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Etiquette

Surprise wedding

My fiancé and I would like to have a surprise wedding. My parents would know the details of our surprise wedding and his parents would help plan but wouldn't know the exact date of when we're getting married. The cover we came up with is hosting an engagement party. I was wondering if it was appropriate then to say that the engagement party is taking the place of the bridal shower and where we were registered. Should we also state that his divorced parents and my parents are hosting the event even though we plan on paying for it? And should we say that we are serving food and alcohol? I realize that we will have to let out of town guests in on the surprise so they can make arrangements to attend. Any help would be great!
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Re: Surprise wedding

  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I think you'll be very disappointed when some people don't show up because they don't know. And they'll be disappointed they didn't know.

    Why the need for a surprise?
    doeydoindianaalumLiatris2010
  • I'm so confused. A surprise means you're not telling anyone. If you're telling people, it's not a surprise.

    And if you want to have a gift-giving event, you can't host it yourself. And you can't plan it and pay for it yourself either.

    Just have a wedding.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    Rebl90PrettyGirlLost
  • A surprise wedding isn't my thing, but if you want to do it, go for it. Do understand that you won't get many gifts, and many people may not be able to make it. If my friend had an engagement party, I wouldn't travel in from out of town or take off time for work. But I would do those things for a wedding. Expect that some of your guests will make the same distinction.

    Is there a reason you want it to be a surprise?
    doeydo
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I'm so confused. A surprise means you're not telling anyone. If you're telling people, it's not a surprise. And if you want to have a gift-giving event, you can't host it yourself. And you can't plan it and pay for it yourself either. Just have a wedding.
    They are paying for and planning and hosting the wedding, not an engagement party. They just want to PRETEND it's an engagement party so people won't know it's a wedding. 


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • Ah. Now I am slightly less confused. So it would be billed as a bridal shower in lieu of an engagement party, but actually it would be a wedding instead of either?

    Yeah, still a horrible idea. If DH and I got a joint invite to a bridal shower, I wouldn't make him come (and he wouldn't want to), but he'd be upset if it turned out to be a wedding instead.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    doeydo
  • HaileyDancingbearHaileyDancingbear Arkham Asylum member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    If I were you I'd reconsider the surprise wedding idea, I personally think your guests would appreciate knowing ahead of time so they can request time off from work, dress appropriately, and dedicate their day to celebrating your wedding.  Personally I would not take a day off from work to attend a bridal shower/engagement party, but I would still plan on attending the wedding.  I'd then feel pretty awful about accidentally skipping your wedding, and I imagine a lot of your guests are going to feel that way.  People request time off for weddings, not engagement parties, and a lot of those people would feel bad that they didn't get to attend your wedding.  Also some guests that do show up are going to feel surprised in a bad way; they're going to feel underdressed first of all, they might have been planning on getting you something else for your wedding, they might have only planned to drop by for a bit and made plans for later etc.
    I just feel that attending a wedding is something people plan for in advance and they might not appreciate the surprise as much as you do.  
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    annathy03
  • Surprise and wedding don't go together in my book. Put me down in the NO column.
    rajahmddoeydo
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    So you want a surprise wedding, but you are telling some people?   The more people who know, but more likely it will be leaked.   On another note, I would be really annoyed if I found out some of the guests knew and I didn't.

    Don't get me started on the instead of a shower we are having an e-party.  The only reason you want to use the term in lieu of a shower is to get gifts. No, just no.  If you want a surprise wedding then you have to deal with the fact you will not be getting much in the way of gifts.  









    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    OliveOilsMomBlue_BirdPrettyGirlLost
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Also, as far as gifting goes, I'd only bring a card and a bottle of wine (under 20 bucks.) For an engagment party.

    Weddings get "better" presents.
    image



    Anniversary
    Blue_BirdindianaalumPrettyGirlLostAprilH81
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    chibiyui said:
    Also, as far as gifting goes, I'd only bring a card and a bottle of wine (under 20 bucks.) For an engagment party. Weddings get "better" presents.
    Same here. I'd probably say, "Eh, I'll get them something from the registry when I go to the actual wedding" and bring a bottle of wine to the e-party. It would seem very weird to bring gifts from a registry to an engagement party b/c the couple is not likely to open them in front of guests, and a party with registry gifts, to me, should include opening of the gifts in front of the people who gave them.  


