Hello bees! FYI: This is my first post ever! lol :)
Anywho... although my bf/"unofficial" fiance/FH and I have not gone through the whole proposal thing yet, nor have we announced an official engagement, we are going to get married sometime before April of 2013. We have been together for over 3 years now, living together for 2 of those years, and have already planned on getting married whenever I finish school and get my degree (which is still a year and a half away) but now he recently got a job with the military in which he will have to enlist and go off to bootcamp and that all will be happening in April. So, our plans to get married have moved up from about 1-2 years away to about 4 months away now. Not alot of time to plan a wedding!
Due to limited time, busy schedules, and financial reasons, my "pre-fiance" (as my friend calls us!) wants to just go to the courthouse. I have always wanted the wedding that every typical girl dreams about. So, we are thinking about meeting in the middle and having a very inexpensive "surprise wedding"! After we go through the whole down-on-one-knee-proposal action and announce our engagement, we are going to invite everyone (well in advanced of course) to our engagement party. Little will they know that half way throught the engagement party, we will announce that they are all "invited to our wedding.....tonight!" I will then run and change into my dress, he will be in his suit and after guests are led to the ceremony space and seated, i will walk down the isle, get married, and we all will celebrate! :)
Has anybody ever had a "surprise wedding" or have been a guest to one? If so, what did you think about it? Anyone have any ideas/tips?
Any other creative ideas on ways to announce that we are getting married right then?
I am well aware that people may be concerned about the fact that some people that are invited to the engagement party may not show up because they think "Well i prob wont go to the engagement party, but i'll definitely be there for their wedding" etc.. Our plan is to invite them well in advance, and say something on the engagement party invite like "a special announcement will be made" or something along those lines. Also, we will spread the rumor that we are unable to have a formal wedding at this time so will be eloping/going to the courthouse so this "engagement party" will be our way of celebrating with our friends and family. Everyone lives close so all of our family and very close friends will be there, which is all that really matters, so if there is a couple of people who will not show up because "its just an engagement party" then my feelings are not going to be hurt! lol
Anyways, i'll quit adding on to this book i've written! lol Looking forward to replies! :)
I've heard of couples doing this and thought it was cute! I would think it would be fun if I was a guest.
I think it's a fun idea, and congrats, and I like how you're thinking of those who might not attend. Good luck and have fun!
One of my friends actually did this this summer; she and her fiance had an engagement/housewarming party after they bought a house together, except the bride's daughter announced in the middle of the party that everyone needed to go out in the backyard for the wedding! They had a couple of close friends who were in on the surprise and could help them out with getting dressed, preparations, etc. They both disappeared during the middle of the party to change, then headed out back for the wedding ceremony after the announcement was made and all the guests were outside. They also had a photographer, catered food, and a photo booth at the party - I heard some of the guests were thinking "man, this is a fancy engagement party!" before the announcement was made. :)
I am sure there could be some hurt feelings from people who decide to skip the party and thus miss out ("if I had known you were getting married, I would have changed my other plans!") i think your plan of letting people know that there won't be a big wedding in the future might up your chances of not having that kind of thing happen, as they'll consider this your reception and will definitely try to be there.
Have fun and good luck!
Just fyi, I would assume the "special announcement" was a pregnancy. Otherwise I think you're fine.
haha I figured people would think that the "special announcement" was a pregnancy too! lol which hey if that will get people to come then i'm fine with that! When we do make the announcement we might start off with "no, we are not pregnant..." lol
I think that sounds perfect. I do think people will be convinced that you are pregnant for atleast the next nine months ... but I think it sounds good. Maybe word something about him leaving soon and wanting to see everyone to celebrate before he leaves. Maybe start the rumor that the wedding will be after Basic.
@Smc81: lol I might just leave out the "special announcement" part now that I think about it! I like the idea of telling them that wedding will be after basic! Might do that or just tell people that we are only having an immediate family only wedding and this is just a way to celebrate with everyone!
I love this idea!!!
The special announcement does sound like a pregnancy announcement though.
Maybe you could just tell them this is a really important day to you and please can they try their best to be there?
@becky2198: I would also think the special announcement was that your pregnant or something like that. It wouldn't be even more reason for me to show up at the party though, and neither would you telling me that you were eloping.
I think it would actually do the opposite, it would feel really gift grabby to me if I was told you were eloping but yet you had an engagement party. I do however, think that anyone local would show up regardless. The OOTers on the other hand most likely wouldn't make the trip.
Sounds like a cute idea but what is the makeup of your friends and family? Are they local enough that everyone could easily attend or will many people skip it because thwounded from OOT?
I think it's a cute idea but why not just be honest and say Hey we want to get married before he leaves and just do it 'normal'?
i guess I don't exactly understand why you would want to keep it a secret....Wei mean my wedding is 11m away and I don't think that I would be able to keep it a secret/not talk w my friends about planning/etc
my mom's aunt did this. it was awesome. super casual, laid back. the only people who knew were her kids, my grandfather, and my mom and aunt. nobody else. they invited everyone over for a bbq, and called it their engagement party. but instead, they ended up getting married right then and there.
