How to Plan a Surprise Wedding by Wendy Dessler

How to Plan a Surprise Wedding
A surprise wedding – one where the guests don’t realize that they are attending such a special event - can be a romantic and exciting way to start married life. Celebrities, in particular, are well known for hosting surprise affairs to avoid public attention and preserve as much privacy as possible. Nearly all celebrities, however, hire expensive wedding planning firms that can help pull off extremely complex events. On a good day, planning your own traditional wedding is complicated and that’s when everyone involved is fully apprised of the plans! If you’re planning to take on a surprise wedding, prepare to creatively handle a lot of details and create even more intrigue.

Enlist Help

Throwing a surprise wedding involves all of the standard intricacies like finding a venue, renting necessary equipment, hiring vendors, choosing a theme and color palette, creating a meaningful ceremony and carefully sketching out an itinerary – and doing it all on the sly. For each of your major elements like date, place and time, you have to create an alternative reality that your guests believe is true. It’s a lot easier to maintain your ruse if you involve a small number of trustworthy co-conspirators.
In particular, it would be a great idea to include your wedding party in your grand plan. If you plan to have coordinating mint green bridesmaid dresses, for example, it’s necessary to let your bridesmaids in on the secret. Choose a small number of confidants who can help you with the details – those that are secret and those that aren’t – and you’ll find the entire task a lot easier.

Keep It Small and Simple

The best surprise weddings are intimate affairs. Think of any surprise party you’ve ever attended or planned – the fewer moving parts, the better. While it’s possible to pull off a surprise wedding with a guest count in the hundreds, it’s much easier to do with the help of a professional wedding planner. If you got it on your own, you’ll make things go more smoothly if you limit your guest list.

Choose Great Help

If ever there was a compelling reason to hire a full-service venue, a professional planner, or a highly comprehensive catering firm, throwing a surprise wedding is it. You want someone who can field guest inquiries properly before the wedding, make sure your delicate plans go smoothly on the day-of, and think ahead to eliminate any obstacles between you and surprise success.
A staff of folks in the know may be necessary to hide those girls in mint green bridesmaid dresses, for example, as guests arrive for whatever event they believe they are attending. You’ll need allies to help with your big reveal, and then to keep the event going once the secret is out. Run your plans past your prospective vendors during your interviews and get their take on how things might work. Choose the ones who seem the most experienced and most flexible, and of course, those who are enthusiastic about your surprise plans.
This is not where the surprise should end. You can even eliminate any obstacles when it comes to organizing your honeymoon. With the help of crowdfunding websites, you can quickly and effectively raise funds for visiting the destination of your dreams.
One of the best ways to ensure that your surprise wedding is a success is to keep a great sense of humor about the event. Know that even if something slips out, other elements will still be a surprise, and go with the flow. Your own expectations, enthusiasm and attitude will set the tone for your guests and ensure that you enjoy your surprise affair no matter what should transpire on the big day!

Author Bio
Wendy Dessler
Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

WHAT:          The Trustees of Reservations invites couples to be wed, event planners, and the surrounding community members to attend their fifth annual Seaside Wedding Show.  Envision your wedding day at Castle Hill on The Crane Estate, a National Historic Landmark, where simplicity meets elegance. The Grand AllĂ©e’s half-mile rolling lawn and sweeping ocean views are the perfect canvas for your celebration at The Great House – a 59-room mansion. 
The Seaside Wedding Show will feature over fifty hand selected vendors who will share their professional expertise and offer options for choosing an eco-conscious wedding.  Meet exclusive caterers who focus on sustainable, local foods, and sample their amazing culinary creations. Visit with our preferred vendors for clothing, confections, flowers, invitations, lighting, linens, music, photography, spa luxuries, table place settings, and tenting.
The Crane Estate will have professional Event Managers onsite for consultation to help create the day of your dreams. Attendees will be able to eat local, shop local, and support local businesses.
Crane Estate Awards:  the knot best of weddings 5-TIME WINNER - HALL OF FAME honoree; Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice Award 2013-2014.
WHERE:      The Great House:  Castle Hill on The Crane Estate is located at 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich, MA.  For directions and or more information, please visit or call 978.356.4351 ext. 4025.

WHEN:        Sunday, April 6, 2014.  12 noon to 3pm.

HOW:           Tickets available for purchase online at  (through April 2, 2014)
Advance online ticket:  $10.
Day-of ticket purchased at The Great House:  $15.

The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) “hold in trust” and care for properties, or “reservations,” of scenic, cultural, and natural significance for the general public to enjoy. Founded by open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees are the nation’s oldest, statewide land trust, one of Massachusetts’ largest conservation organizations and an established leader in the conservation and preservation movement nationally and internationally. Supported by more than 100,000 members, donors, and thousands of volunteers, The Trustees own and manage 112 spectacular reservations – 20 of which are located on Boston’s North Shore – including working farms, historic homesteads and gardens, community parks, barrier beaches and mountain vistas – located on more than 26,000 acres. In addition, The Trustees work closely with permanent affiliates including Boston Natural Areas Network and the Hilltown Land Trust, well as hundreds of community partners to preserve and protect special places and provide year-round programs for all ages.

The Crane Estate, a property of The Trustees of Reservations, is a National Historic Landmark that encompasses more than 2,100 preserved acres that include: The Great House and The Inn at Castle Hill, Crane Beach, and the Crane Wildlife Refuge. More than 250,000 people visit The Crane Estate each year to experience the unrivaled beauty, swim at the world-famous beach, paddle its breathtaking waters and surrounding marshes, and enjoy its historic Great House, the Inn, surrounding trails, and rolling lawns.

Chicago industrialist Richard T. Crane, Jr. first purchased the 2,100 acres that would become the Crane Estate in 1910.  Crane was captivated by the beautiful landscape, and over time worked with eight leading architects and landscape architects to shape his summer retreat.  In 1928, he crowned the estate with the Great House, a grand 59-room, Stuart-style mansion, designed by the world- renowned David Adler. More than 100 years later, The Crane Estate plays a vital role in the local community and beyond as a place for year-round recreation, historic house tours, weddings, corporate and private parties, art shows, summer concerts, lectures, movie filming, summer camp and public volunteer opportunities. For more information, please visit