How to plan a surprise wedding
The biggest coup with a surprise wedding is how you're going to convince Aunty Alexis from Greece to fly over just for a regular party.
Sure she loves you but is she willing to spend thousands on a flight for your 37th birthday?
This is where you need to get creative.
A common solution is to have an engagement party with a caveat that your wedding is going to be extremely intimate so they should really make the effort to come.
Brett and Alexandra from Brisbane did just that. They organised a surprise wedding under the guise of it being an engagement party at Alexandra's childhood home.
“I couldn’t think of a more meaningful, special and beautiful place to marry my soul mate,” Alexandra told nouba.com.au.
How to announce a surprise wedding
Announcing your event requires some thought. You'll want to have an invite that stands out and an enticing reason to make sure people will come.
And then, when people arrive you'll want to consider the best time to let them know this is actually your wedding.
Jennifer and Matthew from Boston, US, had so much fun planning their surprise wedding and making the actual announcement to their guests added to their excitement.
They'd organised friends and family under the ruse of a fun 30th birthday party for Jen, and as planned, they staged the announcement and everyone was shocked - in a good way.
"Matthew had told everyone that I thought we were going away for the weekend," Jennifer told howtheyasked.com.
"Getting ready together was so very special for us. We were able to share that time together knowing we were about to shock the heck out of everyone by getting married."
The moment their friends and family knew it was a surprise wedding was when Jennifer let off some balloons to distract the crowd. This was a cue for Matthew who then unveiled Jen's black skirt to reveal an all-white wedding gown underneath.
"That was it – we did it. People were floored. Jaws dropped and tears began to fall."
How to throw a surprise wedding so people arrive on time
Convincing people to come to your wedding and arrive on time can be tricky. Wain has a simple notion about how to get people to arrive at your surprise nuptials on time.
She says, "If you're worried about people not arriving on time you night want to consider staging a fake surprise party for your partner."
"That way everyone should be in place and 'hiding' in your house or venue when you arrive and turn the surprise back on them."
Surprise Wedding Invitations
You know you're planning a wedding but your guests don't, so putting some extra effort into the invite will give people a clear message that this is a special occasion, albeit not what they think.
Letting people know the start time and dress code is vital.
Most of us would wear something slightly less formal to an engagement party, and that's fine but you want your guests to enjoy having their photos taken at the reception and not be wishing they'd worn something more 'dressy'.
Best surprise wedding venue ideas
Just like a traditional wedding there are so many venues that will work for a surprise wedding.
- Hire a hall
- Put up a marquee in your backyard
- Rent a rockstar house on the beach
- Organise a group holiday to Bali with family and friends
- Rent a outdoor area at a winery
- Book a private room in a restaurant
- Have a house party
The venue choices are endless, but the main considerations are that you have enough room for you, your partner and a celebrant to stand in a highly visible position.
After all, if you've convinced people to fly interstate or overseas they'll want to feel part of it.
And, most importantly, you want to have fun.