Are surprise weddings a thing? OH YES, INDEED THEY ARE! I mean, even tech tycoons like Mark Zuckerberg have surprise weddings, so they're definitely a thing.
We've featured a whole bunch of surprise weddings and even have an archive full of surprise wedding ideas for you to steal. So today we're going to round up some of our favorite inspiration for you, from the excuse for the surprise wedding to a few venue ideas, to even some wording for your surprise wedding ceremony script…
Is a surprise wedding for you?
Obviously, a surprise wedding isn't for everyone. You have to be ok with some folks missing your wedding — but of course, that's true even when it's not a surprise wedding. One of the significant advantages of a surprise wedding is less pressure and attention on you before the big deal, so as weird as it sounds, a surprise wedding can be great for introverts!
Surprise wedding excuses: how to get your guests there
If you're going to have a surprise wedding, you need a good excuse. Here are some of the most common:
- Engagement parties are the most common excuse, like this engagement party turned surprise wedding
- Housewarming parties are a close second, like this housewarming party that was actually a wedding
- Birthday parties are another favorite, especially when it's a dual birthday party or big birthday like 30 or 40 like this surprise wedding
- Graduation parties
- A rumored proposal: We love how this couple did got their guests attention: “To keep the wedding a secret, they started a rumor that Chris was going to propose to Shay after she returned from picking up a friend at the airport. Cameras were there to capture the “proposal,” but once Shay appeared in her wedding dress, the jig was up!”
Surprise wedding venues: where to have your surprise wedding
As far as surprise wedding venues, here are some of our faves:
- At home: this could mean your backyard, front steps, or even a backyard pool party surprise wedding
- Your favorite restaurant: It's also great to use your favorite restaurant that turns into a surprise microwedding. It doesn't have to be fancy, like this pizza parlour surprise wedding!
- Brunch! As officiant Alyson D'Alessandro told us: “A friend of mine invited a bunch of people to an engagement brunch. She had it set up so that her bouquet and her MOH's bouquet were the table centerpieces, they just all quietly moved into position, grabbed the flowers, and then waited for people to notice. Then her officiant started the ceremony.”
- Your favorite mural for a pop-up wedding
- A summer camp: It's a camp-out weekend that becomes a surprise wedding!
Surprise wedding ceremony script
Need some inspiration for how to make the big reveal: Here's a ceremony script idea from officiant Alyson D'Alessandro:
I wanted to take a moment and just thank [Name] and [Name] for having us all over. This backyard is pretty spectacular, isn't it?
I can tell that this is going to be a pretty special part of the house for the whole family…
I know [Name] and [Name] are really glad you all showed up to spend the day with them, because surprise – this isn't a housewarming, it's a wedding!
One last tip about having a surprise wedding
You'll definitely want to prioritize wedding photography at your wedding… since there will be guests who miss the event, you really want to have photos and even videos to share. As far as finding a wedding photographer or videographer? You'll want someone who's into offbeat nontraditional stuff like a surprise wedding… and you can find them in our Offbeat Vendor Guide!