Is a Surprise Wedding for You?


By now, most of you have probably heard that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg married longtime lady love Priscilla Chan yesterday. As always, I hope you will join with me in wishing them a long, happy marriage.

But there’s one aspect of this wedding you might not have heard about yet: it was a surprise to the entire guest list.

Chan had graduated from medical school during the week, and she and Zuckerberg sent out invitations to a graduation party. But when guests arrived, well, Chan was wearing a white gown and veil and the next thing guests knew, they were witnessing the start of a new marriage.

While this approach certainly isn’t for everybody, I have to say I like the concept. It’s low key, so it’s easier to avoid jitters. Nobody is expecting a wedding, so they don’t worry about shelling out money they can’t afford on new clothes and gifts. You don’t have to corral your nearest girlfriends into the bridal salon to argue over which available dress they hate least as a group. Nobody can accuse you of boring them to death with wedding details. Nobody has a chance to object to the aspect of the wedding that means the most to you.

In short, all you need to do is organize a party in a place you like, invite the people you’re closest to, nab yourself an officiant, get a license, and give everyone there the surprise of their lives! It’s up to you whether to plan for months or do it on a couple days’ notice, whether to include traditional trappings or drop every wedding convention except the vows.

I took a long time to plan my wedding to Mr. Twistie. I enjoyed the entire process. I loved sharing my plans with others. But there’s definitely something to be said for keeping an exciting secret, too.

So how about you? Would you ever consider a surprise wedding?

3 Responses to “Is a Surprise Wedding for You?”

  1. Lisa May 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    I like the idea for the same reasons as you, but I liked the build-up to my wedding (mostly :)) and wouldn’t have done without it.

    Also, I bet an out-of-the-box wedding is a lot easier to pull off elegantly when you’re swimming in money. :)

  2. Katie May 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    I went to a surprise wedding (reception) last year. We showed up to what we thought was their engagement party, only to find they’d gotten married at the Registry Office that morning. It was kind of fun, but the trouble with it being a surprise was that my husband and I were late (mostly because of traffic, but we’d have taken more care if we’d known) and another friend had to work – but would have made more effort to get out of it if he knew. You take the risk when it’s a surprise that the people you love might not realise how important it is to make it.

  3. Jo May 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Same here – I really loved planning my wedding and enjoying the build up – and you know what, I loved seeing my friends and family dressed up and even the presents – just call me shallow! :) But if you prefer things stress-free and low key, what a fab idea!
    Wishing them every happiness, as for all newlyweds (but I’m wondering whether there is a pre-nup ;) )