The art of pulling off a surprise wedding

Boy oh boy are surprise weddings fun! Fun, because there’s nothing quite like a room full of shrieking people who are none the wiser that you are about to get married.

Surprise weddings are the perfect option for couples that are looking for something completely nontraditional, want to rein in the budget of planning a full blown wedding or simply want to be married sooner rather than later. But how do you pull of a wedding that will take everyone by surprise?


It sounds simple, but the art of pulling off the best surprise wedding is keeping those lips absolutely zipped. There is nothing worse than an announcement being made to a crowd that all knew exactly what was going on. Yes it will be tough, but when you see the sea of happy and surprised faces, it will be well worth it.


Yes we know we said to keep your lips zipped, but sometimes there are some people you should let know – for instance, parents. Remember that they might be really shocked by the event and it may take some time to get their heads around it. If you think your mother might struggle with the concept of a surprise wedding, advance warning is probably best. This will give her time to process the information, share in the excitement with you and be able to fully enjoy the surprise. And let’s face it, you will be busting to tell someone!


Create a decoy event to get your guests there to celebrate. Be it a faux engagement party, a 30th birthday celebration or house warming – you will need to create some kind of cover. Though remember to try and make it authentic – an engagement party six years after you got engaged will have people suss.


You will need a celebrant to make it legal – so make sure you plan with them what role they will play on the day (with enough notice to prepare the necessary paperwork required). They’re likely to be there slightly earlier than the announcement  to get a handle on the location and how the party is panning out. Remember, they’re likely to know no-one and no doubt one of your friendly guests will try and make them feel welcome. Be sure you have worked out a cover story with them that adds up. Whether they say they’re a work colleague or a childhood friend, be prepared so there are no awkward moments.


At some point during the party the surprise needs to be announced! Now this part needs to be mapped out clearly and concisely to those involved. Appoint who will make the announcement and ensure they have the guests full attention and have rehearsed what they will say – you don’t want them hit with a case of nerves or stage fright at what is the most crucial part of the celebration. Ask your celebrant for guidance on wording that can be used as no doubt they’ve had experience with surprise weddings before and know what works. Also think about where you will be standing at this point? Will you and your partner be amongst the crowd? Will you both be hidden away and enter into your ceremony together? Will you be standing at the front? All things to consider.


Good luck in pulling off the surprise of a lifetime!


Image – Stephlee Photography

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