Can We Have a Surprise Wedding?

A surprise wedding is the opportunity for the marrying couple to surprise your family and friends with

your marriage! It can be done at a range of events including family bbqs, birthdays or engagements parties.

What is a Surprise Wedding?

First we do need to be clear on the meaning of a surprise wedding. A surprise wedding follows all the same legal requirements that a normal wedding does, this means that both members to the marriage must be fully informed and consenting to the marriage. Therefore one party to the impending marriage cannot surprise the other member with a wedding, you may only surprise your guests.

You will have a hand in creating your ceremony and will still need to complete all the legal paperwork including the Notice of Intended Marriage and the Declaration on No legal impediment to marry, in order to have the marriage legally recognised. Your officiant will help you with this paperwork and explain when these need to be completed etc..

But won’t the officiant give our plan away?

The officiant to the wedding will be able to hide themselves and come up with a cover story for the duration of the vent prior to the marriage taking place and will help you orchestrate the perfect scenario such as the speech portion of a birthday or engagement celebration for the big reveal to take place.
The officiant will usually arrive early before the guests and set up equipment such as PA system and microphones, it also allows an opportunity for the officiant to hide their equipment of blend it in so it does not look out of place. If you are having a DJ it is great as in some cases the officiant and the DJ can work together, and the celebrant can us the DJ’s microphone, while the DJ plays your ceremony music.

Do we need to tell anyone about our plans?

It is always recommended that you let at least your two witnesses in on the big surprise, this can be for a number of reasons that would be helpful to yourselves to pre and on the day.
it is great to have someone other then each other and your suppliers to talk to about the upcoming nuptials. It will also be beneficial to have someone on the day/night to assist with the big reveal including helping you get changed and/or covering for your absence while you get ready for the big reveal.

There are also legal requirements that need to be met in order for your marriage to be legally recognised. One of these requirements is that you have two witnesses present for the whole ceremony, be over the age of 18 and be clear headed. The last thing that you want is for your witnesses to be heavily effected by alcohol or absent for all or part of the ceremony as they were unaware of your plans. I can also say from an officiant point of view it is highly helpful to the officiant to have someone they can go to on the night to help with any cover stories or last minute help they require. I am the firs tot admit that once at a surprise wedding I did pretend to be one of the witnesses dates as a plausible cover story to why I was at an engagement party or immediate family where I did not know anyone.

It is up to you if you would like to let your parents in on the secret or if you would also like them to be surprise by the news. However, if you are planning to get any of your parents, family or friends to walk you down the aisle it is recommended you let them in on the plan so they are prepared.


Remember a Surprise wedding can create some of the most beautiful and breathtaking moments, the surprised looks from family and friends and the pure happiness that will be created from your wedding.

It is your dream wedding and it should be done your way. All the best and happy planning!

Leave a Reply