First step: Don't tell anyone!
Even couples that loved the planning process preceding their weddings will often note that there were unpleasant times as well. Usually, this is due to being overwhelmed with opinions from others – both well meaning and passive aggressive. Well, there is one way to guarantee that you will not hear thoughts from everyone but you and your future spouse while planning: throwing a surprise wedding! Though certainly not for everyone, this trend is especially popular with celebrities who often keep their nuptials under wraps in order to maintain a modicum of privacy. Everyday couples will sometimes choose to plan a secret ceremony in order to make sure their day is exactly how they want it, or to prevent everyone making a fuss over them for months on end.
That said, planning a wedding no one knows about is certainly no easy task. There are many things you must consider beforehand. For one, your closest loved ones should at least know that you’re engaged, so the surprise is more of an unexpected celebration instead of having your nearest and dearest feel they were kept from an important part of your life. Having the wedding be within a few months of your “public” engagement will allow you to get all the plans taken care of without too much of the input you were looking to avoid in the first place. However, if you tell too many people about the surprise, those who weren’t in the know will feel snubbed, even if they were invited to the festivities.
You’ll need to have everyone think you’re planning some other event, so they have a reason to show up! Make sure you make the fake celebration something people wouldn’t want to miss – like a big birthday, engagement party, etc. Your best friend would hate to have missed your wedding because she was feeling a little under the weather. You should also have some buffer time so no one shows up fashionably late and misses the ceremony. Alternately, make up an excuse that would necessitate prompt arrival.
Most importantly: Be very clear about the plan with all the vendors, especially the venue. You don’t want anyone to spill your secret!