Springing a wedding on your friends and family can be a lot of fun, and there is nothing like seeing the faces of those closest to you when you pull off the surprise and announce that you are about to get married!
Here are 10 tips to help you pull off the ultimate surprise wedding!..
- Keep it a surprise! – it might seem obvious, but to achieve the ultimate surprise it is important to keep your lips sealed! It is such an exciting time, and there will be moments that you are bursting at the seams to share your plans with Mum or a close friend, but the pay-off of seeing their surprise and reaction on the day will be so worth it, and at the end of the day, that’s what a surprise wedding is all about!
- Clue in ALL suppliers – Include the bar staff, waiters, DJ, photographer etc etc in the surprise. They will know that they are working a wedding, but be sure to let them know it is a surprise for everyone else! It doesn’t take much for someone to slip the detail to a guest, and there goes the all the hard work and secret planning.
- Keep it simple! – usually surprise weddings are planned under the disguise of an engagement or birthday party, meaning the atmosphere is relaxed and fun. You don’t want to lose that vibe by being stressed and worried about the wedding plans! Keep the plans and ceremony details simple, and do as much of the work and planning before the day arrives (and hire good people to take care of as much as possible) so you can relax and enjoy the whole experience!
- Have a schedule – pick a time you would like to start the ceremony and try and stick to it! If you are pulling the surprise at a party, plan for the ceremony to start approximately 1 hour after the party start time, to ensure all those late-comers arrive before the formalities start. A schedule will also help with timings for drinks, food, music and ensure you have time for other formalities like cake cutting and speeches.
- Hire a photographer – a professional photographer!!! It might not be an extravagant, huge wedding with all the trimmings, but it will still be one of the most special moments of your life, and that should be captured by more than a few iPhones. You also want to have photographic evidence of the excited and overwhelmed faces that your family and friends will make when they learn of the surprise!
- Make invitations detailed – Ensure you include a clear start time for the celebrations, and a dress code. There will be loads of photos going around (these are the photos of your wedding day!), so request everyone dress up a bit!
- Organise a ‘runner’ – have a point person who knows what is happening (someone who isn’t you!), that can answer questions, follow up things you need, coordinate the ceremony and help you get ready before the big announcement. This allows you to relax and enjoy the day without any worry.
- Adapt the ceremony to suit the party – As most surprise weddings are disguised as parties, you may like to forego a few of the formalities (if you are choosing to have a surprise wedding you are unlikely to feel bound by wedding traditions anyway!) to keep the relaxed and party vibe. It is still a very important, and serious occasion, but you don’t want to your ceremony to be the ‘boring’ part of the night. Choose a celebrant who makes you feel relaxed and you feel will deliver an enjoyable and memorable ceremony. Speak to your celebrant about make your wedding ceremony interesting, and reflective of you and your personalities, and fit the atmosphere that you envision.
- Consider the space – there are many amazing party venues, that aren’t quite suitable for a wedding ceremony, no matter how small! Remember, that you need a place to stand with your celebrant where your guests can see you, room for a photographer to move around, and a table or space to sign the legal paperwork. Pick a spot within the venue, and be sure to let your suppliers know where the ceremony will be taking place so they can coordinate it. Also, consider having a few chairs at the front for your parents, grandparents or any older people.
- Enjoy it! – usually couples make the decision to have a surprise wedding because they want to limit the amount of stress, formalities and coordination, so be sure to keep it simple, and allow yourself to enjoy the whole experience! Relax, and trust your suppliers to take care of the formalities on the day, and enjoy saying your ‘I do’s’ to the one you love!!!