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Help with details of engagement party that is a surprise wedding

Guests will be getting invites to an engagement party which is a sit down meal at a formal restaurant.   They arrive, we enjoy hors d'oeuvres for half an hour or so with them while wearing cocktail dresses, then we disappear to change super-quickly into our gowns.  Should we:A) Have a friend who does know ahead of time announce that we are getting married and ask people to file outside, orB) Before we leave the room, ask a friend who knows nothing about it (but who is comfortable with public speaking) open an envelope and read the announcement to the group.Then, people will file outside to the little square.  To come down the non-aisle, should weA) play music on an Ipod and walk out togetherB) Have the officiant announce our entrance and ask the guests to welcome us down the aisle with applause? 
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Re: Help with details of engagement party that is a surprise wedding

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    NebbNebb member
    5 Love Its First Comment Combo Breaker
    I dont like the idea of a surprise wedding, sorry. Ive got nothing.
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    A friend who does know and is ok with public speaking should read the announcement.  Don't shock them with that.  Prepare them at least a little. 

    I'd have the officiant announce your entrance AND play some sort of music. 
    DIY & Planning | Married 

    Married: 2010
    Mom to J: 2011
    Mom to H: 2014

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    Dresses may be easier to take in than let out, but guest lists are not. -- kate51485
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    Not sure about the surprise idea...why not just tell people? 

    I would feel really awkward having people "welcome me" with applause.
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    i suggest option B

    hey, BGG, long time no see!
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    I vote A, and a combination of A and B: you can have music playing, but also have the officiant ask guests to rise, or otherwise announce you coming in.

    I think it sounds fun, but have you made sure that the people who are truly important to you are going to be there? A lot of folks wouldn't hesitate to skip an engagement party if they had something else big going on that day, but would clear their schedule for a wedding.
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    edited April 2010
    We are doing it this way because the lack of pomp and circumstance suits us.  We want a fun and meaningful evening with the people closest to us.  The several people from out of state have been told, and we have made sure that our core group will be able to be there.  

    Neither one of us could spend more than a day or two looking at wedding stuff because our work schedules don't allow for it.  Doing it this way allows us to skip the planning and the expenses related to the competing expectations of friends and guests.  We aren't planners.  

    Our 40 closest family members and friends will come to a truly wonderful restaurant for a fun party.  They will be excited at the announcement.  Weather permitting, we will have a meaningful ceremony outside, then enjoy an exquisite meal and cake with them.  Since what is important to us is all pretty simple, we didn't want to add wedding parties, favors, bands, and all of that simply to conform to what people expect when they get a wedding invite.  

    I think it will be fun.  It appears most of you disagree.  Hopefully the guests feel otherwise.  I appreciate your input.
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    ExpatPumpkinExpatPumpkin member
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    edited April 2010
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_details-of-engagement-party-surprise-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:3324a7bc-f3f8-4981-ab91-6407515efce2Post:f6817cf7-a920-4a32-b0e9-1c2552a0837a">Re: Help with details of engagement party that is a surprise wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]I vote A, and a combination of A and B: you can have music playing, but also have the officiant ask guests to rise, or otherwise announce you coming in.<strong> I think it sounds fun, but have you made sure that the people who are truly important to you are going to be there? A lot of folks wouldn't hesitate to skip an engagement party if they had something else big going on that day, but would clear their schedule for a wedding.
    </strong>Posted by opalsky007[/QUOTE]

    I agree with Opalsky.  Are you SURE that everyone who you want to be there will be there?  If you were my best friend, for example, I would move mountains to make it to your wedding.  But if something really important came up with work or family I might miss an engagement party.  Then I'd be crushed that I missed the wedding :(
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    I still would not make it a secret. No one will care if it's a low-key event. They will care if they miss it because it's "Just an engagement party."
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    A and A&B
    I think it's a fun idea.
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    It sounds good in theory, but when it comes down to it, suprise weddings just aren't a good idea.
    Photobucket
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_details-of-engagement-party-surprise-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:3324a7bc-f3f8-4981-ab91-6407515efce2Post:ea773909-14c8-4543-b818-28c9711a0c15">Re: Help with details of engagement party that is a surprise wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]I still would not make it a secret. No one will care if it's a low-key event. They will care if they miss it because it's "Just an engagement party."
    Posted by spinner84[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I appreciate your input.  But the invites are done, and we are less than six weeks away.  I was posting to get help with the details, but I suppose since people don't like the idea, I shouldn't look here for that.  Thank you though.

