One of the best things about this work is sitting across the table from someone when they ask to include something in their ceremony that is far from traditional yet very important to them and when they expect to hear “No”, I say yes.
When I met Bucky and Maryann, the first question on the table was would I be willing to do a surprise wedding? The guests would all think it was just a Father’s Day BBQ. I thought it was a great idea! The next question came from the groom, could I do it standing on the Harley Davidson Road King that he had painstakingly restored with his soon-to-be father in law, Patrick? My answer, “Yes! If I can balance on it, I can do your ceremony from the Road King.
Not only was this going to be great fun, but I had the theme that would run through their ceremony. This was meaningful and important to both of them, they had fallen in love on a motorcycle and road trips were a big part of their life. I included references to their travels and the Road King throughout their ceremony.
Guests arrive for a father’s day BBQ
Revealing the surprise! (Maryann Bucky come out in Bride and Groom Tshirts)
Maryann and Bucky’s Love Story
Vows and Rings
Gift Ceremony for Bucky’s son
Reading: May the Road Rise to Meet You (A traditional Irish Blessing)
Statement of Support (Guests respond “We will!”
Declaration of Marriage
This was a fun ceremony to write and officiate and I had a wonderful time getting to know Maryann and Bucky and their families. Some time later, friends of Maryann and Bucky called me and I did there wedding too! But that’s a story for another day.
Are you considering a surprise wedding? Here are some tips:
- Surprise your guests, NOT your fiance. Planning the ceremony is as important to the process of getting married as the ceremony itself. You should both have the opportunity to go through the planning so that on your wedding day you’re ready to experience your ceremony and enjoy it.
- Have one or two people who are in the know. They can help shepherd your guests to be in the right place at the right time.
- If you have kids, let them know what’s coming–especially if you plan on having them be a part of the ceremony. You want them to be happy and comfortable.
- Be flexible. Getting people who don’t know what’s going on to be in the right place at the right moment can take some doing. Be ready to start your ceremony earlier–or more likely later if you have to and be clear with your fiance (and your helpers) who the must have guests are so you don’t start without them.