Post # 1
Hi everyone, My fiance and I want to elope BUT we also have family and friends who want to be a part of our special day. So, we have considered having a small wedding ceremony and then a large reception. The problem with this is when we run down the list of friends / family who might want to enjoy both the list grows very large!
I, the bride, do not like being the center of attention and I would really prefer to not walk down an aisle. I want a fun and easygoing wedding that everyone will enjoy – me included!
IDEA: We get our marriage license before (so we are officially married) and tell everyone to come celebrate our union at a huge reception / party. In the beg/mid of the party we wiill surprise everyone with a quick ceremony/vows, and then the party will resume.
This idea we came up with seems fun but I’m not sure how people will like it? Sometimes I come up with ideas I like but others may think are crazy.
If we did this, some questions I have are:
1. do I change into a wedding dress just before the surprise ceremony? I would really like to dress up in a beautiful gown but it doesnt seen right to wear the gown to the reception when people think we already got married.
2. my father really would like to give me away – how would we do this if i’m not walking down an aisle?
Help! I dont know if this is the right thing to do?
Post # 3
you’re not crazy! my best friend is doing the same thing (surprise ceremony in the middle of reception). I would do it too except she thought of it first. great idea.
you can go either way though, I think. Either wear the dress from the start so when the surprise ceremony comes you’ll be ready, or maybe you and your dad stash away for a few minutes while you prepare.
I think it would really depend on your set up/ reception site. If you have a decent distance to walk (50 feet or more?) you’ll grab everyone’s attention subtly so you won’t feel like a deer in headlights but still have the tradition of walking with your father. By the time that everyone is staring you’ll be next to your husband. -you can also have the music change or cut so that they’re attention will be gathered if the party is really hopping at that point.
overall- do what you want!!! if you really want to elope or just have a really small wedding, DO IT.
Post # 4
Hmm, I think it could strike people as a little odd if you tell them you’re already married and invite them to celebrate and then you have another ceremony there. But if it’s what you and your FI want then go for it! I’m sure you could find a way to make it work.
For what it’s worth, my bridal shower was 1 week before the wedding and I wanted to cancel the whole wedding after that. I HATED having all eyes on me as I opened gifts and all the attention. However, we had a 75 person wedding and the only people I remember seeing when I walked down the aisle were my husband, my dad who was walking me, the officiant, and my mom. The whole day I was so focused on my husband that I didn’t really notice people looking at me, plus he was there to share in the spotlight. I was a lot more nervous for the wedding I was a bridesmaid in than my own wedding.
Another idea would be to just tell people it’s really casual, stand with your FI and greet people/mingle as they come in, and then just start the ceremony at a certain time without any walking down the aisle. That’s how my cousin did it at their backyard wedding and it was very nice and low key.
Post # 5
I’m not sure if I understand why you think this would be less pressure than a “real” ceremony?
To me, that would be a combined version of “oh my God, everybody’s looking at me”, and “Oh my God, I wonder if everybody thinks this is really weird” which is like a double whammy. I think in an expected ceremony people at least know the typical script and know how to play along.
If it works for you I say do it, but from my own experience, I stressed for months about people staring at me, and the last week or so was thinking about people who get into into a car/sky diving/elevator accidents, and have to miss their wedding and it kinda didn’t seem like a half bad alternative… My husband was probably actually worried that I was going to run, and offered to cancel the ceremony part all together, and just do it just the two of us.
On the day, it really wasn’t that bad… just felt very surreal and went so fast. At first I tried to think about myself playing a character of a bride because I thought it would be less stressful, but eventually I just kind of fell into the moment, and all I cared enough was looking at and hearing my husband.
Post # 6
Thank you for all your responses – each makes very good points. A few friends have told me that on their day the “all eyes on you” is not very bad because they were so happy to be getting married to their love. Maybe I just suck it up and have a wedding?
If I did do the surprise ceremony – of course we would acknowledge to everyone before we start the vows that we have not said our vows and that we wanted all our family / friends to be a part of that special moment!
Much to think about…
Post # 7
Very Interesting!! here’s an idea:
Have the party start, maybe as people are seated to eat, have DJ call you and hubby both up to the front of the room. Your Hubby will go up, act like he doesn’t now where you are and have DJ announce “does anyone know where our bride is?” Thats your cue to wlk in with you dad,(music of your choice plays as you walk in) your hubby waiting for you at your set location. As you reach hubby and everyone is mumbling, trying to figure out what is going on, the DJ/MC can say that although you are officially Mr.& Mrs. you chose to wait to exchange your personal vows before the friends and loved ones there that day.
Don’t know if you follwed what I wrote, feel free to PM me if you want, but I agree with the other ladies, it’s YOUR wedding, do what makes the 2 of you happy, I thik it will be the one wedding everone remembers.
Post # 8
I like it! Thank you so much for that idea!
Post # 9
I love the idea! I’m having a private ceremony and a big party later. We’re not redoing vows, but will will make a speech or something and perhaps share part of our vows. We’re also considering that since we’ll have pictures, doing a little slide show of our ceremony while we give the speech. But I love surprise ceremonies–I think they’re fun and romantic.
Could your father “introduce” you before you say vows? SOMEBODY has to get everyone’s attention! Too MCish??
Post # 10
That’s a great idea… have my father introduce and then give me away! Thanks for your input… I have contacted this beach resort where I want to have the reception and the wedding manager says she has seen the surprise ceremony a few times and said it always went over well!
In all… i’m getting great reviews… thinking I might stick to the surprise.