- 1 month ago
- Wedding: June 2017
On June 16, we pulled off a surprise wedding, and it was the most AMAZING day we could have ever imagined. I’m posting with lots of details, as I struggled to find anything positive about surprise weddings here. I just ask that everyone keep their comments kind and positive about surprise weddings- they’re definitely not for everyone, but it was perfect for us.
We had 3 friends and our immediate families in the “know”– we sent out invites to what all of our friends thought would be a surprise party for US! My BFF was our primary double agent. The invite was sent out through Google Forms, and we agressively tracked RSVPs that we got through there. If people declined, we took it on a case-by-case basis. For people we knew would be irate or could make it and were just struggling to commit, we pushed pretty hard. Our friends and families helped us so much with this. We did end up telling 1 couple because we couldn’t figure out a way around it.
A few things that worked in our favor: 1) We’re getting ready to do a 9 month long stint of travel. Everyone thought we’d elope on this trip, so we really worked with our friends to frame it as “the only opportunity to celebrate” 2) We did it out of town. Chicago is halfway between our hometowns, so that’s what we chose to allow everyone to be able to drive. This was good because we knew for sure if people were coming or not– there weren’t any folks who would decide to not come the day of 3) Our guest list was small. We ended up with 45 people, which was perfect for us
We stayed at an Airbnb in Ukranian Village, and our host was AWESOME. He let us use his rooftop for pictures and wasn’t worried that we had people over (we gave him the full rundown beforehand). We started our wedding day with an intense CorePower session, followed by couple pics, and hair. I was a DIY makeup bride, and had them add on lashes for me. I was so happy with how it turned out (I’ll do another post on that later).
We held it at Antique Taco in Wicker Park, which is AMAZING. The ladies that work there are incredible. We did bottomless margaritas, beer and wine, as well as 2 types of tacos, kale salad, chips and guac, and CHURRO DONUTS! (We don’t like cake). My dress was actually a $400 prom dress, and I had the back deconstructed. I found my shoes at DSW for $35, and my earrings for $50 on Etsy! All of the things came together just perfectly.
To prevent people live streaming on social media, we surprised people as they came in. We also gave them a card with the weekend’s itinerary and a hand written note. The best part about this is it allowed us to see everyone right away. We had a little system set up, but it was a nice flow of people and worked out well! Also, since we handed out cards, we knew who hadn’t arrived. Everyone was on time, but we would have waited if someone was running late.
My DH’s dad played a song as we walked down the aisle, and we were married in a beautiful ceremony by 2 of our best friends. (I’ll also post those details because this site helped me SO much in putting it together!). We ate, had a couple of speeches, shared a first dance, and then partied all night!
We had 3 playlists: 1 as people were walking in, 1 for right after the ceremony, and 1 for dancing (after speeches). My brother was in charge of it, which was good because my dad kept wanting to plug in his iPod instead. I’m happy to share those as well! I was worried about the playlists, but people stayed and danced for an HOUR after last call lol.
I planned a whole bunch of stuff for people who traveled from out of town: Saturday we hung out at Milenial Park, followed by a euchre tournament in the evening, and a casual brunch on Sunday. If you need recommendations for vendors for those types of things, we used The Rookery and Bin 36 respectively, and they were BEYOND fantastic.
The only big flop of the day was my bouquet. I just didn’t like it at all. I finally was going to give it a chance and then learned it was covered in Pollen that got all over my dress (TIP! Do NOT WIPE. My hubby used packaging tape and used that to get it off. Worked like a dream.) That’s why you don’t see me with any flowers.
I posted my blog in the June Blog post– you can check out more there! I’ll be adding more photos, as well as our video right on the blog.