Should You Have a Surprise Wedding?

A bride and groom wearing leather jackets and kissing in a tropical garden.

One recent trend in weddings that has been popping up amid the COVID-19 pandemic is surprise weddings. This is a very particular type of event, and for that reason you have to be committed to having your wedding in this way if you decide to do so. Before deciding whether a surprise wedding is right for you, learn what it is and the pros and cons of this type of celebration below.

What Is a Surprise Wedding?

You might be wondering what a surprise wedding is, anyways. Well, this is a wedding where you don’t let your guests in on the secret: it’s not just a get-together—it’s an event where you’ll be tying the knot! So, your loved ones show up thinking they’re there for a run-of-the-mill party and you spring on them that they’re actually there to celebrate your wedding. This is definitely a fun and exciting way to shock guests and to get married, and there are compelling reasons for and against this type of event, as explained below.

The Pros of Surprise Weddings

A bride and groom on an urban rooftop.

There are so many pros associated with these types of weddings!

It’s Exhilarating

The surprise of it all is pretty exhilarating with this type of wedding celebration. Having the chance to surprise your guests with such a monumental event will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for both you and them, and it’s really fun to soak in that excitement.

It Saves Money

Surprise weddings can also save you money, allowing you to skip traditional wedding expenses like invitation suites. Having a more spur of the moment wedding also gives you the option of making the event as formal or as casual as you want. You can skip a plated dinner in lieu of something more relaxed and more cost-effective. You can also choose not to have a band or DJ at one of these weddings—although you still can if you want to!

There’s Less Pressure

If you want to skip all the pressure leading up to the big day of people asking endless questions, impressing their opinions on you, and the mounting expectations that come with an upcoming wedding, this may be the route for you. A surprise wedding takes pressure off of you to share the details of your day leading up to it, making it easier to just enjoy the private planning process and the excitement associated with the event.

The Cons of Surprise Weddings

A bohemian bride and groom outside by a white fence.

There are also some downsides to surprise weddings that are worth considering.

Tricky Logistics

It can be tricky to coordinate a surprise wedding because you’re trying to keep it, well, a surprise! That means you can’t stress the importance of your loved ones’ attendance at this event because you don’t want to give the secret away. Thus, it can be tough to ensure that everyone you really want there is actually there. While you can persuade people to come by marking it as a different significant event (like a milestone birthday party or something of the sort) that doesn’t mean it’s a fool-proof plan.

You Probably Won’t Get Gifts

Having a surprise wedding means you likely won’t get many presents, since people won’t know they’re showing up to a wedding at all. If this is something that’s important to you, it’s definitely worth considering.

Lack of Pre-Wedding Festivities

Having a surprise wedding means you probably won’t be experiencing some of the traditional pre-wedding events, such as a bridal shower, bachelor or bachelorette party, or rehearsal dinner. Doing so would likely give away your plans for an upcoming wedding, so they’ll be avoided. That also means you probably won’t have a registry, so if these things are important to you, they’re also worth thinking through in deciding if this type of wedding is right for you.

The bottom line of surprise weddings is that they’re fun, exciting, and can facilitate a more stress-free wedding planning experience. However, if you’re worried about coordinating the somewhat tricky logistics of these weddings or want an abundance of festivities surrounding your big day, you may want to steer away from a surprise event.

Find Amazing Vendors