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    mimiphinBlue_Bird
  • corooo said:
    My fiancé and I would like to have a surprise wedding. My parents would know the details of our surprise wedding and his parents would help plan but wouldn't know the exact date of when we're getting married. The cover we came up with is hosting an engagement party. I was wondering if it was appropriate then to say that the engagement party is taking the place of the bridal shower and where we were registered. Should we also state that his divorced parents and my parents are hosting the event even though we plan on paying for it? And should we say that we are serving food and alcohol? I realize that we will have to let out of town guests in on the surprise so they can make arrangements to attend. Any help would be great!
    I would advise against having a surprise wedding. I might not always be able to attend a friend's engagement party, but I will make every effort possible to attend their wedding. If I missed it and then found out it was actually your wedding, I would be really, really sad.
    doeydo
  • 1.  You cannot host your own engagement party.
    2.  Engagement parties are not normally gift giving events.
    3.  Some people are going to be angry about being deceived.

    Bad idea.  Don't do it!

    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    doeydoannathy03
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    This is a bizarre and ridiculous idea.



  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    CMGragain said:
    1.  You cannot host your own engagement party.
    2.  Engagement parties are not normally gift giving events.
    3.  Some people are going to be angry about being deceived.

    Bad idea.  Don't do it!

    There is no actual engagement party happening. 




    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    IMO surprise weddings are not a good idea.

    Weddings, no matter how small, intimate, or informal they are, are still big events and major changes in people's lives.  "Surprising" people by billing the wedding as a lesser party suggests that you don't take those changes and social implications seriously-and considering that there are people out there fighting for the right to have the same status that you're basically joking about, it really will offend those you invite, whether they come or not, to find out that your lesser party was really a wedding.

    Plus, you're not supposed to throw a shower or engagement party for yourself anyway.
    doeydoemmyg65
  • auriannaaurianna member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited January 2014

    AddieL73 said:
    There is no actual engagement party happening. 

    But the guests won't know that. All the more reason why this is a bad idea.

    The couple should never host their own engagement party. And they should definitely never host their own shower.

    That's what makes this even worse. OP, this is what you'll be saying to your guests:
    "Even though it's rude to host our own engagement party, we are going to. And you should bring presents to it as if it were a shower, even though it's rude to host your own shower as well."

    If I got an invitation like this from a friend... unless it was a super close friend or immediate family member, I'd probably be conveniently "busy" the night of the party because it sounds like a rude attention and gift grab (which is what a engagement party thrown by the couple, but wanting presents like a shower, would be). And then I'd miss the wedding.
    (And if it was a very close friend, I might voice my concerns and end up getting spoiled on the surprise anyway).

    If having a surprise wedding is your dream, then I won't say don't do it, but you must be aware that not everyone you want to be there will be there, that people who otherwise would have wanted to be there will be disappointed, and that you will not get many gifts.


    A few key notes:

    Any pre-wedding party (e-party, b-party, shower) should not be thrown by the bride or groom (or their parents, really). You only get these parties if someone else offers. (so it will seem rude to your guests that you're appearing to host one).

    Engagement parties are NOT gift giving events. (so do not expect gifts if you are going this route)

    Even if you were billing this as a wedding, it would not be ok to put registry info in the invitation. The only place it is not rude to do so is in an actual wedding shower invite (gifts should never be expected).


    I would change your approach in this.

    ETA:
    As far as your question about telling them food and liquor will be provided... this isn't needed.

    If you are inviting them to a formal party at a meal time, it is EXPECTED that you serve food.

    And while it isn't expected that you serve booze, it is expected that whatever is being served, they won't have to pay for. So they'd have no reason to think it was a cash bar.

    If you really insist on going down this road (which I don't suggest), and want people to know that alcohol will be served, just do word of mouth.
    chibiyuidoeydo
  • If WE are confused by your plans, OP, just imagine how confused your guests will be.  Don't do it!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    csuaveHisGirlFriday13doeydoPrettyGirlLost
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    @aurianna I know the guests won't know that. That is why part of OP's question was whether they should pretend someone ELSE is hosting it. She has a bad idea. I just don't like people zinging her for bad ideas that she ISN'T having.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • This is just a bad idea. I have never head of a normal person having one. What I mean by that is I've heard about celebrities who have done this to throw off the paparazzi but not a normal everyday person. I can't imagine what the reason behind it would be.
    doeydo
  • I don't get why this idea would even cross someone's mind. But have at it, if you're okay with being disappointed in the attendance and reaction.

    Though I think it's interesting that people are so gift oriented around here.
  • purefluff said:

    I don't get why this idea would even cross someone's mind. But have at it, if you're okay with being disappointed in the attendance and reaction.

    Though I think it's interesting that people are so gift oriented around here.

    I think the gift comments came from the OP's statement about telling people the surprise wedding was an engagement shower "in lieu of a shower" because showers are gift giving events, which makes it sound like the OP's biggest concern about this plan was that people might not buy her gifts.
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
    doeydo[Deleted User]melbelleupSharpschruter22
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