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_details-of-engagement-party-surprise-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:3324a7bc-f3f8-4981-ab91-6407515efce2Post:fbd2e767-4e60-43ed-8b25-11b697dc6eca">Re: Help with details of engagement party that is a surprise wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]We are doing it this way because the lack of pomp and circumstance suits us.  We want a fun and meaningful evening with the people closest to us.  The several people from out of state have been told, and we have made sure that our core group will be able to be there.   Neither one of us could spend more than a day or two looking at wedding stuff because our work schedules don't allow for it.  Doing it this way allows us to skip the planning and the expenses related to the competing expectations of friends and guests.  We aren't planners.   Our 40 closest family members and friends will come to a truly wonderful restaurant for a fun party.  They will be excited at the announcement.  Weather permitting, we will have a meaningful ceremony outside, then enjoy an exquisite meal and cake with them.  Since what is important to us is all pretty simple, we didn't want to add wedding parties, favors, bands, and all of that simply to conform to what people expect when they get a wedding invite.   I think it will be fun.  It appears most of you disagree.  Hopefully the guests feel otherwise.  I appreciate your input.
    Posted by BostonGayGal[/QUOTE]

    If it's what you all want to do - go for it.  Just keep in mind that, like some folks have mentioned, you might have some people miss it if they're not aware of what it is.  It sounds like you've tried to be sure people are taking it seriously, though, so that's good. 

    That said - a simple invite to a wedding ceremony and dinner, especially if your friends and family know you're not planners & wouldn't want a froufy wedding, shouldn't necessitate an over the top wedding.    What you're planning is totally acceptable as a wedding, and it's possible to word an invitation accordingly, should you decide you want to. 

    Either way - congrats & best of luck.
    DIY & Planning | Married 

    Married: 2010
    Mom to J: 2011
    Mom to H: 2014

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    Dresses may be easier to take in than let out, but guest lists are not. -- kate51485
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    I would be DELIGHTED to attend a surprise wedding. I think it sounds awesome. And if there are some guests who decline that you suspect might come if they knew it was your wedding, I'm sure you could figure out how to handle that.

    I'd go with B and B, though I do love music at a wedding, so if it would be possible to do music as well than I'd vote for that.

    Good luck!


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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_details-of-engagement-party-surprise-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:3324a7bc-f3f8-4981-ab91-6407515efce2Post:fbd2e767-4e60-43ed-8b25-11b697dc6eca">Re: Help with details of engagement party that is a surprise wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]We are doing it this way because the lack of pomp and circumstance suits us.  We want a fun and meaningful evening with the people closest to us. <strong> The several people from out of state have been told, and we have made sure that our core group will be able to be there.</strong>   Neither one of us could spend more than a day or two looking at wedding stuff because our work schedules don't allow for it.  Doing it this way allows us to skip the planning and the expenses related to the competing expectations of friends and guests.  We aren't planners.   Our 40 closest family members and friends will come to a truly wonderful restaurant for a fun party.  They will be excited at the announcement.  Weather permitting, we will have a meaningful ceremony outside, then enjoy an exquisite meal and cake with them.  Since what is important to us is all pretty simple, we didn't want to add wedding parties, favors, bands, and all of that simply to conform to what people expect when they get a wedding invite.   I think it will be fun.  It appears most of you disagree.  Hopefully the guests feel otherwise.  I appreciate your input.
    Posted by BostonGayGal[/QUOTE]

    Sweet! Sounds like you're good to go then. Maybe you could have one of your out-of-state friends who is in the know announce it.
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    I wasn't trying to be rude. I didn't read that you had sent the invites. My wedding is low-key and I planned the whole thing in 5 weeks, so I'm hardly saying do a big thing.

    Anyway I vote A (because some people hate surprise announcements) and B (applause). But I see no reason you cannot have music AND applause.
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    I think it's a cute idea! I'd have someone who knows about it read an announcement, and have yourselves introduced and then play music as you walk out.
    Photobucket
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    I vote for a combination of A and B for for the first part.  I'd ask someone who does know about it to read an announcement from you. Something like guest stands up, asks for attention for a minute and says something like "Bride and Bride have asked me to read the following..." and then goes into whatever you' ve written.

