Are you having a Surprise Wedding?
Shhhhh! In the past ten years or so I have been fortunate enough to see and experience a real rise in the numbers of surprise weddings in Sydney. That certainly doesn’t mean couples haven’t been springing their nuptials on family and friends for many moons now, it’s just that at that couples are seeing the fun and creativity they can inject into their wedding and making it a surprise for guests has been added to that fun recipe.
But how do you make it a true surprise for family and friends without it being awkward? How do you make the wedding loads of fun, but still capture everyone’s hearts?
Here’s a few clues that may help…
My first piece of advice would be, if possible, give your parents 24 hours notice of a potential wedding. This may sound counter-intuitive to the whole Surprise Factor, but unless you are super, super sure they will be cool with it. This solves a number of issues. For one, your mum may have been harbouring some special family heirloom especially for your wedding day. I’ve seen it happen. With that precious amount of ‘heads up’ time, one mum was able to pull out some stunning champagne glasses, that were a family heirloom she’d been saving for her only daughter’s wedding day. She tucked them into her picnic basket for the couple’s “Engagement Picnic” and whisked them out during the Marriage Certificate signing. She was so thrilled to be in on the secret and her dream of using those precious glasses hadn’t been thwarted. Tick. Done.
My second piece of advice is to give your celebrant a plausible back-story and a point person who is in on the ruse. As a marriage celebrant, I’ve been able to sneak into many an Engagement Party, Backyard Christmas BBQ, House-warming that has suddenly turned into a Wedding Celebration, simply by being able to tell the right story. I’m a trained actor after-all, it’s what I do. Plus, it makes it even more fun to think as you’re being introduced to some strangers who are school mates or colleagues or family friends of the couple and know that in a few short minutes, their minds are going to be blown!!
My third piece of advice, which should probably be my first piece, but it’s a bit boring….it needs to be said anyway, so here it is….. Get the paperwork right. Make sure that you’ve lodged your Notice of Intended Marriage with your celebrant at least one month prior to your surprise wedding. Even better, that you do that as a couple, so that Celebrant is re-assured that it’s the couple surprising the guests, not a bride or groom surprising their other half AND the guests, because apart from being a bit illegal, it could also end up being totally awks if it doesn’t go the way you want it to.
My fourth piece of advice is, to get a great wedding photographer. If you’ve created the kind of event that would have a photographer at it anyway, even if it’s a backyard barbie and you’ve asked one of your mates to have their camera ready. You don’t want to miss out on those priceless pics of everyone when the penny drops and they suddenly realise they’ve turned-up to your wedding. These shots are gold and worth being able to look back on after the event.
So good luck with your Surprise Wedding. I love them. If you need any further advice, feel free to give me a call. Wishing you a Wonderful Wedding!!!