The incredible stress and overwhelm that comes with wedding planning, is why many couples are choosing the exciting, and spontaneous idea of a hosting a ‘Surprise Wedding‘! It’s the perfect way to skip the drama of coordinating details with well intending family, creating a groomsmen / bridesmaid lists, and feeling the pressure of following other’s traditions. A surprise wedding cuts all of that mess out of the picture and help to keep things much more simple.

So, what exactly is a ‘Surprise Wedding’? Couples invite guests to an “engagement party” or other type of party (Spring Fling, Summer Solstice, Black Tie Cocktail Party) and rather than just toast the upcoming nuptials, they walk down the aisle then and there! It’s a wonderful way to keep the wedding private and intimate between the couple, while still involving your loved ones in the way that you want to involve them. Sound intriguing?? Let’s talk about how to pull it off…

Lose the Stress

The main point of having a surprise wedding, is to lessen the stress and go with the flow. Drop your expectations as a soon-to-be-wife/husband and remember to keep it simple. The more planning you do, the less fun this will be – especially because you are planning this alone as a couple. The spontaneity of a wedding like this is what makes it so special and unique!

Keep Only a Few In the Loop

It’s not impossible to plan a wedding completely on your own, but remember the advice from rule #1 “lose the stress” and rely on a few select people to help you out! You may need a little bit of help financially from your parents, so including them on the plans isn’t a bad idea. Best friends are usually good secret keepers and would love to help you plan for such a unique and exciting wedding. Otherwise, you might want to hire some help from a party or wedding planner, which can really lower the stress and make sure your surprise is safe.

Shorten the Engagement

This is key to keeping a big secret like planning a surprise wedding… the longer the wait, the more likely it is for someone (or yourself) to spill the beans and for plans to get messy. The easiest way to pull off a surprise wedding, is to forget the stress and keep it simple. The more time in between your engagement and your wedding, the messier and more “planned” the wedding usually becomes.

Send Out Creative Invitations

Create a beautiful invitation for your guests that resembles something similar to wedding invites so they catch their attention. You want to create something that creates enough urgency that your guests prioritize the occasion. Be sure to include a clear dress code and time of arrival as a punctual command.

Critical Wardrobe Change

Greet your guests in a ‘normal’ cocktail/party dress before surprising them entirely with your wedding dress as the door. The surprise is well worth the wait if you wait to give it away as walk down the aisle when all the guests have arrived.If you’ve bought a sample or used wedding dress, don’t forget to get your wedding dress professionally cleaned in time for the big surprise event. You can also arrange in advance for your dress to be professionally cleaned and preserved right after your wedding so stains don’t set in.

Give Some Guidance

Consider that some guests will be caught very off-guard, so to keep all of your guests on the same page as you, provide some guidance. If you want to let them know the surprise as soon as they arrive, you might want to give them a layout of how the night will go and what will take place to help streamline the event. An idea is to have a stack of itinerary cards at the entrance with a list of what they can expect – include a note about guests keeping the secret from guests who have not arrived.

Final Thoughts

Planning a surprise wedding isn’t for everyone, but it’s an interesting idea to ponder if you want to reduce the complexities of wedding planning.  iIt’s also an extremely romantic and intimate secret to keep as a couple and something your guests will always remember as fun and exciting!

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