How To Plan An Awesome Surprise Wedding Like Jessa's From "Girls"

June 21, 2012 by emilyanderson
shefinds | Weddings
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If you’ve been following HBO’s first season of “Girls”, you were probably blown away by the season finale’s surprise wedding. Over-sexed, bohemian Brit Jessa decides to make it official with a guy she’s known for exactly 2 weeks (played by Chris O’Dowd).

It was by far one of our favorite TV weddings of all time – from the mysterious text message invites, to Jessa’s hippied out wedding outfit, to the explicit wedding soundtrack. If you saw this and thought “Yes! that’s exactly how I want my wedding to go down” – here’s how to make it happen.


Skip the stationery. There’s no time! Put the word out via text, Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc. – and let your friends know that attendance is 100% mandatory. Jessa barely gave her guests enough time to change before the big event – you’d be wise to give your friends at least 24 hours notice.

Keep it sexy and casual. Jessa’s wedding ensemble of a blousy, boho mini dress, whimsical floral hair wreath, and simple white pumps was pitch-perfect. It said “I’m getting married, but I’m also here to party.” Something too formal will make your guests feel way under-dressed. Stick to a pretty reception dress style – your friends will get the idea when they see you carrying a bouquet.

Create the ultimate party soundtrack! As soon as Jessa and Thomas John were pronounced man and wife, they started crankin’ “Yankin'” by Lady – if you’re familiar with the lyrical content of that song, you’re aware of the delicious irony therein. Keep your playlist upbeat and contemporary, and fill it with all your friends’ dance party faves.

Use bold, colorful decor – sparingly. You don’t have a lot of time to throw this shindig together – so go for a big, statement making piece, like Jessa and Thomas John’s branch, pom, and ball fringe gazebo. Beautiful flowers and a raw, industrial venue space will do the rest.

Stick to cake n’ cocktails. Keep the food sublimely simple. Signature cocktails and a dessert bar are sure to please everyone. Get an extra large wedding cake, because people will be hungry – and remember, you’ll want to order the cake as soon as your’e sold on the surprise wedding idea – it’s extremely hard, but not impossible, to whip up a 5 tier wedding cake overnight.

Enlist a wedding planner, tout suite! As wonderfully simple as Jessa’s celebration was, there was no way it could’ve been pulled off in a mater of days (especially in NYC) without the assistance of a wedding planner with a serious rollidex full of wedding vendor contacts. If you want to snag the perfect venue, cake, photographer, etc. for your big surprise – find an expert wedding planner. (Can’t afford one? Enlist the help of a few of your closest girlfriends, and anyone with a wedding-related skill set.)

Get an officiant with a big personality. This is not a conventional, or formal wedding – there’s no reason your officiant should be either. Bobby Moynihan was extra lovable on this episode – playing a friend of the groom who got ordained online on the fly. If you want a friend to marry you, do make sure it’s legal to have an internet-ordained officiant marry you in your state!

Want to craft a wedding look that’s just like Jessa’s? Here’s everything you’ll need…

Shop  our guides to the best short wedding dresses, designer wedding shoes, and wedding cake toppers!


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