After months of flipping through bridal magazines and asking your married friends for advice on venues, caterers and flowers, you’re no closer to planning the wedding of your dreams. Instead of planning a “traditional” affair, you’ve decided to shock your friends and family by throwing a surprise a wedding that no one will see coming. However, the only problem is, you don’t know where to begin. Here are a few simple tips that will help you plan an unforgettable surprise wedding:

Creating the Perfect Cover Story

If your family and friends are spread across the country, the biggest issue you’ll face is creating an event or excuse big enough to warrant their time and the hassle of traveling.

For example, ask your spouse-to-be to tell everyone they’re throwing a surprise engagement, and they want everyone special in the individual’s life to be there. Avoid telling everyone you’re throwing an anniversary party or a family reunion. Chances are they will want to help, which will ruin the real surprise!

What ever you choose, it’s vital the cover story is believable!

Mailing out invitations is another helpful idea, as this helps ensure everyone knows the event is as casual or formal as you want. Providing a specific time also helps ensure you get everyone to the venue on time, which allows you to make one, big reveal.

However, if you’re having trouble getting the really important people in your life to commit, including siblings, parents and grandparents, consider letting them in on the surprise. You won’t get to see the looks on their faces when you say the surprise “I Do’s,” but at least you’ll have a little more help with the planning!

Organizing the Event

Once you have a rock solid cover story created, it’s time to start actually planning the event. If the affair is small enough to plan and execute on your own, go ahead and try to organize everything on your own, from the food to the decorations and dessert.

However, if you’re planning a larger wedding, it’s important to find vendors that are both available and discrete. For example, when it comes to the venue, choose a space that your friends and family don’t frequent. In other words, don’t throw the wedding or reception at your family’s favorite restaurant or a venue owned by a friend or loved one.

Here are a few simple tips that can help ensure your wedding is amazing, while staying completely secret:

  • Make It Known The Wedding is a Secret – From the florist to the caterer, Brides urges you to let the vendors know over and over this wedding is a secret, and that when it’s time for the big day, to get the job done quickly and discreetly.

  • Think Small – The bigger your surprise wedding, the more room for error. This is why it’s vital to keep the affair as small as possible. For example, consider hosting the wedding in your backyard. If you want a more elegant reception, wedding venues such as a formal banquet hall or restaurant will allow you to enjoy the surprise ceremony and a fancy, catered affair!

  • Be Prepared for Hurt Feelings – Prepare yourself for the idea that some of your friends and family might be hurt or disappointed with your choice. However, before you begin apologizing too much, remember that this is your big day, and you choose to celebrate on your terms.

Planning a wedding that genuinely surprises your friends and family is possible. Just remember to tell as few people as possible, create a believable cover story and most importantly, keep your own excited mouth shut!