One thing the wedding planner books don’t tell you is how to manage the whole “surprise” thing. We’ve had family members come up to us and say, “I have this fun game/song/etc I want to surprise the bride and groom with” and we are asked our opinion. Well, we don’t know how to answer – we simply can’t know the bride and groom’s state of mind, and we certainly can’t ask them!
Then we saw a couple surprises go VERY wrong (furious bride and groom, or mortification as the surprise-ee basically makes a you-know-what of him or herself) so now we ask clients at the beginning: If anyone asks us if you are okay with surprises, what do we say? We get their response in writing, and from there, we’re able to represent the couple’s wishes.
One of the worst surprises was a friend of the parents of the bride, who wanted to say a poem during the ceremony. #1, surprises should not be during the ceremony – the most important and sacred part of the whole night! Second of all, this person took a poem that was fairly famous and changed it to add in the bride and groom’s personal characteristics, so it came off as insincere. Third of all, it went on FOREVER. The awkwardness hung in the air. The bride and groom shook it off and managed to have a good laugh out of it, but I know some other clients that would have been in a rage about the whole thing.
The best surprise, in my humble opinion, are flash mobs. Typically a group of guests decide ahead of time to practice and then perform a surprise dance for the bride and groom, and the dance maybe lasts about 3-4 minutes during the reception. (Just always tell the wedding coordinator and DJ well beforehand!) It’s quick, fun, and energetic, and usually encourages more dancing.
There you have it – the good, bad, and ugly of wedding surprises. Feel free to send this bloglink to any friends or family that you think will threaten a surprise -especially if you are not eager to play along!