As the New York Times recently deduced, surprise weddings are definitely “having a moment” right now and you can learn more about that here, but today’s post isn’t just about the trend itself, but one particular part of it: the big reveal.
Because while surprise ceremonies are indeed having their moment, that doesn’t mean they’re a brand new concept. Yes, they’re gaining some serious steam right now, but our veterans of wedding videography in NJ have seen a few in their time in the business. So, we thought we’d pass on a few tips & tricks they’ve picked up along the way for pulling off that big reveal.
Before deciding how to go about planning your big reveal, you need to decide who’s going to be in on it. That way, you’ll know which people you have to utilize as part of the reveal. For instance, do you want solely you and your partner to know or both of your parents as well? What about the wedding party? Do you want all, none, or perhaps just one from each side to be in on it?
Then there’s the option of doing your surprise ceremony on the very same day you propose without telling your partner. It’s not easy to pull off, but it’s been done and taking that route would probably entail letting at least some other people know about it as part of the big reveal moment.
There’s no right or wrong way to go about it, it’s just that you need to figure out who’s actually going to be getting surprised and who will be in on the surprising before you determine how to make your big reveal as effective and unforgettable as it can be.
When’s the right moment?
Good timing is essential to the effectiveness of any big reveal, but the initial effect itself isn’t all you need to consider when deciding on when to actually tell your guests that they’re at your wedding. After all, while you should be prepared in every way, they won’t be, not for a wedding at least.
That’s why it’s always worth considering getting right to it and revealing the truth at the very start of the celebration. Whether you and your partner greet guests as they arrive in your full wedding attire, which will require a lot of explaining, or you just have a sign or two placed somewhere near the entrance clueing everyone in, it’ll give guests a chance to adjust.
But you don’t have to take that approach. For instance, you may want to wait until the party’s in full swing before you make your big reveal, whether you just make an announcement or have everyone shift to another area for a “toast” or something of that nature, when in actuality they’ll be moving to the ceremony site. It’s entirely up to you, but the bottom line is that timing is critical.
How should you reveal the big surprise?
A lot of how you reveal the surprise will have to do with how you choose to conceal it. For example, are you and your partner inviting all your guests to an “engagement” or “birthday” party, or are you misleading them in some other way? The point is that the way you reveal that all that’s not true will depend largely on what that fib actually is.
But no matter which fib you choose to tell, there are some tips that may help. For instance, you could have a sign made up and then walk out on stage or into the center of the room or dance floor and flip it around to reveal the big surprise, or like mentioned above, you could make your wedding attire itself the reveal.
You can also do the classic “pull back the curtain” routine to reveal your ceremony location or altar. That never gets old, nor does the right speech at the right moment, whether it’s delivered by you or a close friend or relative while you and your partner wait in hiding. Again, it’s entirely up to you, but just remember to weigh all your options before making any decisions.
All our NJ wedding videographers have left to say is prepare for the fallout.
Look, surprise weddings are having a moment right now for a reason. They make for an unforgettable celebration, and what newlyweds don’t want that? It’s just that you can’t underestimate the potential for some fallout from family and friends who feel duped, left out, or shorted.
But as long as you’re prepared to deal with consequences like that in stride, then a surprise wedding is absolutely worth some consideration.
About Us: Live Picture Studios has been doing wedding photography and wedding videography in NJ & NY for years. At LPS, we always create to inspire, and you can check out our photo gallery and video gallery to see some examples.