anything could attain perfection, that was it.”
“I’m very aware how imperfect Rich and I are; we both came from the land of misfit toys. But together, we were perfect and that day was perfect,” she added.
Since their big day, Locken and Emberlin have been spending their time together away from the cameras — with Locken departing RHOD in February after being a full-time cast member on the series since its premiere in April 2016.
“The last four years have been a trolley-slapping good time but after much consideration, I have made the personal decision to step away from RHOD,” Locken said in a statement to PEOPLE exclusively.
“Getting to share my wedding with the viewers last year brought me tremendous joy, however, the season was very personally challenging for me,” she said. “I am looking forward to stepping away from the cameras and spending quality time with my husband and friends, traveling, but most importantly, getting back to philanthropy, which was my main reason for joining the show.”
“Thank you to everyone who has laughed and cried with me along the way,” Locken added. “It’s been an amazing journey, and yes my pantyliner is still exhausted. There are so many exciting things on my horizon that I can’t wait to share with you."