top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Marrying Kind

How To Pull Off A Surprise Wedding

Updated: Feb 7, 2020

Post by The Marrying Kind member Roxy, from Roxy Hotten - Celebrant.

Who doesn’t like a surprise? Well, actually, lots of people I guess, especially if it’s a bad surprise. But surprise weddings? Personally, I, love ’em, and I know my The Marrying Kind sisters love doing them too.

In Australia you cannot surprise your partner with a wedding, as you both need to give at least one months’ notice by lodging a Notice of Intended Marriage with your Celebrant. However, you can surprise your family and friends, and, when it works, it can take away all the stresses, strains and – let’s face it – opinions, which can come with the planning of a wedding.

Examples of a Surprise Wedding


I did a surprise wedding where the guests were all invited to the bride and groom's home under the guise of celebrating her 30th birthday.

I'd met with the couple to complete their Notice of Intended Marriage, and we'd come up with a suitable back-story that would hold up to any interrogation. I'd done my research, and arrived before the reveal and mingled with the guests calling upon my High School Speech and Drama skills and utilising these to the max to convince everyone that I was just a normal guest.

When it came to cutting the 30th birthday cake, the bride made a speech as to how important it was to have those she loved most around her, then she took the ’30’ cake topper and replaced it with a ‘Mr and Mrs’ cake topper. Some guests understood straight away, some were confused.

She then said ‘Roxy can you come and explain what’s going on?’ and with that I stepped up and announced that I didn’t work in marketing with the bride, I was actually a Commonwealth Registered Celebrant, and I was here to marry the birthday girl and her partner. There was a big roar of laughter and noise, with the bride’s Uncle pointing at me shouting (through tears of laughter) ‘You LIED to me Roxy! You LIED!!’


The couple in this example had recently finished renovating their house, and so were inviting their closest family and friends around to have cocktails in the garden.

My cover-story was that I was the sole bar-staff member (hired via Airtasker, to explain my slightly inept efforts at cocktail making!). I served drinks for an hour or so before the reveal was made via one of the brides’ daughter, by which stage I’d served at least one drink to every guest and had them all believing I was the bartender.

Keeping it super low-key meant that the guests had no idea whatsoever, and the Airtasker cover story was completely convincing.

I've also learnt that if this Celebrant gig dries up, I have a back-up career making cocktails.


If I ever I wished I had worn a Go-Pro at a wedding, this one was it. The couple had invited their guests for their engagement party, with over 120 in attendance.

They greeted their guests, and mingled with them, acting as calm and normal as possible. I mingled with guests too.

My back story was that I had met the bride at a toddler group and our little ones were good friends. Everyone seemed to believe my story, yet there were a few guests who mentioned that they were a little suspicious that the couple were either going to get married that day, or had already married


I gave the bride a heads-up about this, so she started the rumour that they were having a big engagement party so they could go on and have a low-key wedding at the registry office. This spread like wild-fire, and it was universally accepted by all.

After a couple of hours, when the couple gave me the nod, I called everyone into the main room, under the pretense that I was announcing lunch. Apparently, one of the guests said to another ‘Who is that women, and why is she being so bossy!’

Once everyone was seated, I explained that the couple had invited them all and that the food would soon be served. However, before that, I’d just like everyone to know that they are not here for an engagement party; they’re here for a wedding.

The screams were incredible, and all guests turned to where the couple, having made a super-quick change of outfits, were standing. It was a totally, utterly, magic!

How The Marrying Kind Can Help

All The Marrying Kind members have a sense of adventure, and we are a creative lot. We embrace the challenge of helping you fool your guests and we are happy to chat to you about your plans.

Feel free to contact any or all of us here


44 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page