As a guest I personally wouldn't like this. I'd want to have planned out accomodations, transporation if the wedding includes drinking, buying an appropraite gift and card - you won't get any wedding cards only engagement cards. I donno, I just don't really understand the whole concept. I agree with a poster above and just do the wedding in the normal way.
@becky2198: I think I saw 2 photos where this occurred. I'll see if I can find them and post when I find them. :)
Here is one that I was thinking of. It looks totally awesome!!
@drummerbride: We decided to leave the "special announcement" part out.
As far as being "gift grabby" goes, we do not want anything. That is another reason why we want a surprise wedding- no gifts. Every engaged couple goes through parties and showers where people feel obligated to bring a gift- we don't want this. We just went to 4 of our friends weddings this year and went to countless parties/showers for each one and we thought "why put our guests through this again when we don't want anything?" If people knew we were getting married that day, they may bring a wedding gift regardless if we specify no gifts, whereas if we specify no gifts for the engagement party they may actually listen! lol
And thankfully, the only OOTers are my parents and his grandparents, who will def be there. Everyone else is within a 30 min drive!
@littlemisshostess: lol we are an outgoing, non-traditional couple! We both have crazy busy 7 days a week schedule so we do not have time, money, or energy for a normal wedding. lol and we want to keep it a surprise for a lot of reasons, such as:
1) my family specifically (aunts, grandmas, SIL...) are all control freaks, who will plan my wedding for me (even tho we are paying for it) and get mad if I don't like something they do, don't invite their friends that we don't know, don't do this and that, etc.. (grrr...!) and this way, only my parents will know and it will be easier to plan MY wedding without everyone elses input.
2)It will be fun trying to keep it a secret! lol but I will have a MOH, who already knows our plan and I can talk to about everything! :)
3) This will be more special to us because it was stressfree, everyone important to us will be there, and instead of people focused on all the decor, colors, etc.. it will focuse on the main goal: *two people coming together as man a wife!!!*
@creativeplannertobee: Thank you sooo much for all the links!! And actually, the first link you put on there (the marisa and john wedding) is what actually made me want to do this! A surprise wedding just seems to be solely about the couple getting married! love it! :) :)
@becky2198: You are welcome. Your secret is good with me. My invitation will be in the mail -right? ;)
Sounds like a fantastic plan! I would love that if I was a guest, although you might not get all of your presents that day, which is not at all a big deal, so maybe you can tell everyone where you are registered on the invite and to please bring the presents to the party and not the wedding (even though they actually would be). But even if not, gifts aren't that big of a deal, just something you may not have thought about earlier.
@becky2198: I love the breakdown of reasons you just listed! I totally agree this will focus more on you and your SO becoming man and wife! :)
I think this is a great idea! So romantic, too. I think you said it best here
"Also, we will spread the rumor that we are unable to have a formal wedding at this time so will be eloping/going to the courthouse so this "engagement party" will be our way of celebrating with our friends and family. "
I think that would certainly help bring more butts to the seats, as they say. Especially if you include your honey is leaving soon and wants to see everybody before he goes. Definitely include something along the lines of "Cancel all your other plans, and come to this special event! You won't regret it!"
GOOD LUCK! Keep us all posted!
@becky2198: Great idea, someone I know did that, and even did it at the one venue in town that I think is perfect. That is perfection for me as a guest: I go to a party without having to shop for a gift and wrap it, and when standing around with a drink in my hand, get to watch a pretty bride in a lovely dress do the deed. Then we eat and drink afterwards!
To me, the perfect wedding event. Go for IT!!!!!!
A friend of mine did this. It was a casual engagement party at a winery and I ran into her the day before the event. I was frantic about what I would wear since I didn't bring anything too dressy and my small town didnt have anywhere decent to shop at. She told me not to worry about it so I wore what I could find-a white cotton dress- and went. After a while she disappeared though no one really thought much of it. They had us gather around in a circle and then suddenly she was walking down the aisle in her gorgeous gown and a huge smile! I think we were all as much shocked as the couple were excited. All in all it was a pretty sweet event and it was definitely their personality, but i really wish I could have come better prepared (like NOT wear white!)
@creativeplannertobee: Of course! Only if you can keep this wedding a secret! lol :)
@Booknerd: We are gonna tell them not to bring gifts!! Win-win for everyone! lol We don't want anything and they don't have to buy anything!
@Blush.Champagne: Thank you!!!! :)
@Omgbunnies: "Especially if you include your honey is leaving soon and wants to see everybody before he goes." - why didn't I think of that!?!?! I'm writing that one down right now! Thanks!
