updated 09/11/2012 AT 4:35 PM ET
•originally published 09/12/2012 AT 4:15 PM ET
The actress, 25, quietly traveled to Charleston, S.C., a few weeks prior to the big day to survey historic Boone Hall Plantation, the site of her Sept. 9 wedding to actor Ryan Reynolds, 35.
The ultra-private couple – who have never publicly addressed their romance, let alone announce an engagement – went to great lengths to ensure that their wedding was kept under wraps, even concealing details from key players.
Cake baker Maggie Austin Cake had no knowledge of the famous bride and groom who had ordered a peach-and-white wedding cake from them.
“For us, we were simply working for a client like we always do,” says a rep for the Alexandria, Va.-based cake decorator. “We are surprised and delighted that we were able to work with them.”
Lively’s brother Jason, 44, told New York’s Daily News he went out of his way to secure transportation to the big event. “It was amazing,” the elder Lively said. “I traveled all around the country and rented cars from out of state to keep it under wraps. I think they did a good job. It was spectacular.”
Nearly everyone involved in the nuptials was asked to sign non-disclosure agreements – including the parents of the children’s choir from the local First Baptist Church, who performed during the ceremony – and cell phones were confiscated from guests before being returned after the event.
In the days leading up to the affair, some guests’ circles were buzzing about a big 25th birthday party for Lively. In the Charleston area, some Twitter users reported rumored (and false) sightings of another famous Ryan – Gosling.
But not everyone was fooled. “Somebody went and picked up a crazy amount of coffee, and said it was for a magazine shoot,” says a local source. “And then, Boone Hall was closed. A few things didn’t add up and eventually people figured it out.”
Reporting by CHARLOTTE TRIGGS