10 Mistakes Couples Make When Planning A Surprise Wedding
September 19, 2017
September 19, 2017
Do you want to seriously wow your guests on your wedding day? Don't tell them you're getting married until they get there! A surprise wedding is something your family and friends will never forget--just be sure to skip these 10 mistakes. These exclusive SHEfinds interviews with wedding experts can be a big lifesaver for your surprise wedding day.
Keeping Your Parents In The Dark
It's a good idea to at least let both sets of parents in on the wedding--especially if you want them to pay for any portion of the event. They might also be hurt that they weren't in on the plans. So make this one exception and swear them to secrecy!
Deciding Not To Hire A Planner
While not every wedding needs a planner, there's more that needs to be watched and supervised when it comes to a surprise wedding. You want to be able to enjoy the day, so seriously consider hiring a wedding planner or day-of coordinator to work the event and do the hard work for you.
Failing To Look Into Legalities
Every state and jurisdiction has different requirements, says Eric Hunt, a Myrtle Beach Wedding Officiant. "Many couples contact me after having made plans only to find out that they will not be able to obtain a marriage license in time to make their marriage legal. Prior to setting any plans a couple should thoroughly research the legalities and engage the services of a licensed officiant/planner who is familiar [with the rules]," he says.
Selecting A Bad Start Time
Be smart about the time you choose for the ceremony to begin, says Janessa White of Simply Eloped. "Guests might leave before the ceremony begins if the start time is too late. Or worse, should your location of choice be a bar or restaurant, a late start time could leave some guests drunk and unruly during the ceremony."
Failing To Inform Vendors
Your vendors need to know what kind of event you're hosting before they show up to the wedding location. The photographer might need different equipment, the DJ or band will plan for various dances and moments throughout the day, the caterers will probably want to suggest a variety of foods and cocktails to complement the day, etc. They need to know all of the details of an event so they can do their best for you and your guests.
Skipping The Dress Code
You cannot blame the guests for showing up poorly dressed if you decide on having a surprise wedding, says Jimmy Chan of Pixelicious Photography. "The wrong attire is one thing, the inconsistency kills it. You have the bride wearing the white gown in full flaunting mode, yet the guests come in casually dressed. My suggestion is to pick a venue that offers enough hints such that your guests know what to expect. Invite them to a 5-star hotel reception and it will be clear that they can't just walk in without proper attire."
Not Planning An Attention Grabber
Without a signal that a surprise wedding is about to take place, people might not realize what's going on and spend the ceremony chit chatting, drinking, or not paying attention. Janessa White says, "As the ceremony begins, we recommend playing a song traditionally associated with weddings (Pachelbel's Canon, anyone?), having the officiant loudly begin the ceremony, or using another tactic to get guests to focus."
Forgetting To Capture Guest Reactions
While wedding photographers traditionally focus their efforts on the couple, Janessa says that the most fun part of a surprise wedding is the reaction of guests. "I suggest hiring an additional photographer or videographer to capture the expressions on the faces of guests when they first see a wedding unfolding in front of them," she says.
Ignoring The Need For Audio
If the surprise wedding is happening in a large or public place, remember that it could be noisy during the ceremony. Janessa suggests you should consider renting a speaker system to make sure that your wedding guests can hear what's going on.
Skipping The Seating Chart
Just because the wedding is a surprise doesn't mean you don't have to do the necessary planning, including the dreaded seating chart. Make sure to complete this step well in advance, preferably as soon as you know who is coming to your wedding. If your parents are in on the surprise wedding, get their tips on who should sit next to who.
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Tags:surprise weddings, wedding mistakes, wedding tips, weddings
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