Surprise Guest at the Wedding

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
1790 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I would let the friend sit in the back and hope your FI is so caught up in the ceremony that he doesn’t notice. Then I’d have him surprise him at the reception. 

Post # 3
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

In all honesty, even with it being a small wedding, if he were discreetly seated near the back (not on the aisle) odds are he wouldn’t be noticed until afterwards. Those few minutes end up being a bit of a blur – I had intended to try & spot specific people as I was walking down the aisle, but in the moment, it was all a blur! The emotions just get too taken over.


One thing you could do, if your venue allowed, is have him just watch from the wings somewhere and then have him meet you with a couple of glasses of bubbly when you come back up the aisle after your I Dos? We had drinks to toast with served to us right away and it was nice to have those few seconds to toast each other before the crowd swallowed us up.

Post # 4
559 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

rosegoldgirl: I don’t know your FI, but I don’t think doing it before would take away from your moment – nothing can do that.  It may even make it more special for your FI to know that his friend is there.  Also, if your FI does notice during the ceremony, then it really WILL take away from your moment.  He’ll be trying to figure out how the friend got there, who invited him, etc.  

It could even happen well before the wedding if his friend is able to arrive in time.  That would give your FI time to “recover”.

Post # 5
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014 - 11/15/14-Vineyard

I say have a first look. Have a first look with FI first, then with photographer ready, tell him you have a surprise and bring out said friend that was hiding. that way you get pics of it all, too and you are there. 

Post # 7
42157 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

MrsTtoB:  great idea! if you are doing a first look, I would go with this.

If not, I would ask him to keep out of sight until you get to the front of the church. Your FI’s eyes are guaranteed to be on you, while the friend slips into a seat at the back. FI will likely not take a single look at the back of the church until you walk up the aisle. Then your friend can step out into the aisle and surprise him.

Post # 8
821 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015


rosegoldgirl:  My FSIL actually just had this happen to her at her wedding. Her very best friend (who was supposed to be living in Ireland) surprised her. She came to the cermemony and sat somewhere in the middle. My FSIL did not notice her at all until the ceremony was over. FYI, this was also a very small and intimate wedding- 35 people were there.

Post # 9
1319 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

maybe the time that people use for gift exchange, you can tell him bring his gift(friend) to him?

Post # 10
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

rosegoldgirl:  I say the morning of the wedding – why can’t you be there too? I think there will be too much else going on at the wedding itself.

About a year ago there was a thread about a bride whose sister couldn’t make it (so she thought) but she surprised her  few days before. There were lots of tears and I’m sure it was better not being on the wedding day. Aha, here’s the thread.

Post # 11
77 posts
Worker bee

torchrunner:  citysparkle:  It’d be different for the groom though, wouldn’t it? As the bride, you’re walking up the aisle, looking at the groom, not facing your guests until the end of the ceremony. So it makes sense that you wouldn’t notice someone as you’re walking past.

The groom has time at the front to stand and face everyone, though, while he’s waiting for the bride to come in. It seems much more likely that he’d notice someone in the crowd, especially with a small wedding.

Post # 12
8850 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

Hmm I must be the only one who thinks maybe this isn’t the best idea.  Sorry OP.  But your wedding day is already so special and emotional and wonderful and overwhelming – it doesn’t need this kind of surprise.  I would think that telling him ahead of time, like a few weeks earlier, “Oh hey guess what I arranged!” would be better. 

Personally I would want more than a couple seconds to wrap my brain around reconnecting with my childhood best friend, especially with all the other emotions and craziness and being the center of attention on my wedding day.

Post # 13
5787 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Maybe unveil the surprise guest the night before, so the guys can spend some time catching up.

Post # 14
10904 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Horseradish: I agree.

I think revealing this surprise at the end of the rehearsal would be very nice.  Then your FI’s friend could sit next to you and your FI during the rehearsal dinner, and they could have some time to catch up with each other before the wedding.

Post # 15
474 posts
Helper bee

Horseradish:  Brielle:  +1

I feel like the night before is the perfect time to “reveal” the friend because it’s still going to feel like a special wedding-related surprise, but it won’t be a distraction on the day of. 

And/or are the men going to have a batchelor party? Maybe you could drop the friend off at the beginning of that? Or tell your FI that he should stop by your place to pick something up before going to the batch. party? Hmmm…

I think it’s so awesome that you planned this! :}

EDIT: Oh, oops – I just noticed that he’s arriving the day OF the wedding. In that case, I would def. try to unveil before the ceremony. I like the “first look” idea. 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  makemake.
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