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Surprise Wedding

Hi!

We are have an "engagement party" that is actually a cover for a surprise wedding ceremony+reception. Seated dinner, open bar, dj, etc. 40-50 people.

We are kind of apprehensive about asking for gifts or even registering since people are thinking it's an engagement party. We've been living together for a couple years so we really don't need anything. Money would be nice, but I know that's a faux pas to ask as well.

any opinions would be great!
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Re: Surprise Wedding

  • First of all, don't ask anyone for gifts or money. People are free to decide to give a gift or not. If you do a registry for something billed as an engagement party your guests will side eye the crap out of it. I wouldn't buy off of it - who demands gifts at an engagement party, you know?

    Secondly, I think the issue here is going to be that whilst most people will almost certainly give a gift (cash or otherwise) at a wedding, since you are telling them its an engagement party they may not, and if they do its probably not comparable. If I'm going to a friends wedding I may give them £100 for example....engagement party for the same friend? Bottle of champagne more likely. Some guests may give wedding gifts after the fact, and some may not. That is the choice you make when you decide to have a wedding that no one realises they are attending.
                 
    SP29HeffalumpInLoveInQueensKnottie1452098987
  • I honestly don't get why this is a thing, unless like PP suggested you are trying to avoid gifts and other pre-wedding events. Even still you're being dishonest to your guests and honesty is a really important quality to me. What's wrong with just telling everyone the truth and that it's your wedding?
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    InLoveInQueens
  • I honestly don't get why this is a thing, unless like PP suggested you are trying to avoid gifts and other pre-wedding events. Even still you're being dishonest to your guests and honesty is a really important quality to me. What's wrong with just telling everyone the truth and that it's your wedding?

    Because then it wouldn't be special and unique!
                 
    STARMOON44wink0erinInLoveInQueensKnottie1452098987
  • We don't really care too much about the gifts. The few people we told asked us about it and told us we should register, but we werent sure. We are telling people we are eloping alone, and that this is our only wedding related celebration, to kind of put in their minds how important it is they attend. but really, if they don't come thats their problem. all the VIP's are attending
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    We don't really care too much about the gifts. The few people we told asked us about it and told us we should register, but we werent sure. We are telling people we are eloping alone, and that this is our only wedding related celebration, to kind of put in their minds how important it is they attend. but really, if they don't come thats their problem. all the VIP's are attending
    Can I just ask why? I don't understand. Why the need to surprise people? 

    Don't ask for gifts. Don't register. Them's the breaks when you decide to have this type of event. 
    The bolded.  I have never really understood this concept.

    STARMOON44InLoveInQueensKnottie1452098987
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    You never ask for gifts, nor should you expect them.      Gifts for e-parties in my world are bottles of wine or frames.  Something small. 

    You can't have a surprise wedding and then expect gifts that are often given to a non-surprise wedding.  Doesn't work that way.

    Registry if you want, I just wouldn't think much will be bought off of it for an e-party.   Maybe people will after the wedding.   






    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. 
    SP29Knottie2006454
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited December 2015

    Hi!

    We are have an "engagement party" that is actually a cover for a surprise wedding ceremony+reception. Seated dinner, open bar, dj, etc. 40-50 people.

    We are kind of apprehensive about asking for gifts or even registering since people are thinking it's an engagement party. We've been living together for a couple years so we really don't need anything. Money would be nice, but I know that's a faux pas to ask as well.

    any opinions would be great!

    Sorry, but I'm not a fan of surprise weddings.

    I'm even less of a fan of either eloping or doing a surprise wedding and registering for gifts.

    If you want to get married without letting people know in advance that you're planning to do that, then eloping is fine. But as a result of your choice to do that, then I think you also need to accept that you cannot act like a traditional bride and groom in some respects. One is that if you register for gifts, you will seem greedy. It will be wondered why all these people are important enough for you to get gifts from but not to invite to the underlying ceremony that is the cause for you to get gifts in the first place. And that will get you side-eyed big time.
    lc07HeffalumpKnottie1452098987
  • Hi!

    We are have an "engagement party" that is actually a cover for a surprise wedding ceremony+reception. Seated dinner, open bar, dj, etc. 40-50 people.

    We are kind of apprehensive about asking for gifts or even registering since people are thinking it's an engagement party. We've been living together for a couple years so we really don't need anything. Money would be nice, but I know that's a faux pas to ask as well.

    any opinions would be great!
    This will go over well...
  • Well, you're apprehensive about asking for gifts because it's a rude thing to do. And since you don't want physical gifts, will not be having a shower, and are lying to your guests about the true purpose of your party since engagement parties aren't really gift giving occasions except for a host/ess gift like wine or flowers, there isn't any need to register. If people want to give you a gift after the fact, they'll go buy one then or stick a check in an envelope and mail you a card.

