(Closed) Surprise Wedding…good idea or no?

posted 11 months ago in Ceremony
Post # 31
407 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2019 - City, State

I ended up at one that happened at a church service that no one was expecting but I do feel that’s different because it’s church. However I have to agree that if you do it at a party SOMEONE ELSE is hosting people might see it as you trying to “use” the party as a way to cover your wedding at someone else’s expense. I suggest like PP said host your own event and surprise the guest with a wedding if you wish but even then I would be careful because some people whom may have loved to come to your wedding may not come to the party but maybe they would have found a way if they had known.

Not saying it’s a bad idea, just tread with caution bee.

Post # 33
426 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

My cousin did this at our family reunion, and we all thought it was great. That’s my family though. Whenever I read responses on the bee though, so many things seem unacceptable, while myself and my family are extremely laid back people and so many things are fine to us. We just like to have a good time. A Christmas party belongs to everyone, and I feel like it’s not like it’s someone Sweet 16. 

Either way, we can’t answer this for you because we don’t know the dynamic of your family and future family. I no longer post family dynamic questions because no one here can help me with it because to me, certain rules and reactions don’t apply. Best to talk this over with your Fiance, and even your future Mother-In-Law if you think she can keep a secret. She might become an awesome ally. 

Post # 34
1600 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Location

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Megan14 :  I should explain myself better; for me it kind of disrespects the guests to not tell them ahead that it’s going to be a wedding. Like LOL look what we just did!

For example, I’ve heard of people getting surprise married at an engagement party. I don’t like this because let’s say I’m invited to an engagement party, if I can’t go I won’t think it’s a big deal because I will celebrate properly at the wedding. Then if I found out that WAS the wedding I’d be pissed that I missed out, I’d make way more of an effort to travel/attend a wedding than an engagement party.

Post # 36
7347 posts
Busy Beekeeper

A surprise wedding at a party you are hosting? Sure. A surprise wedding at a party someone else is hosting, even a parent? Not cool unless they agree in advance, and then suddenly it’s not much of a surprise any longer. 

ETA: Are there friends you would want to include who would not typically be invited to this party? 

Post # 39
1600 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Location

View original reply
Megan14 :  yeah! Of course you’ll do what you want, I just don’t see the advantage of keeping it a secret.

Post # 40
2837 posts
Sugar bee

I wouldn’t do it. 

Some people hate surprises (they can be challenging for people who are not neurotypical, for instance). Others might be irritated because they would have worn something different or wanted to be prepared to give you a nice bottle champagne or have prepared a toast. 

The optics look bad like you’re trying to get a free wedding, even though you’ve addressed that concern. 

It would be incredibly rude if you didn’t get his mother’s sign-off and buy-in, as it’s her house and she is the hostess of the party.

But most importantly of all, you’d be hijacking someone else’s party and making it all about you. But this would extend to every future family Christmas party – even though the date of the party might change, it’s always going to be an unoffocial wedding anniversary to your family and someone will likely feel the need to acknowledge it or reminisce or something.  If you have a surprise wedding at the family Christmas party, every future family Christmas party is going to be associated with your wedding.

If you want a low key, inexpensive wedding without guests other than immediate family, why not go to the courthouse and maybe go to a casual restaurant afterwards with the family?

Post # 41
634 posts
Busy bee

I think it would be so fun! I would love if one of my cousins did this. Christmas is all about family time, so what a great time to do a wedding. 

Post # 42
233 posts
Helper bee

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misslucy :  I have to say, this is one of my thoughts as well.  That every Christmas going forward this is going to be brought up. My family has a huge Christmas Eve party that I (and most family members) look forward to all year.    We have traditions and activities that we do every year.    I would feel like your wedding anniversary would impinge on that forever.    Maybe that makes me selfish.  Typing it out in black and white . . . I guess its true.   But that is how I honestly feel.


Also, for the rest of the party it will be about your wedding and not Christmas.  So Christmas will feel like its over.  Are there many children in the family?   Is anyone religous enough to be upset that you are “taking over” Christmas?  not saying you really are.


As a mother, I would be upset that my child didn’t consider me any different than say my sister.    I know that I wouldn’t say anything, but my feelings would be hurt.    I know its not about me, but again feelings.


Finally, You won’t get gifts, pre wedding events, the joy of talking about your wedding with family.

Post # 44
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

I say go for it!!

As someone who 1. Loves big family Christmas’ (and would be absolutely over the moon if my son and his girlfriend did this!!!) and 2. had a surprise wedding themselves, I think its the perfect time. If you feel uncomfortable with doing it on Christmas Day do it Christmas Eve, either way weddings should be about family and celebrating love.

Post # 45
43 posts

Why not just do it the day after the Christmas party since the Christmas party isn’t normally on Christmas/Christmas Eve anyway?

Agree with PP that even if his mom is on board, it does change the dynamic of the holiday both in the current year and in future years. People may not share that with you, but it does take away from what was just a fun, family gathering (since you said it really isn’t focused on the holiday) to all about you.

BUT I do like the surprise idea as it’s something fun and puts less burden on your guests. JMO.

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