@FauxPas2012: "That is perfection for me as a guest: I go to a party without having to shop for a gift and wrap it, and when standing around with a drink in my hand, get to watch a pretty bride in a lovely dress do the deed. Then we eat and drink afterwards!" - That is exactly how I want my guests to feel!!! :)
@ladyjustice: As long as no one else will be in a full length bridal gown holding a bouquet, then it doesn't matter to me if someone wears white! lol
Well that works even better, then!
I think this will be awesome. Congrats!
I love this idea. My only concern is that people might not take it as seriously since it's just an engagement party... like "oh I'm busy/tired/whatever- I"ll catch them later!" and then they'd regret it massively because they'd be missing the wedding, which, had they known about, they likely would have gotten themselves UNbusy/UNtired for. Put a big emphasis on it, though... make it seem very formal, with nice invites and focus on RSVPs, talk it up, mention a special announcement, etc... I think it'll be great!
@lanalnoco: We too have considered people not coming to the "engagement party" because they may to busy/tired or whatever, but all of our family and close friends will definitely be there for sure which is all that matters so we decided that for the people that don't come because they are tired or don't feel like it then, well, it is not gonna upset us if they werent there to celebrate our engagement/marriage with us.
I'm Judd, I photographed Mark and Chon's surprise wedding that's been linked here. And just wanted to let you all know it was awesome! Every part of the day went as planned and everyone was surprised, it was just a great atmosphere. I don't mind telling people during the bridal waltz tears were welling, it all hit me as everything was coming to a close, that Chon's dream wedding had come true. Every girl deserves that, their dream wedding.
Oh and don't worry about people not coming because it's only an engagement party, the way I look at it, if they are true friends they'll be there, true friends are always there. If you do it, the people that actually matter will be there, that's all that counts.
Congrats to all who are getting married too!
Love this whole idea. We are actually considering doing this..
I think it's a great idea. Don't know if my family would be able to handle it, but I think everyone invited to yours will have a good time.
Love the idea of it!
@asscherlover: I was going to say this too!
WE'RE ENGAGED!!! :)
Surprise wedding is on! We have been giving everyone the heads up about our "engagement party" and it seems that just about everyone one of our wonderful friends and family will be there! Official invites go out next week and the engagement party will be in 6 weeks!!!
This is all coming together too easy! So far our venue is free (backyard), family members are cooking so food is free, parents paying for my dress, fiance's dad is in a band and WANTS to play for us as a gift so that's free, thankfully I have tons of mason jars, empty wine bottles, vases and other stuff so decor is free (we are doing minimal casual decor), mom's friend is a florist and will do our bouquets/bouts/flower arrangements for free, and my friend does photography on the side and wants to do our pictures for free to build her portfolio! This is all too perfect and definitely is fitting into our budget! lol
I'll keep updating!!
@becky2198: Sounds like a great idea! And with all the help you have and people donating their services it sounds like it was meant to be! Please post photos after!
Congratulations! How exciting :-)) are you having an officiant at the house for a proper ceremony at the party or is it just going to be a 'we're married' announcement after getting hitched at the courthouse? Either way is cool but I thought having an officiant do the actual ceremony while everyone is there is an AWESOME idea! You may have already said this and I've missed it..?
@KellyLouise: Thank you!!! We are having a preacher (that the fiance has known his whole life) to marry us that night at the party! We are gonna be in normal nice engagement party clothes when everyone gets there and after about 45min-1 hour into the engagement party we are going to announce to the guests that we are getting married in front of them in about 15 minutes (enough time for them to let the news set in and for me and him to get dressed!) and we are going to have everyone directed to the barn (that was closed off until this point!) and seated and the ceremony will begin just like a normal wedding ceremony with music, aisle, dress, vows, etc!
@RiverBride13: I will definitely post pictures asap! :)
A dear friend of mine did this - he and his partner planned a summer engagement pool party which so happened to conflict with a bridal shower that I had already committed to. I, thinking that I would attend their wedding later in the year, declined and sent along an engagement present from their registry.
To my surprise (and much to my regret) - the engagement party turned out to be their wedding! I was so sad to have missed it...I wish that there has been some sort of indication that it might go that way (such as having a clue on the invite or something) so I would have backed out of the shower and gone to their party!
I love the idea - just don't be upset if invited guests don't come thinking they can catch you at the wedding! Whoops! :)
Well we are still having a wedding, but now it wont be a suprise wedding! the Best man and Maid of honor (that were gonna be the only ones in the wedding) both individually couldn't keep it a secret and let it slip to everyone it was a suprise so....SURPRISE- We're having a normal wedding! lol
So of course our plans have changed as far as what all we were gonna do, but I'm ok with it! As long as I get to say I do than no stress here! :)
Oh and one more thing..... I'm making my wedding dress!!! another post later to come! :)
yay! congrats! I hope you didn't take myu post above to say that I was against your surprise wedding.... I guess I was just saying that personally I couldn't keep my mouth shut
I know many think that wedding planning is stressful but for me its so fun and exciting and I just love it and want to talk about it like 24/7. (hopefully not in a bridezilla way... just excited to get married to my guy finally and plan this amazing party)
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