    For the second part, I'd plan for music. I guess I just don't feel it's right to "plan" for people to clap for you, although it's certainly fine if they do spontaneously :-)

    FWIW, I think it sounds like a great idea! It sounds like you've planned something the two of you will be really happy with and I imagine your guests will feel the same. Good luck!
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    I LOVE this idea!  

    Sorry if someone has already mentioned this, but what if you just walk back into the room in your dresses as a way to take everyone by surprise and announce?
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    Will you please post an update after the fact and let us know how it went? 
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    Why do you need to have the change of dresses? You could have all your guests start in the outdoor area with the cocktails and appetizers and then after people get there, then you can come out in your wedding dress and start the ceremony right away. Let your parents host the guests for a little while. I just think it would be strange to leave partway through to change--it's a party for you so your guests will notice if you both leave.

    Also, Triskit did something like this for her wedding (pretended it was her birthday party and then they had the wedding) and she said that after the ceremony she found out that all of her guests had found out that it was going to be their wedding, not a birthday party. So, don't be discouraged if people aren't as surprised as you expect- especially if some guests will know ahead of time, the news will probably spread.
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    I love it- I think it would be lots of fun!  And I like B, then A. 
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    We need the first part of the party to be inside because there is no alcohol allowed outside in public.  The ceremony is in a small public square, and as a gay couple, that could be an adventure in and of itself.
    We are older so it would be weird to have my parents hosting until everyone gets there. I think our guests would be more comfortable if we are there, and we are hoping  that popping out from the mingling, while noticeable to many, won't be hard. Our hair and everything will be done, so it should only take us fifteen minutes to change (in the restaurant office no less).  
    When friends see the California guests, they may well suspect something is up.  Or maybe they will somehow already know ahead of time. Thanks for the forewarning. We shall see.  
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    I do have to agree that some people may not come thinking its for an engagement party and not a wedding, but a thought...If you are doing invitations I'm assuming you also are doing rsvps...if someone does rsvp no maybe give them a call and let them know you are so sad they cannot make it as you two were planning on having a surprise committment ceremony that day. They may be able to rearrange plans.


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    I think the idea is great, if that's what fits your style, and it seems like you have thought it through very well to avoid having people that you would want their to not attend. Good luck, and I hope everything turns out beautiful. It sounds like it would be a great time.

    As for the logistics of announcing it.

    I would slip away and maybe have the guest who will act as your officiant announce what s going on and have people file outside and get settled. Then, I would use the ipod, have people stand and welcome you, and walk down the non-aisle together.
    Photobucket
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_details-of-engagement-party-surprise-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:3324a7bc-f3f8-4981-ab91-6407515efce2Post:7bb28174-ce71-4333-ba27-661901fb831d">Help with details of engagement party that is a surprise wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]Guests will be getting invites to an engagement party which is a sit down meal at a formal restaurant.   They arrive, we enjoy hors d'oeuvres for half an hour or so with them while wearing cocktail dresses, then we disappear to change super-quickly into our gowns.   Should we: A) Have a friend who does know ahead of time announce that we are getting married and ask people to file outside, or B) Before we leave the room, ask a friend who knows nothing about it (but who is comfortable with public speaking) open an envelope and read the announcement to the group. Then, people will file outside to the little square.  To come down the non-aisle, should we A) play music on an Ipod and walk out together B) Have the officiant announce our entrance and ask the guests to welcome us down the aisle with applause? 
    Posted by BostonGayGal[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div><span style="font-family:Arial;font-size:12px;background-color:#ffffff;">I am doing the exact same thing this coming July! My reasoning is much like yours @bostongaygal, as I didn't want the big "hooplah" of planning a big wedding. I've booked several venues as far as Oklahoma City to Napa Valley, to Santa Fe, to Park City, etc. and just couldn't please my parents, FI, his parents, etc. It was just exhausting. Been together for 7 years and engaged since November. Ready to wed!! With all of this said, I love all of your ideas. Please give me an update on how it all went!!!! Also, would love to hear how you got all of your guests there. As others have mentioned, the biggest con on doing a surprise wedding is not having your closest friends and family there. I have told my friends that live in NYC and CA (I live in Oklahoma) and knew if I didn't inform them then they wouldn't probably fly halfway across the world for yet another "engagement party". Any insight is appreciated! Hope your marriage has been wonderful! </span><img style="background-color:#ffffff;border:0px;font-size:12px;margin:0px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:Arial;" src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-kiss.gif" border="0" alt="Kiss" title="Kiss" />

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