Surprise Wedding

A Surprise Wedding!

A Surprise wedding can be a lot of fun… particularly if you can combine it with another event such as a milestone birthday or engagement! They are also cost effective and can be less stressful than a more traditional wedding!

Here are my top tips to make it run smoothly…

My Top Ten Tips for a Surprise Wedding

1. Planning: Choose a location that you like but will lend itself to an element of surprise i.e. has another entrance/room to prepare or move into.

2. Work with your celebrant– they will have ideas on when and how to announce the marriage, ceremony ideas and the things you will need to make it all work. Decide on the cover story or plan the entrance of the celebrant.

3. Work with the venue: they may be able to offer you a room to change, supply of equipment ( sound system, disguised signing table etc) or even a set up in a separate room.

4. Invitations– be specific about time, dress code etc Try to add a reason to be there on time e.g.dinner served at 8pm.

5. Keeping the secret: Who will know, as you may need help to get things done. Decide who you can trust and word them up. Decide whether you are going to tell your parents/siblings. if not, be aware that they may be upset.

6. Missing guests: What are you going to do if someone is late or doesn’t turn up? Pick a cut off time and stick to it.

7. The reveal: who will make the announcement? How will it be done?

8. The ceremony: worked out with your celebrant. You could have a rehearsal at another venue e.g home or celebrant’s office so you know what you need to do.

9.Witnesses: Make sure the people you have chosen as your witnesses can see and hear during the ceremony and signing.

10.  You are MARRIED! Get ready to enjoy your party!

Ceremony at Bishop's Court

Elegant Ceremony at Bishop’s Court for Emily and Nic

A Secret Walled Garden in Central Bendigo

A ceremony at Bishop’s Court suited  Emily and Nic beautifully. They married on the last day of November in the picturesque garden of Bishop’s Court, Forest St,  Bendigo. They are a lovely young couple and writing their ceremony was easy; romantic, modern but semi traditional, relaxed and light- hearted.   They are very much on the same page and look forward to building a happy life together. One of the main traits they both possess is love for their family.  Nic and Emily wanted a way that their three grandfathers could participate in their ceremony during their ceremony at Bishop’s Court. I suggested that two could be witnesses and sign the marriage certificate . The third grand dad was pleased to be asked to do a short reading just after the signing.



The Big Day

After rain the previous night it was wonderful to wake to a fine, if cool, day for their ceremony at  Bishop’s Court. Everything progressed smoothly; the guests arrived promptly and had time to mingle and chat to the groom. I met some of the grandparents and we chatted about Emily’s home town of Boort. ( My husband was born in a country town not far from there.)

The bridesmaids arrived just minutes after the ceremony was scheduled to start and their burgundy dresses were gorgeous. Then Emily arrived on her father’s arm, looking absolutely divine! I believe Nic thought so too.( I’m pretty sure I saw him wipe a tear from his eye! )

It wasn’t long before their story was told, vows read and they were declared husband and wife…to deafening cheers!

The Grandfathers

Then it was time for the signing! The two witnesses were not told prior to the wedding and were overjoyed when Nic and Emily walked over to their front row seats and asked them to join them for the signing. It was such a lovely, emotional  moment. When the third grand dad completed his reading all of them gathered behind the signing table. This gave the photographer  (from AJ Taylor Images) the opportunity to capture all three with the bride and groom before they returned to their seats. It will be a wonderful memory for them all!

I received high praise during the signing when Nic told me laughingly (referring to the ceremony)  “It was nowhere near as bad as I thought!” 

That’s my job! Keeping things as stress free as possible!

Celebrant: Vicki Coghill

Venue: Bishop’s Court B&B

Photographer: AJ Taylor

Reception: Harcourt Valley Vineyards