Tips for Pulling Off a Surprise Wedding

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If you and your partner are incredibly excited to say “I do,” want to save some money, or are just worried about when you might have all your friends and family back in the one place, you might be interested in throwing a surprise wedding party. 

Turning an occasion from an engagement or birthday party into wedding vows takes some careful planning and a little bit of cunning but makes for a wonderfully memorable day.

Keep the People Who Are In on the Secret to a Very Small Number

The more people who know your plans to wed earlier than expected, the more likely it is that someone will accidentally let something slip when they shouldn’t. As such, try to keep the number of people who know about your decision to have a surprise wedding as minimal as possible. 

While suppliers such as dressmakers, caterers, florists, musicians, and the like will need to be available for the day, try not to tell many people in your close circle. You may want to limit your sharing to your best man and bridesmaid or parents, perhaps. 

Create a Significant Drawcard

Keep in mind that if you only invite people to a general birthday party or New Year’s Eve shindig or another occasion, they may not be as motivated and able to attend as they would be if they knew just how special the event was going to be. To ensure you get as many of your loved ones to your wedding day as possible, create a decent drawcard. 

You may need to fudge the truth a bit to entice people to come, such as by saying you have some big news to share, that you’re going to have an incredible live act there for everyone to see, or that you’re newly engaged and having a party to celebrate that if that’s news to people. Think about what will get your nearest and dearest to set aside the time for the occasion and make the trip from afar, where relevant.  

Allow Enough Time for Proper Planning

Often, when people decide to do a surprise wedding, they decide at the last minute that they can’t wait any longer to say their vows. Or, it may be because they’ve worked out that they’re not interested in the stress that comes with planning for a year or more at a time and having everyone involved in contributing their say for the wedding. While it’s possible to pull a special occasion like this together in the eleventh hour, you’ll make life easier for yourself if you provide yourself with at least a month or two in which to get ready for the day.

You’ll need time to source special outfits and have flowers styled, plus get food organized, find a band or DJ that’s available, a photographer and videographer, and, most importantly, get the necessary legal paperwork in order. Note that a marriage license can take weeks or more to get approved, so unless you want to host a fun party and then legally say “I do” again in front of a celebrant, etc., later, you’ll need to get documents organized ASAP. 

Plan a Big Reveal

While telling people that you’re actually getting married when they think something much less momentous is occurring is a big reveal in itself, the way you share this news can be made remarkable, too. If you’re going to surprise people, you may as well go all the way with it, after all! 

For instance, you could set up a drum roll or have the music stopped suddenly and the lights dimmed as you take your positions. What about arranging for some incredible fireworks, including roman candles, cakes, mortars, rockets, and the like to signal via sound and sight that something extraordinary is on the cards? You might serve everyone champagne and give a toast in which you spill the fun news. Or you could have a special guest arrive to be involved in the vows, such as a pet dressed up and bearing wedding rings or a family member who has been overseas but flown in to officiate the nuptials. 

If you’re hosting your event in a venue with multiple rooms, you could usher everyone into a beautifully set up wedding spot when the time comes. You might have attendees complete a treasure hunt and guess clues to discover the final answer of your exciting news. Another idea is for the happy couple to slip away and get changed, arriving back into the mix of the party in their special outfits. 

How you go about this big reveal is up to you but think about ways to make the surprise even more of an incredible one for your guests and the whole event more memorable in turn. 

Pulling off a surprise wedding takes clear strategizing and strong organizing skills. However, it can definitely be fun and make for an occasion that not only you and your partner but all your loved ones will never forget. 


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