How To Plan A Surprise Wedding

Planning A Surprise Wedding

Say what?! Yes, you read that right! A SURPRISE WEDDING!! My sister had one and it was SO much fun! Some people were surprised and others had bets on them getting married that day!

So you want to have a surprise wedding. They are a little un-traditional, tons of fun, and, that’s right, a TOTAL surprise. They can be a bit tricky to plan, but if you do it right, it can make for a day to remember.

Create or choose an event to have the wedding take place at. We were having a big family reunion on the family farm so my sister decided that would be the perfect place to do it! We were in charge of sending invites, so we made sure to put that we would officially be kicking off the reunion at 4:00 PM (the time of the ceremony). We knew everyone would arrive early in the day to play games, shoot discs, and run around the far, but this ensured that everyone would be there in time to celebrate!





Have a short engagement and a few select go to people. The shorter the engagement, the less time you have to spill the beans! My sister only told me and my mom. This ensured the secret was kept tight and no one would find out! We did all the planning and organizing within 6 months. They got engaged in January. Decided to get married in June at the reunion and kept their engagement as secret the whole time! We kept it simple and small AND we kept it under $10,000 (stay tuned for that blog coming soon!).

Side note: They live in Virginia and wanted to have their marriage license and everything done there. So they had a small courthouse ceremony with myself, my mom, Jimmy’s dad, and his sister.




Logistics matter! Even though it is a surprise you still need everything to fall into place to keep it a secret! We went up the day before to decorate and map out the ceremony space. I think my aunt who own the farm started to get curious when we did this, but she still had no idea! Genevieve clued in our cousin who is a minister to perform the ceremony. We had bluetooth speakers and designated another cousin to be in charge of music and corralling everyone to the grove where the ceremony was being help. We told everyone we had to go get supplies for the game in the grove and then left to get ready. We contacted a family friend and asked to use her house across the street in order to get ready and keep it a secret all the way up to the ceremony! The fine details matter when it comes to keep your day a total surprise and having everything run smoothly!

Don’t skimp on the photography. This is going to be a day to remember! My sister knew exactly who she wanted for a photographer and that was the biggest expense. It was well worth it though! We have photos of everyone we shared the day with and the look on their faces when they realized what was happening is a memory of a lifetime!

All photos below courtesy of the amazing One Oak Photography.






Surprise weddings are not for everyone and that’s okay! Genevieve wanted a small, intimate ceremony with all of our family. Our family reunion was the perfect event, location, and environment for exactly how she wanted her wedding.

At the end of the day, it’s a memory we still talk about. It stood out. Made an impact.

Want to be a little different? Try a surprise wedding!



Planning your own surprise wedding and need more tips and tricks? Or a photographer?! Lemme know (:


See if we have your date open!

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Husband + Wife, photographer, videographer, artists,
cat parents, travelers,
inspired by family, joy, and you.

That's us on our wedding day. The part we loved the most? The big group hugs, the tears shed, the belly laughs, and getting to share all of it with our friends and family. 

We're Olivia + Christian

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