    You don't get to have your cake and eat it too on this one. You can lie and continue the ruse and accept that most people aren't going to give you a gift even after the fact (i would not plan on any gift for someone I thought was eloping - I'd send a congratulations card) or come clean and register or spread by word of mouth if someone asks that you didn't register and are saving for XYZ thing. If you decide to keep your original plan, then it is super easy - you don't do anything at all.
  • Thanks for the opinions!  (albeit some unnecessary and off topic). We will take all into consideration


  • I still really want to know why you're having a surprise wedding, OP. I think a lot of us just really don't understand. If you come back, I hope you indulge our curiosity.
    InLoveInQueens
  • Well we are known to throw fun and elaborate parties, so we wanted to do something fun like that for our wedding. But if it's an issue with gifts, then we are not going to ask for gifts or register. Like I said before, we have everything we need. We just want to celebrate with our friends and family, and have a good time. 
    JediElizabethKnottie1452098987
  • Well we are known to throw fun and elaborate parties, so we wanted to do something fun like that for our wedding. But if it's an issue with gifts, then we are not going to ask for gifts or register. Like I said before, we have everything we need. We just want to celebrate with our friends and family, and have a good time. 

    Thanks for answering! It's def not my thing, but if you know your guests and it's something they'd expect, good luck! I'm glad you're deciding not to register.
    Knottie2006454 Knottie1452098987
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Well we are known to throw fun and elaborate parties, so we wanted to do something fun like that for our wedding. But if it's an issue with gifts, then we are not going to ask for gifts or register. Like I said before, we have everything we need. We just want to celebrate with our friends and family, and have a good time. 
    This still doesn't explain the reasoning behind the surprise.  You can easily have a fun, elaborate party/wedding and people actually know that a wedding is occurring.  And if you do that then you can register and people will be more apt to get you a wedding appropriate gift, since, you know, they will know they are attending a wedding.

    InLoveInQueensKnottie1452098987
  • Well we are known to throw fun and elaborate parties, so we wanted to do something fun like that for our wedding. But if it's an issue with gifts, then we are not going to ask for gifts or register. Like I said before, we have everything we need. We just want to celebrate with our friends and family, and have a good time. 
    But if friends and family don't make this party a priority then you might not get to celebrate with them, so it kind of defeats the purpose you are going for. 
    image
    [Deleted User]InLoveInQueensSTARMOON44
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    justsie said:
    If you had told me you were eloping and this was your only wedding related party, I probably would be even less inclined to go, because people that elope don't have any wedding related parties. If someone is invited to a wedding related party they then need to be invited to the wedding, so I'd be sitting there thinking you are rude to invite everyone to just an engagement party and that you were probably just hoping for gifts. 
    This is the first thing that struck me as well.  Eloping, in its true sense, foregoes anything wedding related because it is done in secret.  To tell people you plan to elope, but intend to host your own engagement party is incredibly poor etiquette. 

    I think I would also be frustrated to find out that even with an intimate event, you chose to inform some guests but not others.  This tells me that you told the "important" people, but the others are "collateral" damage. 

    You need to decide if you want a wedding/reception or elopement and then plan accordingly.
    lc07InLoveInQueens
  • Well we aren't really eloping. That's just the cover. In every traditional sense, this is a wedding, it's just a surprise ceremony/reception. 
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Well we aren't really eloping. That's just the cover. In every traditional sense, this is a wedding, it's just a surprise ceremony/reception. 

    There's nothing traditional about not telling your guests that they are coming to a surprise wedding.

    I also find it funny that you claim to not care about the gifts, yet that's the point of your post.
    lc07InLoveInQueensKnottie1452098987
  • edited December 2015
    Well like I said, some people who know about it told us to register, but my gut instinct was not to. So that's why I came here for another opinion, not to get scolded about why or why not I'm doing a surprise wedding. Nobody is being tricked into jumping off a bridge. They are being treated to a 5 hour service of open bar, 5 star dinner, dessert, DJ, & photo booth.This was my first post here, and I thought it was a bunch of supportive people offering great advice, but it's mostly just sad losers waiting to throw negative comments out there. I'm sure half of you hags had a backyard wedding roasting pigs, and drinking out of red solo cups. Thank you to those who offered great advice and opinions. 
    LaShanne
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