Saturday, October 4, 2008

Surprise! One Idea for an Usual Wedding

You always hear about surprise parties, and unexpected engagements, but have you ever heard of a surprise wedding?

A few years back, when Nic and I first were talking about getting married, we weren't sure we wanted a traditional wedding. After all, we're both artistic, we're casual and relaxed, we're not into the whole dancing-bouquet toss-chicken dance thing. We had been talking about putting together a photo show, but had kept procrastinating due to work and the general curiosity that is daily life. Then it hit me- why not put together an art show, and surprise everyone there by getting married! A Surprise Wedding. I read somewhere that's what Julia Roberts did, and I thought so can I! We wanted an intimate affair that expressed who we were with good food, great conversation, and the people closest to us, and we wanted to avoid most of the hoopla. After seriously considering it for a few months, we decided to scrap the idea for ourselves and go with something a little more traditional and family oriented, and one where our non-art loving friends would definitely RSVP and not show up 3 hours late!

I loved my wedding and wouldn't change a thing, but I still think about the "what if's" if we had tried the surprise wedding. It sounds bizarre and difficult to pull off, and it wouldn't work for everyone, but I still think the idea is worth exploring, and might be perfect for a couple out there struggling to find a unique way to get hitched and avoid all the fuss of wedding planning that eloping can offer, but still have friends and family share in the joy of a wedding.

Our approach to the surprise wedding was pretty simple. We'd put together photography show, and invite our closest friends and family to the show's opening reception. We'd find a really great gallery space, there would be champagne and hors'd oeuvres, our artwork would serve as the decor, and once everyone arrived for the big thank you speech for supporting our endeavors in the art world, we'd bring out the officiant and get married right then and there! It would be everything we wanted- intimate and simple, unique and artistic, and it would be a fete that no one would forget! The idea seemed really fun, and a great way to avoid a lot of the trouble and frustrations of planning a more traditional affair. We thought of a chic, art gallery show, but you could do a family picnic, an outdoor bbq, a holiday get together or a dinner party... there are a ton of possibilities!

Naturally, there are pro's and con's to a surprise wedding. A big plus with a surprise wedding is that you can save a ton of money and avoid a lot of the planning headaches by keeping it simple and a little more casual than a wedding usually becomes. You don't have to wear a big dress, choose bridesmaids or groomsmen, listen to everyone tell you what to do and how to do it. It's a wonderful way to get closer with your spouse-to-be. It's a secret only the 2 of you will share, and just the two of you will be doing all the planning as the two person team your about to become (just don't forget the officiant!). It can be really fun and casual, unexpected and intimate, all at the same time, and it's something that everyone in attendance will remember and be talking about for years to come. If you're not into the wedding thing and you prefer the idea of an elopement, but you want to share your marriage with friends and family, a surprise wedding may be just the thing you are looking for, and you didn't even know it!

image courtesy of A Practical Wedding

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